If there is a benchmark to measure the success of Veterinarians, Dr. Jan Harm Pol would be saying “Hello” from the top. Without over-exaggeration, Dr. Pol walks into a league of his own and his impressive career portfolio is there to back it up. He has over 50 years of experience in the veterinary field, from working for private clinics to owning “Pol Veterinary Service” since 1981. For those who find television fame more glittering, Dr. Pol has a reality show “The Incredible Dr. Pol” dedicated to his work. And his personal life is in no way lacking and serves as a jewel to his well-accomplished professional life. Dr. Pol has never been divorced and shared all his life with Diane Pol who is his wife. The pair has three adopted children and now the family extends with several grandkids. In this article, we will bring everything to know about this good doctor.
Who indeed is Dr. Pol?
Born in Wateren, Drenthe, Netherlands on September 4, 1942, Dr. Pol’s original name is Jan Harm Pol. He is a Virgo, which gives him the traits of being practical, humble, self-effacing, and industrious. He is 80 years old. Dr. Pol is not your typical veterinarian. He is a charismatic and world-renowned star of the reality TV show The Incredible Dr. Pol on Nat Geo Wild, as well as a pioneer and expert in his field. He has been treating pets and livestock in rural Michigan for over 40 years and has more than 23,000 clients. As of 2023, he has an estimated net worth of $3 Million.
Early Life & Education:
The youngest of six children Dr. Pol grew up in his hometown in the Netherlands. As a child, he would spend time on his parents’ dairy farms where they raised dairy cows, sheep, pigs, chickens, geese, turkeys, rabbits, dogs, and Friesian horses. Those early years grow him affectionate towards animals. And as early as the age of 12 years, Dr.Pol wanted to become a veterinarian which escalated from his special encounter on his dairy farm after he helped deliver a litter of piglets.
Moving on to his educational endeavors, Dr. Pol attended a local high school in his hometown. For a year he studied as an exchange student at Mayville High School in 1961. One of the main reasons for his move from Europe to Mayville, Michigan, United States was to stay closer to his older sister who at the time was living in Canada. Upon return to his home country, he continued his further education and graduated from Utrecht University Veterinary program in 1970.
Dr. Pol immigrated to the United States in 1971 and worked at a local vet for 10 years. He founded a vet practice “Pol Veterianry Service” with his wife Diane Pol in 1981. During the early days, the pair operated from their house garage in Weidman, Michigan. Tending to farm animals and pets they have provided treatments to a variety of animals including horses, pigs, cows, sheep, alpacas, goats, chickens, dogs, and even occasional reindeer.
Pol Veterinary Service has grown significantly over the years establishing a building of its own in Jordan Rd, Weidman, Michigan with over 25,000 clients. Dr. Brenda Grettenberger is one of the oldest serving DVM, Staff Veterinarians at the practice. The vet practice has also given learning experience and employment opportunities to vet professionals such as Dr. Emily Thomas, Dr. Elizabeth Grammer, Dr. Sandra Wisniewski, Dr. Nicole Arcy, Dr. Lisa Jones, and Dr. Ray Harp.
The Incredible Dr. Pol:
In 2011, Dr. Pol’s life changed again when his son Charles, who was a producer, pitched him the idea of making a reality TV show about his veterinary practice for Nat Geo Wild. He agreed to give it a try and soon became the star of The Incredible Dr. Pol.
The show follows Dr. Pol and his team as they treat animals and deal with various challenges and adventures. It also features his family and employees, who share their stories and opinions. The show has been a huge success, attracting millions of viewers and winning several awards.
Dr. Pol made his show debut in season 1 episode 1 “Vet and Wild” which aired on October 29, 2011, and has made 216 appearances until 2022. The show has also inspired spin-offs “Calling Dr.Pol,” and “Nightcap with Dr.Pol at the forefront. Owing to his popularity, Dr. Pol was also called in as a guest of “WGN Morning News” twice between 2017 & 2018.
Controversy & Probation:
Dr. Pol’s career portfolio as a veterinarian is not all clean in the sense he has found himself in trouble questioning some of his work methods. In 2013, a television viewer criticized Dr. Pol’s ovariohysterectomy procedure on a dog resulting in a court complaint against him. The filing against Dr. Pol was based on the following points:
“Failing to intubate the dog during surgery, failing to use an electronic monitoring device during the procedure, failing to request assistance locating the dog’s uterus during surgery and failing to wear a surgical cap, mask and gown during the procedure.”
In 2014, Dr. Eden Myers, a DVM, filed a complaint against Dr. Pol’s treatment of a Boston Terrier named Mr. Pigglesworth based on the footage shown in “The Incredible Dr. Pol.” In 2015, the court found Dr. Pol guilty and was ordered to pay a fine of $500 and one-year probation. Dr. Pol appealed the judgment and was cleared of the charges in 2016.
