Hogans-Mathews, Flowers selected for Leadership through Scholarship Fellowships


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - As physicians, educators and mentors, Drs. Shermeeka Hogans-Mathews and Kerwyn Flowers are looking for ways to expand their influence. 

They have been accepted to the year-long, Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM) Leadership through Scholarship Fellowship, which offers training and mentorship for early-career minority faculty who are underrepresented in medicine. Accounting for two of 14 recipients nationally, they will benefit from a tailored curriculum focused on developing scholarly writing skills for academic advancement and leadership.

An assistant professor with the Florida State University College of Medicine’s Department of Family Medicine and Rural Health since 2018, Hogans-Mathews also practices family medicine as a clinician at FSU PrimaryHealth. In addition, she mentors students in the master’s degree program Bridge to Clinical Medicine, as well as medical students in the Summer Research Fellowship Program.

“There is a scholarly component of academia that helps give you that regional, national or international stature or standing that you hope to obtain as you advance up the academic ladder toward leadership,” she said. “This fellowship will help provide the support, the mentoring, the education, and will cultivate the skill set that I need in order to make sure my skills in scholarship are top-notch.”

Flowers joined the department in 2017 as an assistant professor and currently serves as the director of rural medical education and director of clinical programs. She is board-certified in family medicine and sees patients at FSU PrimaryHealth.  

Dr. Kerwyn Flowers

“Dr. Flowers is a remarkable person,” said Dr. Joedrecka Brown Speights, professor and chair of the department. “She has demonstrated leadership in many areas, especially course directing, curricular development, and mentorship. She truly lights up in the classroom as a teacher in her multiple course directing roles.”

Hogans-Mathews’ academic and leadership skills were on display throughout her time as a medical student at the College of Medicine. A member of the M.D. Class of 2015, she was inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society and was the recipient of the FSU Mission Award.

She completed her final year of residency at Ascension St. Vincent’s Family Medicine Center in Jacksonville as chief resident.

“Dr. Hogans-Mathews has demonstrated leadership since I first came to know her as a first-year medical student in 2011 and this has grown and blossomed over the years,” said Senior Associate Dean Dr. Daniel Van Durme, who chaired the family medicine department when Hogans-Mathews graduated.  “She continued to lead as a chief resident and now as a faculty member. I am confident that this fellowship will add further polish to her skills and that her peers in the program will gain from her participation, as well.”

Still, Hogans-Mathews recognized that there was room for “some cultivation” in the areas of research and scholarly writing, which led her to apply for the STFM fellowship.

“We focus so much on learning the medicine, learning the people skills – being compassionate and empathetic – that we don’t realize that we have the aptitude, if we develop it, to be scholars,” she said. “My biggest hold-up was just a lack of confidence, or a fear of the unknown in those areas. I decided to take the leap and apply for this program so I could develop that confidence, that skill set, to publish my research and learn how to help others do the same.”

As a resident, Hogans-Mathews set goals of one day becoming an assistant department chair or associate dean. Recently, she has become more interested in mental health for both patients and physicians, the latter of whom suffer from high rates of burnout and suicide.

“I’ve really become interested in doing national presentations,” she said. “I was recently accepted to present at STFM…on promoting wellness while tackling perfectionism; shining the light on the inner critic. I hope over the next few years to navigate a path as a leader in physician wellness, specifically perfectionism.”

Brown Speights believes there is much to be gained by their participation in the leadership program.

“Dr. Hogans-Mathews and Dr. Flowers will gain the opportunity to develop further in leadership especially related to innovation and publishing,” she said. “They will both excel in this national program. And we will all benefit from their experience as they share the knowledge and insight gained, mixed with passion, for the success of our students, community, and College of Medicine family.”

The STFM Leadership through Scholarship Fellowship was funded through an American Board of Family Medicine Foundation grant. Fellowship recipients will regularly participate in workshops and mentor meetings – both in person and virtually – through May 2023, culminating with the STFM Annual Spring Conference.

Contact Robert Thomas at robert.thomas@med.fsu.edu