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Nat Geo Wild’s The Incredible Dr. Pol became a fan-favorite quickly after beginning its run on the network. From Dr. Jan Pol’s easy way with his clients to his top-notch staff’s handling of various farm and clinic calls, viewers are mesmerized with this Michigan veterinary service.

With 17 seasons under its belt, here’s the achievement the reality show has handily accomplished.

Dr. Jan Pol of 'The Incredible Dr. Pol'
Dr. Jan Pol of ‘The Incredible Dr. Pol’ | Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

How ‘The Incredible Dr. Pol’ got its start

In 2011, Dr. Pol’s son Charles, who had worked with Nickelodeon, asked his veterinarian father if he would consider helming a reality show. In addition to being a show producer, Charles is also a cast member.

“At the time, I was working in Los Angeles at Nickelodeon and trying to sell ideas for reality shows,” he explained to NatGeo WILD in 2014. “My first idea was turned down, and I was advised to find an idea with a ‘larger than life character.’ I immediately thought of my dad. I pitched the project to a production company, we filmed a sample episode, and my idea became reality.”

Dr. Pol says he’s grateful that people enjoy the show and learn about animals from it. “The show makes people happy,” he told Parade in 2018. “My wife, Diane, and I treat others like we want to be treated: honestly and fairly. I think it comes through how we have positive attitudes. My glass is half full, never half empty.”

The milestone the show just reached

Last week, The Incredible Dr. Pol posted on social media about its special achievement.

“#Onthisday 9 years ago, ‘The Incredible Dr. Pol’ first premiered on @natgeowild,” the show’s post read. “Happy “television” birthday to us and thank you all for watching!”

The show’s fans responded with their congratulations.

“Absolutely love the show and all the people and animals on it!
Thank you always!,” said one of the show’s followers.

“Happy television birthday!! Love the show so very much,” said another.

Dr. Pol says the show has been a comfort to many


‘The Incredible Dr. Pol’: The Most Overlooked Cast Member

In his conversation with Parade, the doctor discussed how he felt about being a reality show star and having his life so prominently laid out. “Through this show, we are helping so many people, I’m completely in awe about it. We have had so many people that come to us. . .”

The Netherlands-born doctor and his wife have had fans in all sorts of situations contact him to express the joy the show has brought them during difficult times.

“People that have cancer, that are on chemo, a mother came from Kentucky to visit us,” he said. “We didn’t know we were on the bucket list. Three months later, she died and they sent us a note saying, ‘Thank you so much for seeing us.’”

“As a veterinarian, you try to help the animals and make the people happy. Through this show, we are making people happy, and that’s my goal in life.”