A horse owner also filed complaints against Dr. Pol in 2015 alleging that Dr. Pol failed to wear surgical gloves and reduce hair surrounding the wound in the course of treating a laceration on the horse’s left hip. The court judged in favor of Dr. Pol after being unable to prove negligence or incompetency in his care of the horse (2015 complaint) or dog (2013 complaint). However, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) rejected the court decision and put Dr. Pol on probation in 2018. Even though Dr. Pol appealed, the court ruled against the celebrity veterinarian upholding the decision by LARA in a verdict on December 19, 2019.
In addition to his work as a veterinarian, Dr. Pol is also an author. He has co-written “Never Turn Your Back on an Angus Cow: My Life as a Country Vet” alongside David Fisher. The book was originally published on August 14, 2014, and is available in Hardcover and Audiobook. It is a memoir of Dr. Pol’s experiences as a veterinarian in rural Michigan for over four decades. The book shares his amusing and poignant stories of treating animals ranging from white mice to horses, and his own journey of growing up on a dairy farm in the Netherlands, studying veterinary medicine at Utrecht University, and moving to Michigan with his wife Diane.
Philanthropy and activism:
Dr. Pol is involved in some philanthropic and activist causes related to animal welfare and veterinary education. Some examples are:
- He supports spaying and neutering of pets to prevent overpopulation and reduce euthanasia rates. He also advocates for responsible pet ownership and adoption.
- He is active with local 4-H and FFA programs, where he mentors young people interested in agriculture and animal science. He also sponsors scholarships for students pursuing veterinary careers.
- He testified before the Michigan House of Representatives in favor of a bill to protect veterinarians from being investigated based on information obtained from reality TV shows. The bill was intended to prevent frivolous complaints and lawsuits against veterinarians who provide emergency care to animals in rural areas.
- He received an honorary doctorate of public service from Central Michigan University for his contributions to the community and the veterinary profession in 2011.
Dr. Pol is married to his longtime wife Dine Pol. The pair tied the knot in a wedding ceremony in 1967. In the years of togetherness as a married couple, the pair do not have kids of their own. All three children (Charles, Kathy, and Diane Jr.) are adopted.
Dr. Pol and his wife met when he was a foreign exchange student at Mayville High School in 1961. Her parents were hosts of the exchange program. During his stay, the pair struck a friendship bond and remained in touch through letters after Dr. Pol returned to the Netherlands a year later. In one of the letters, Dr. Pol invited Diane to his home country which she accepted and made a visit.
What started as a friendship between the pair gradually turned into a love affair and then a marriage bond. Dr. Pol and Diane resided in Nethraland following their marriage and after he graduated from a veterinary program the couple permanently shifted to Michigan.
- Dr. Pol is fluent in four languages – English, Dutch, French, and German.
- Dr. Pol is color-blind. He has trouble with the green and brown colors.
- Dr. Pol first practiced veterinary medicine in Harbor Beach, Michigan.
- Dr. Pol’s favorite food is pork chops.
- Dr. Pol’s favorite sport is soccer.
- Dr. Pol has Acrophobia
- Dr. Pol and his wife Diane celebrate Saint Nicholas Day, which is the Dutch version of Christmas
- Dr. Pol often donates his time and veterinary services to local 4-H clubs throughout central Michigan.
- 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.
- Diane Pol has a Master’s Degree in Special Reading and used to be a teacher at Harbor Beach Elementary School.
- Dr. Pol is licensed to Practice Veterinary Medicine in the State of Michigan and The Netherlands.
Social Media Presence:
Dr. Pol has a social media presence on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. posts updates about his clinic, his family, his TV show, and his animals on his social media accounts. He also answers fan questions and shares photos and videos of his work and life. You can follow him on:
Physical Traits and dressing style:
Dr. Pol has the following physical traits and dressing style:
- He is 80 years old, 5 feet 9 inches or 175 cm tall, and weighs around 68 kg.
- He has light brown hair and blue eye, but he is color blind and has trouble with green and brown.
- He usually wears casual clothes such as jeans, shirts, jackets, and boots. He also wears glasses and a hat when working outdoors.
- He sometimes wears formal suits and ties when attending public events or awards ceremonies.
|Full Name||Dr. Jan Harm Pol|
|Other Name||Dr. Pol|
|Birthdate||September 4, 1942|
|Age||80 years old|
|Birth Place||Wateren, Drenthe, Netherlands|
|Wife||Diane Pol (m. 1967)|
|Children||Charles Pol, Kathy Pol, Diane POl Jr.|
|Education||Utrecht University Veterinary program (g.1970)|
|Profession||Veterinarian, Reality Television Personality|
|Net worth||$3 Million|
|Height||About 5 Feet & 9 Inches (175 cm)|
|Wight||Around 149 lbs (68 kg)|
|Hair Color||Light Brown|
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