‘The Incredible Dr. Pol’: How Old is He and How Many Years Has He Been a Vet?
The Incredible Dr. Pol has been running on National Geographic Wild’s network now for sixteen seasons. It’s almost exhausting watching Dr. Jan Pol do his rounds on farms, calfing cows or castrating bulls or horses.
He’s tireless, with everyone on staff scrambling to keep up with him.
Dr. Pol’s start in the Netherlands
Born in the Netherlands, Dr. Pol attended Utrecht University Veterinary College in the 1970s and studied hard to become an animal practitioner.
“I was the youngest of six children on a dairy farm in the Netherlands during World War II,” told NatGeo Wild in 2016. “When I was 12 years old, the local veterinarian had me come along to my brother’s farm to help with some small sows that were farrowing.”
“That was the beginning of my interest in veterinary practice and I subsequently worked toward pursuing a veterinary medicine degree.”
“In 1954, my youngest sister moved to Ontario, Canada, and I became an exchange student in Michigan during 1961 to 1962, which allowed my parents to visit my sister in Canada. When I began studies . . . , we were told that it would be impossible to practice in that country. As it turned out, of a dozen classmates, I am one of two that actually went into veterinary practice.”
Dr. Pol looks back on his career
The father of three looked back on his impressive career in his book, Never Turn Your Back on an Angus Cow and sounds pretty amazed at how well it’s gone for him. He has an optimistic mindset that’s informed how he approaches his practice.
“I have spent my whole life being with animals, as a vet and as an owner. Until they start inventing new animals, I think I can say there isn’t a type of animal I haven’t looked in the eyes and wondered how it was feeling.”
“My wife, Diane, and I once estimated that I’ve handled more than a half-million patients, without one of them ever complaining about me!”
Dr. Pol’s age and how he got his start as an American veterinarian
Dr. Jan Pol is 77 years old and began his work as a vet almost forty years ago, starting his own practice in 1981. Before that, he had been working with another established vet for ten years.
“When I opened my practice outside the small town of Weidman, Michigan – which is about twelve miles from the larger and better known Mount Pleasant – in 1981, it was about 80 percent large animals, farm animals, and about 20 percent pets. It was mostly family dairy farms when we started, with several pig farmers. . . “
The vet’s practice has changed over the years to reflect the greater number of pets and small animals in the area.
“Now my practice is about 60 percent small animals,” he said. “. . . That difference doesn’t matter at all to me; I treat all animals with the same concern.”
“I love animals; believe me, I don’t remember a day of my life that I haven’t loved animals. My whole family has always been comfortable with all kinds of animals.”