VERMILLION, S.D. – Jerica Muzik, University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine class of 2025 student, is the 2021 recipient of the Avera Health American Indian Scholarship. This prestigious scholarship is awarded to an American Indian medical student who is an enrolled member of a federally recognized tribe located in South Dakota or the upper Midwest.
Muzik is a member of the Oglala Lakota Nation and grew up on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, in western South Dakota. She graduated from Kadoka High School, and she earned her undergraduate degree from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.
Muzik was inspired to pursue a career in medicine because she wants to provide care to the people of her reservation. “I saw how my community and the surrounding communities were desperately in need of more physicians to practice rural medicine,” Muzik said. “After graduation from medical school and after completing a residency, I plan to return home and practice at the Indian Health Service or in a rural clinic.”