South Dakota Medical Students Find their Match

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.- Today marks an important next chapter for 4th year medical students across the nation. Over 17 thousand people found out which hospitals they’ll be training at for the next several years to become doctors.

Match day is an important step at the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine

A single letter holds the future for 58 medical students.

“It impacts your entire life. It’s a big deal,” said Dr. Tim Ridgway, Executive Dean of USD.

The students were matched with residencies. They got to rate their top choices of hospitals, but only 50 percent get their first pick. Learning their match comes with emotion and excitement.

Two matches in particular are almost a decade in the making.

Nate Jacobson and Tony Fiegen are best friends, but there’s a twist.They played on opposing basketball teams in high school, St. Thomas More and Madison.

“Our schools were always rivals but like Tony and I have been really good friends from day one and I think going through medical school has only strengthened that friendship,” said Jacobson.

Now both have dreams to train at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, competing once again, for residency.

However, this time the score was tied.

“I wanted the best for him and I know that he wanted the best for me and you know to both land at our number one program and it happen to be the same spot, I think it’s very fitting for both of us,” said Jacobson.

“It’s a little bit rare I’d say,” said Fiegen.

The two friends can’t wait to go on this new journey together.

“Well I know we both want to buy a house, so maybe we’ll just split the cost and live together,” said Fiegen.

This class of USD students matched with hospitals in 26 different states.

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