‘The Incredible Dr. Pol’: The Veterinarian Shows Off His Unusual Skull Collection
America has been getting to know Dr. Jan Pol of Nat Geo Wild’s The Incredible Dr. Pol since his show began in 2011. We know he’s from the Netherlands, he’s a hard-working vet caring for large animals on the Michigan farms in his community, and cares as well for domestic pets.
What we hadn’t known was that the doc enjoys collecting…skulls.
The doc’s ‘collection’ of Great Danes
The animal doctor and his family love all breeds of dogs and have, indeed, owned many. The Pols, however seem to lean most to the Great Dane breed more than any other. It’s a sentimental attachment for them, and a preference for the breed they call “regal.”
Dr. Pol said on his show, “We like big dogs. When Diane and I got married, we went for the Danes, and we have had Danes ever since. They are an even-tempered and easygoing breed.”
“I think a kid that grows up with dogs probably will make better adults, because the dog will teach the children empathy, compassion. You just have to teach them that they can trust you and you can trust them.”
“There’s a breed for everybody! I cannot imagine life without a dog.”
He’s ‘collected’ 25,000 patients
Dr. Pol and his wife started their private practice in 1981 out of their home and they’ve been there since. In fact, the business has grown with more staff veterinarians added to keep up with the growing demand by patients to see the renowned vet.
“We . . . have the [fans] who want to come and meet him,” Dr. Pol’s wife, Diane, told The Chicago Tribune in 2018. “Some have just showed up at the clinic. And they were surprised it was a real clinic, that it’s not a set.”
Diane recalled that fans travel a long way just to see her husband, only to be disappointed to find out he’s out on a farm call, or worse, not in at all.
“But they’ll just stop in and we have to tell them, ‘Dr. Pol’s not here, he’s out doing farm calls,’ ” she said, “or ‘This is his day off,’ and they’ll say, ‘But we drove seven hours to see him!’ ”
Dr. Pol’s amazing skull collection
The Netherlands-born Dr. Pol spoke with Watchable in 2018 about his practice and about his interesting collection of skulls. It’s a hobby most would not guess about the doctor or even dream would be on his fun facts list.
“Here we go to the museum. Don’t get grossed out,” he said. “This is a collection. But it’s a very small part of my collection already. These are all skulls. The skulls are so amazingly put together. This is why I like skulls, because they’re beautiful.”
Dr. Pol clearly enjoys exploring the science – and beauty – of animals. He doesn’t collect the skulls out of any kind of ghoulishness. It’s clear the mechanism and design of each skull fascinates him, and that’s what makes him so incredible.