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J Contin Educ Health Prof. 2013 Fall;33(4):244-57. doi: 10.1002/chp.21189.

Preparing culture change agents for academic medicine in a multi-institutional consortium: the C - change learning action network.

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Senior scientist, Brandeis University; Director, National Initiative on Gender, Culture and Leadership in Medicine: C - Change.



Research suggests an ongoing need for change in the culture of academic medicine. This article describes the structure, activities and evaluation of a culture change project: the C - Change Learning Action Network (LAN) and its impact on participants. The LAN was developed to create the experience of a culture that would prepare participants to facilitate a culture in academic medicine that would be more collaborative, inclusive, relational, and that supports the humanity and vitality of faculty.


Purposefully diverse faculty, leaders, and deans from 5 US medical schools convened in 2 1/2-day meetings biannually over 4 years. LAN meetings employed experiential, cognitive, and affective learning modes; innovative dialogue strategies; and reflective practice aimed at facilitating deep dialogue, relationship formation, collaboration, authenticity, and transformative learning to help members experience the desired culture. Robust aggregated qualitative and quantitative data collected from the 5 schools were used to inform and stimulate culture-change plans.


Quantitative and qualitative evaluation methods were used. Participants indicated that a safe, supportive, inclusive, collaborative culture was established in LAN and highly valued. LAN members reported a deepened understanding of organizational change, new and valued interpersonal connections, increased motivation and resilience, new skills and approaches, increased self-awareness and personal growth, emotional connection to the issues of diversity and inclusion, and application of new learnings in their work.


A carefully designed multi-institutional learning community can transform the way participants experience and view institutional culture. It can motivate and prepare them to be change agents in their own institutions.


academic medicine; communities of practice; culture change; culture/diversity/cultural competence; diversity; evaluation-educational intervention; faculty development; grounded theory; leadership; medical schools; mumanistic; professionalism/ethics; reflective practice

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