Dr. Boyens’s voyage as a Viking

The first time redshirt senior Luke Fritsch met Augie’s primary care team physician, Dr. Scott Boyens, he was being treated for a concussion. 

“I worked with him to get cleared to play, and he was very dedicated to my best interest and getting me back to play but without rushing it,” Fritsch said.

Since his first encounter with Scott, Fritsch has spent even more time by his side, shadowing Scott’s practice at Sanford Family Medicine in Sioux Falls.

“It was an awesome experience just being able to spend a day following him around, seeing how he interacts with his patients, seeing the type of work he does to treat his patients,” said Fritsch. “He has a wide variety of varying illnesses and things he dealt with that day. His job was not at all the same thing. Every patient was a unique case, and he handled that really well and it was fun to see.”

And after 22 years as a family medicine physician with Sanford, Scott says he loves to see students experience that.

“Every day is different,” said Scott. “To have students from Augie come to the office, they walk out and say, ‘Wow. You have to know a lot about a lot of things.’”

The doctor laughed.

“But you have to know your limitations and when to ask for help,” Scott said.

While he’s working, he finds the patients to be his favorite part.

“Just sitting and listening to people, having a conversation and trying to figure out how you can help people help themselves,” he said. “Being a primary care guy is just a little different. You get to know people at a whole different level than a specialist does.”

And even though Beth Boyens, his wife and Augie assistant English professor, has never seen him do his job, she hears about people’s experiences.

“When I run into people in the community who have encountered Scott professionally, what I most often hear people say is ‘he listened to me,’” Beth said. “From a patient side, he has good bedside manner. He makes people feel like they matter and that their concerns are valid.”

Fritsch said he admires Scott.

“I look up to him a lot because I’m trying to go into medicine,” he said. “I look to him as a model for myself to hopefully someday be like him.”

When he isn’t in his Sanford office, Scott dedicates time to Augie athletics. 

“He doesn’t have a lot of free time,” said Beth. “He really likes to be busy. As a physician, his actual work week is 4 days, and they’re 4 long days. He’s always filled up his day off, and usually he’s filled it with Augie.”

On Monday afternoons, he meets with athletes. During games, he’s there to cover and take care of any injuries that may come up. He’s the medical director for the athletic training program as well.

“In terms of Augie, he’s just really loyal to this place,” Beth explained. “He and I both sort of bleed blue and gold.”

Scott and Beth met on their first day of freshman orientation at Augie and started dating a year later. 

During their junior year, they decided to go away on spring break together. Unfortunately for him, that meant Beth dragged him to Montana for a ski trip.

“He wasn’t really an accomplished skier,” Beth said with a laugh. “I am not an athlete at all in the way that he is, but I am a better skier than he is. He was just having a heck of a time on the slopes. He was wiping out all over the place.”

Finally on one hill, Scott ate it, tumbling down the snow-covered mountain. Beth swished up next to him when he finally came to a stop, checking if he was okay.

Scott lay sprawled out on his back in the powder, snow sprinkled over his winter coat. He looked up at her.

“Beaches! Sun! Women!” He yelled exasperated into the cold air.

Beth laughed at the memory. 

“I just have this image of him snow covered, lying on the mountain looking up at me just like ‘I can’t believe you dragged me out here when my buddies are all out partying on the beach,’” Beth said.

The week before he started medical school at USD in 1991, they were married.

“We’ve made it a point to spend time with just the two of us, even in the midst of our busy family lives,” she said, recalling when he was a med student. “He just said, from 5 to 7 every night, we are just going to be home. So he would pause his studies. And then he would usually leave and study in the library for the rest of the night.”

Over their nearly 30 years of marriage, they’ve spent time traveling all over. And before long, they became parents. Anna was their first born, and they eventually decided they were going to adopt to grow the family.

“We were fortunate enough to adopt Ethan and Emma, and then a week later, we found out we were pregnant,” Scott said with a laugh at the memory. “So we went from one to four kids in one year.”

And now, with Anna attending Augie and the twins and Adam in high school, Scott doesn’t foresee much changing in the next few years.

And he wouldn’t have his busy life, his clinic or his family any other way.

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