April 24, 2024


A new fund honors Dr. Sheets' passion for family medicine education. 

Kent Sheets
Kent J. Sheets, Ph.D .

In memory of a staunch supporter of family medicine education, the University of Michigan Department of Family Medicine has established the Kent J. Sheets, Ph.D. Family Medicine Education Fund. The Fund will support initiatives and programs related to medical student, resident, fellow and faculty education in the Department of Family Medicine.

In 1982, Kent joined the faculty of the U-M Medical School and Department of Family Medicine where he advanced to the rank of professor and served as Director of Educational Development. Throughout his 38 years at U-M, Kent made a positive impression on everyone who had the privilege to work with him. He passed away unexpectedly following surgery in March 2020, days into the pandemic shutdown.


Leading Clerkship Innovation

Kent was instrumental in the development and administration of the required family medicine clerkship within the U-M Medical School. Because of Kent’s dedication and mentorship, students consistently ranked this clerkship #1 in the medical school.

His intellectual enthusiasm for medical education and family medicine was only surpassed by his commitment to the students. He was recognized by U-M with a Lifetime Achievement Award in Medical Education and was named an inaugural member of the U-M Medical School League of Educational Excellence.

Beloved by medical students over the years, he was often portrayed in the Galens Smoker and was an honorary member of both Galens and the AOA Honor Society.


Developing Family Medicine Leaders

He envisioned and served as director of the Department’s renowned Faculty Development Institute (FDI) and, with R. Dale Lefever, Ph.D., built it into a present day success. Today, his mentee, Julie A. Blaszczak, M.D., is building on Kent’s work and expanding the FDI program to early family medicine educators across the state of Michigan.


Making Connections

An STFM “celebrity,” Kent was a sought after speaker and leader and enjoyed connecting with colleagues across the country.

Introducing medical students to family medicine educators was his passion. His efforts were recognized with the STFM Excellence in Education Award in 2008.


Incredible Passion

It is unquestionable that Kent  left his mark on the field of family medicine, the University of Michigan, and the generations of physicians that he supported over the decades.

Most importantly, countless family physicians across the country considered him both a mentor and friend.


Honoring Dr. Sheets

The Department of Family Medicine will host a reception at the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine’s Annual Meeting to honor Dr. Sheets and launch the new fund.

All are welcome. Please join us:
Sunday, May 5, 2024
6:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Santa Monica A Conference Room
The Westin Bonaventure
Los Angeles, California



It is our goal to create a permanent endowment of $100,000 in his name to honor his life’s work and his passion and dedication for teaching.



Expansion of the FDI Program

Building on the ingenuity of Kent’s original program, we plan to grow the FDI network, reach more early family medicine leaders, and prepare participants to lead and excel in the shifting landscape of health care and medical education.


Activities, Events and Mentorship within U-M Medical School’s Family Medicine Interest Group (FMIG)

Designed to inspire passion and build connections within family medicine, the FMIG is instrumental in building passion for family medicine within medical students. Increased support will provide further opportunities for professional networking, skills development, career guidance, and mentorship. 

Supporting Medical Students to Attend National Conferences

We will not only invest in the professional development of our medical students, but also nurture Kent’s passion for guiding future family physicians and support their attendance to the national conferences such as American Academy of Family Physicians and Society of Teachers of Family Medicine.


Ensuring Medical Students are Well-Prepared for Success in Family Medicine Residencies

The “residency bootcamp” for graduating medical students who have matched into family medicine, developed by Elizabeth K. Jones, M.D., has demonstrated significant  success. Further funding will play a pivotal role in the growth and sustainability of the program, working to develop and prepare successful future family physicians.


Support the Kent J. Sheets, Ph.D. Family Medicine Education Fund today

For more information, please contact Amy St. Amour, Michigan Medicine Office of Development: 777 E. Eisenhower Pkwy., Suite 650, Ann Arbor, MI 48108  |  734-645-0423  |  [email protected]