Nat Geo Show 'The Incredible Dr. Pol' filmed in Mid-Michigan - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Nat Geo Show 'The Incredible Dr. Pol' filmed in Mid-Michigan

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(11/16/12) - It seems America has a new favorite veterinarian - and he lives and practices right in our own backyard.

Seventy-year-old Dr. Jan Pol lives and practices in Weidman, near Mt. Pleasant, and he's turned into somewhat of a national celebrity as the star of NatGeo Wild's show "The Incredible Dr. Pol".

Who'd have ever thought this hard-working native of The Netherlands, running a rural Mid-Michigan veterinary practice out of a double wide out in the middle of nowhere near Weidman for more than 30 years, would be helping cows give birth or trying to heal a sick police dog - on national television.

It all started when his son Charles, who works in the film industry, talked his dad into allowing some friends to do a documentary of sorts on him.

"So he comes here and says, 'You know dad, we should make a reality show about you.' I said, 'Why? Who wants to watch me?' He says, 'You'd be surprised.' And we both were," Dr. Pol said.

National Geographic saw it, liked it, and sent camera crews to follow Pol for three weeks.

You don't need to watch the show or follow along behind Dr. Pol for long to understand just how hard a veterinarian like him has to work.

"I hate to sit still," Dr. Pol said.

At 70 years old, Dr. Pol does anything but sit still.

"See, that's the thing, I really enjoy this business because not one day is the same as the next," he said.

Everybody in his practice gets into the act, including Dr. Pol's wife Diane, who manages the office. She also handles many of the calls from fans. And Dr. Pol responds to as many of them as he can.

In fact, he and Diane don't appear to have let this new found celebrity status affect who they are.

"We're both pretty grounded people and we have a purpose in our life and so it hasn't affected us that much," Diane said. "They don't pay us enough to quit our day job, so we're enjoying what we're doing. As long as we're enjoying it, it's good, and I don't think we're going to let it get to our heads."

As with most celebrities, Dr. Pol does have his detractors, some who don't like his methods used.

Earlier this year, the State Board of Veterinary Medicine fined him $500 and put him on probation for up to a year for inadequate record-keeping, over a case involving a pregnant dog. It was filed more than a year before his first Nat Geo show was shot.

But it seems viewers can't get enough of the Incredible Dr. Pol. The show is the highest rated in the history of Nat Geo Wild. They just shot 16 new episodes over the summer and a Christmas special last month.

For now, the Incredible Dr. Pol isn't going anywhere - except hopping in his old Jeep, hurrying to his next call.

Nat Geo Wild is planning a Dr. Pol marathon, beginning at noon on Christmas Day.

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