Dr. Jan (Ya-n) Pol is not your typical veterinarian. Born and raised in the Netherlands on his family’s dairy farm, he is the charismatic and world-renowned star of Nat Geo WILD’s #1 hit series, “The Incredible Dr. Pol,” as well as author of the best-selling book, NEVER TURN YOUR BACK ON AN ANGUS COW: My Life as a Country Vet, a memoir that recounts amusing, and often poignant, tales from his illustrious and incredible 45+ year veterinary career.
Possessing brains, wit and charm, Dr. Pol has been treating pets and livestock in rural Michigan since the 1970s and is a pioneer in his field. He has more than 23,000 clients, and his patients range from white mice and snakes to cows and 2,600-pound horses – and everything in between.
In “The Incredible Dr. Pol,” viewers have the opportunity to travel with Dr. Pol across rural Michigan, as he tirelessly cares for every family pet and herd of livestock in need of his expertise and kindness. Unflappable and unstoppable, Dr. Pol routinely puts in 14-hour days making farm calls and treating patients in his very busy clinic. The show celebrated its 100th episode in March 2017, and the new 16th season is airing now on Nat Geo WILD.
Recently Dr. Pol’s hit Dutch show, “In de Voetsporen van Dr. Pol,” (In Dr. Pol’s Footsteps) aired on RTL4 to an average viewership of 1.1M viewers out of 9 million households- an immense audience in the Netherlands – and performing slightly higher than “The Incredible Dr. Pol”! The popular series followed a group of Dutch veterinarians vying to be Dr. Pol’s newest apprentice.
From the pivotal moment at age twelve when he helped deliver a litter of piglets and knew he wanted to become a vet, to the incredible moments captured on his hit TV show, Dr. Pol has amassed a wealth of stories of what it’s like caring for a menagerie of animals. The lovable veterinarian and now author shares his vast experience and lively anecdotes in his hit book, NEVER TURN YOUR BACK ON AN ANGUS COW, that he has written with David Fisher. Reminiscent of the classic books of James Herriot such as “All Creatures Great and Small,” Dr. Pol’s memoir is charming, fascinating and delightful to animal lovers everywhere.
As the youngest of six children growing up in the Netherlands, the pre-doctorate Jan Pol lived among dairy cows, sheep, pigs, chickens, geese, turkeys, rabbits, dogs and Friesian horses. An enthusiastic and naturally inclined scholar, he graduated from the prestigious Utrecht University Veterinary program in 1970 and began his career working for a local vet in Harbor Beach, Michigan. Eager to begin his own practice, he and his wife Diane started their own animal clinic, Pol Veterinary Services, in Weidman, Michigan in 1981, out of their garage. The business continued to grow and they, along with their 10 employees, have serviced hundreds of thousands of patients since opening their doors.
An expert in large farm animals and a true friend of the farmer, Dr. Pol works passionately to ensure that the diminishing population of family farmers remains in business. And he plays an integral role in keeping farmers’ livestock healthy and their businesses profitable.
With his down and dirty approach to veterinary medicine, Dr. Pol routinely comes to the rescue, taking on cases that are vital to the community’s livelihood, ranging from checking a cow for pregnancy to helping a goat with pneumonia, to saving the career of a young racehorse with a severely wounded leg, to treating a rabbit with overgrown teeth.
“In this business, it is totally unpredictable what you’re going to get, day to day. Animals don’t wait to get sick, and they don’t take appointments. So, some days you’re gonna go in, and there’s gonna be nothing going on. And other days, you’re gonna go in, and you can’t run fast enough,” offers Dr. Pol.
Dr. Pol’s son Charles was his constant sidekick as a child and helped in the clinic and on farm calls starting at the age of 5. Although he knew from an early age that he didn’t want to follow in his father’s professional footsteps, Charles has great admiration for his father and his work. Charles has worked in Hollywood in the entertainment industry, and in 2011 he convinced his father to allow him and his filmmaker friends to do a documentary on Dr. Pol, which ultimately led to the concept for the television series, “The Incredible Dr. Pol.”
A firm believer in spaying and neutering animals, Dr. Pol continues to be active with his local philanthropic organizations 4-H and FFA (Future Farmers of America), non-profit charities that help teach young adults how to take proper care of animals. He believes that children who are taught to take care of animals at a young age make better adults.
Dr. Pol is an avid car collector. Among the cars in his collection are a 1937 Rolls Royce, a 1999 Plymouth Prowler and a 1981 “Back to the Future” DeLorean. Dr. Pol and Mrs. Pol helped design their log cabin home themselves, and they have always owned a Great Dane since they were married 45 years ago. Other family pets include two Friesian horses, a Newfoundland, five cats and a menagerie of peacocks, doves, chickens, ducks and tropical fish.
When Dr. Pol isn’t working, he enjoys spending time with his wife Diane discovering new and exotic destinations, scuba diving in the Caribbean and traveling across Europe. He is a fan of European Football and follows the Dutch team, as well as American soccer. He is fluent in four languages – English, Dutch, German and French.
With his thick Dutch accent, signature mustache, down-to-earth practical approach and fun-loving, never give up attitude, Dr. Jan Pol is nothing short of a legend in his small Michigan community, and now as America’s favorite veterinarian!
Follow Dr. Pol at:
Facebook: TheDrPolOfficial Twitter: @DrPol Instagram: thedrpol Website: www.thedrpol.com