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Commentary: A Call for Culture Change in Academic Medicine

Powell, Deborah MD; Scott, James L. MD; Rosenblatt, Michael MD; Roth, Paul B. MD; Pololi, Linda MBBS

doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3181d7d4eb

Disappointed by the lack of progress in the advancement of women and underrepresented minority faculty to senior positions and leadership roles in academic medicine and concerned by the prospect that these valuable faculty resources were being lost, a group of five medical school deans agreed to embark on a multiyear project to change the culture of their medical schools for these underrepresented faculty. This commentary outlines the rationale and motivation for the project and sets the stage for future reports from and wider participation in this initiative.

Dr. Powell is former dean, Medical School, associate vice president for new medical education programs, professor, and McKnight Presidential Leadership Chair, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Dr. Scott is dean, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and professor of emergency medicine, The George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC.

Dr. Rosenblatt is dean, School of Medicine, and professor of physiology and medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts.

Dr. Roth is executive vice president for health sciences, dean, School of Medicine, associate vice president for clinical affairs, and professor of emergency medicine, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Dr. Pololi is senior scientist, Brandeis University, and director, National Initiative on Gender, Culture, and Leadership in Medicine: C - Change, Waltham, Massachusetts.

Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. Pololi, Brandeis University, Mailstop 088, Waltham, MA 02454-9110; telephone (781) 736-8128; e-mail:

© 2010 Association of American Medical Colleges