From the group of 64, all hail from one of seven midwestern states, in addition to the country of Bulgaria. While all have strong ties to South Dakota, 52 are originally from the state. Other states represented are Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Montana and Washington.

Alpha Omega Alpha visiting professor and SSOM alumnus Bret Mettler, ‘00 M.D., was the graduation convocation speaker. Dr. Mettler, director of pediatric cardiac surgery at Johns Hopkins Medicine and co-director of the Blalock–Taussig–Thomas Pediatric and Congenital Heart Center at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, offered the graduates practical advice for entering their careers as physicians.

“Only your peers really understand all you’ve overcome and what you’ve accomplished,” Dr. Mettler said. “Your life as a doctor starts now. The bar is high; the people of this state deserve you. Until now, you’ve done what you’re told, but moving forward, you get to choose. You are ready for the next step.”

Destinations for USD medical student residencies include 23 states. South Dakota takes the lead with 11 USD medical school graduates from the Class of 2022. Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri and Utah will host four graduates each.

The most popular residencies are family medicine and internal medicine, with 11 and 10 graduates pursuing training in each of these fields, respectively. Four graduates will receive training in each of the specialties of OB-GYN, psychiatry, neurology, anesthesiology and dermatology. In all, 17 different areas of medicine comprise the list of residenciesmatched by USD medical school graduates.

Nationally, 47,675 total applicants soon-to-be physicians from all U.S. medical schools and some non-U.S. medical schools were vying for 39,205 residency positions in the U.S.
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