If you watch The Incredible Dr. Pol, it might surprise you to know that some of the show’s biggest fans are nowhere near the United States. It seems Dr. Pol, Diane, Charles, and all of the staff at Pol Veterinary Services are popular throughout the world.
Find out more about The Incredible Dr. Pol‘s international fans!
Dr. Pol is an import himself
Although the doc is very much an American citizen, he was born and raised in the Netherlands, a fact given away by his faint, but still distinguishable, accent. Born in 1942, he worked on his parents’ dairy farm and came to the United States in 1961 as an exchange student to Michigan.
“I decided I wanted to be a vet when I was twelve years old,” Dr. Pol recalled in his memoir, Never Turn Your Back On An Angus Cow. “I can still remember the day. It wasn’t because I thought I could make a successful career out of being a vet; believe me, I never even thought about the business part of it.”
“In fact, on our very first day in school, they warned us that there were very few opportunities for vets in the Netherlands and that most of us would never practice. I didn’t worry about that; I became a vet because it was the only thing I ever wanted to do.”
Dr. Pol on becoming a TV star late in life
It has definitely taken some getting used to by the animal doctor and his wife, especially. Going from nearly anonymous in their communities to becoming worldwide television personalities to their viewers has been jolting. And kind of fun.
Diane Pol told The Chicago Tribune in 2018, “. . . [W]e . . . have [fans] who want to come and meet him. Some have just showed up at the clinic. And they were surprised it was a real clinic, that it’s not a set.”
“But they’ll just stop in and we have to tell them, ‘Dr. Pol’s not here, he’s out doing farm calls’ or ‘This is his day off,’ and they’ll say, ‘But we drove seven hours to see him!’ So we do what we call a meet-and-greet. If they call, we try to set up an appointment during our lunch hour.”
Dr. Pol’s international fans
The world is getting smaller by the day and thanks especially to streaming services, anyone almost anywhere can watch any program at any time. So it is with Dr. Pol. It is a hard-to-believe phenomenon for the 77-year-old vet to have people stop him on the street in his travels and incredulously ask if he is the Dr. Pol.
“The show is broadcast in twenty-six countries,” Dr Pol writes in his memoir. “At first, it was just in Mount Pleasant that people would stop us; Diane and I would go into a store and somebody we didn’t know would mention to us that they had seen the show and enjoyed it.”
“Now we get messages and e-mails from all over the world, from Indonesia, South Africa, Thailand – whoever thought people in Thailand would be interested in cows in Weidman, Michigan? I even heard from my high school math teacher in the Netherlands, who wrote that he remembered me.”
Even on vacation, the doc gets stopped by his new fans.
“Diane and I went for vacation to a small resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica,” Dr. Pol said. “Within an hour after we got there, a man came up to me and asked, ‘Aren’t you that veterinarian?’ . . . Next thing, another person was showing all of us the Chinese version of our show on his cell phone – and there I was, speaking Mandarin.”
“I never even knew there was a translation for ‘golly’ in Mandarin!”