GRANGEVILLE “I grew up in a small town, much the size of Grangeville, and this is the type of area I wanted to practice in. My family loves it here,” said Brett Johnson, DO (doctor of osteopathy).
Dr. Johnson started at Syringa Hospital and Clinics just more than a week ago. He has been busy since in the clinic and emergency room.
Johnson grew up in Delta, Utah, about 90 minutes from Salt Lake City. It was at the age of 14 when his desire to become a physician was solidified.
“My scout leader was a doctor and he talked to me about what it was like and I was hooked,” Johnson said.
He explained his father, who worked as a coal power plant operator, always told his children to do something they loved.
“I think we did OK,” Johnson smiled. “He has a doctor, two pharmacists and a helicopter pilot.”
He went on to attend Dixie State University in St. George, Utah, where he received a degree in biology – the first in his family to graduate from college — then went on to medical school at Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Parker, Colo.
His internship and residency took him to Sierra Vista, Ariz., where he had the chance to practice a broad range of rural medicine, including a variety of surgeries and obstetric cases.
“I learned a little bit of everything and had the chance to see some very interesting things,” he said.
Johnson said he enjoys surgery, but, moreover, he likes the continuum of care being a general practitioner allows him.
He had worked with Dr. Matthew Told prior to Dr. Told moving to Grangeville and Dr. Told invited him to work with him again. That led the ball rolling to Johnson and his family visiting Grangeville last year. The Tolds and others gave them tours of the hospital, school and Grangeville in general.
In July, Johnson and his wife, Jennie, and their three children, Sadie, 9, Trace, 7, and Aden, 4, moved to town.
“We love it,” he said, smiling. “And we were pretty tired of moving around, so we plan to be here for the long haul and really settle in to the community.”
Besides being impressed with neighbors who reached out to the family right away when their moving truck was delayed, Johnson said he also appreciates the friendliness and camaraderie of his fellow Syringa providers.
“It’s so important to have that backing and support,” he emphasized.
Johnson is accepting new patients and will “definitely be taking on OB,” he said.
“I feel like OB is one of the happiest things in medicine,” he said. “Some of my best memories so far in medicine are of births and being able to be there for that special time in families’ lives.”
Johnson said he likes the idea of seeing a patient at birth and following their lives as they grow.
He also has extensive emergency room and trauma experience, he said.
They Johnson family looks forward to being involved in their kids’ activities, including dance, karate and other sports, and being in the outdoors.
“So far we have been huckleberry picking and have gone to the Selway – we could hardly drag the kids home,” he laughed. “We are so glad to be finished with residency and glad to part of this community.”
To make an appointment with Dr. Johnson at the Syringa Primary Care Clinic, call 983-8590.