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USD Sanford School of Medicine Student Receives Avera Health American Indian Scholarship

Jerica Muzik headshot Jerica Muzik, a USD medical student, is the 2021 recipient of the Avera Health American Indian Scholarship.

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.”


USD's Sanford School of Medicine is nationally known for excellence. With its award-winning curriculum, the school prepares medical students to practice in all fields of medicine and is particularly recognized and ranked for its reputation in family medicine and rural medicine. In addition to the M.D., it offers graduate degrees in basic biomedical science, sustains a vibrant and forward-looking research agenda, and is home to the interdisciplinary Center for Brain and Behavioral Research.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News