The National Initiative on Gender, Culture and Leadership in Medicine, known as C-Change (for culture change), was founded in 2006 and is housed at Brandeis University. Dedicated to improving the culture of academic medicine through research and action, C-Change aims to promote an inclusive, affirming, relational working environment for all faculty and trainees, and to increase diversity of leadership in academic medicine.

Even with the altruistic motives of most medical faculty and the noble missions of academic medicine, the present culture in medical schools is felt by many faculty to be lonely, unwelcoming of differences, and more competitive and critical than collaborative or supportive.1-7 Many faculty perceive discrepancies between stated mission and institutional behaviors.8-9 The culture discourages humanistic orientations, and those who seek professional rewards learn that the preferred route is through competition and self-promotion rather than collaboration. This culture contributes to high rates of faculty dissatisfaction, burnout and depression.10-13 In turn, dissatisfaction is associated with high levels of turnover and attrition.9,14-16 Also, there is a lack of diversity at all levels of leadership in medical schools.17-19 Despite calls for culture change in academic medical centers,20-27 few interventions to facilitate culture change in medical schools have been reported or evaluated.28

There appears to be a mismatch between the prevailing organizational approach and culture in academic medicine and its vital faculty workforce.29 It is increasingly clear that addressing these serious issues requires dedicated and innovative efforts and a renewed focus on the culture of academic medicine. C-Change is dedicated to improving the culture of academic medicine through research and action.

The initial C-Change research studies and 2006 to 2010 Learning Action Network were generously funded by the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation. The Office of Public Health and Science Offices on Women's Health and Minority Health, the NIH Office of Research on Women's Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Brandeis University Women's Studies Research Center provided supplemental collaborative support.

The Culture of Residency national project is a first-of-its-kind quantitative assessment of the clinical learning environment and professionalism from the perspective of resident physicians. Fourteen public and private academic health systems participated in the study. The Culture of Residency project is generously funded by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation.

C-Change is currently partnering with the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) to survey cardiologists ad scientists in 17 countries in Europe.