BLACKFOOTâ€”This winter's snow, ice and sub-zero temperatures won't be a shock to Minnesotan Paul Syverson, the new veterinarian at Blackfoot's 'Animal Health Clinic.' In fact, East Idaho fits the bill just right for what he and his wife, Josie (a doctor at Portneuf Medical Center) were looking for as they start their careers.
Upon completing his schooling at the University of Minnesota, Syverson said he and Josie were looking for a rural, agriculture-based community similar to their hometown Benson - in western Minnesota.
While opportunities presented themselves in Greeley, Colo; Lincoln, Neb and Baraboo, Wis., the couple found just what they were looking for in East Idaho. They moved to Idaho in June and currently reside in Pocatello.
Syverson's first introduction to Blackfoot was last November doing an internship with Jason Moulton at Animal Health Clinic.
"I grew up on a small dairy farm and was looking for a place to work with strong agricultural roots; so I was thrilled when Jason called me and offered me a job," he said.
Syverson, who holds a degree in biology, said it was not his childhood dream to become a veterinarian. "I wanted to be a full-time fishing guide," he said.
He fulfilled that dream working as a deck hand for a charter company in Sitka, Alaska for three summers.
"The fishing job was great for a young college kid," he said. "My junior year of college I decided to go on to vet school."
Syverson loves and cares for all kinds of critters but said that most of his experience is with horses and cattle.
Syverson said Josie was "looking for a residency program to fullfill her desire to have obstetrician privileges and get the training needed to deliver babies by Caesarean section in rural communities." Through ISU's family practice program and a residency offer at Portneuf Medical Center, she is on track to accomplish her goals.
Syverson said, he and Josie - high school sweethearts who recently celebrated their one year wedding anniversary - feel lucky to have both found jobs in their fields in an area that suits their liking just fine.
"We are very fortunate...this is just perfect," he said. "We have both committed to staying here for three years. We'll see what happens after that. We are playing it by ear."
Coming from Minnesota, Syverson said the cold winters don't scare him and that he is looking forward to experiencing an East Idaho fall.