Dr. Pol, reality TV veterinarian, fined and placed on probation for negligence, incompetence

Oct 5, 2012 Full story: DVM 6

Longtime veterinarian and reality television star Jan Pol, DVM, is serving probation from the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs for negligence and incompetence related to an April 2010 incident.

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Rhonda Egeland

Alexandria, VA

#1 Oct 8, 2012
I love his show. I was so happy to see a reality show that actually portrayed "real people ". Good people - not non -actor 's trying to overact just because camera 's are focused on them. That being said, I watched the show the badly mauled puppy was brought in and his diagnosis of the puppy is in shock and giving it a shot of steriods and then leaving it in a cage, where it eventually died. I am not a DVM, nor have any medical training - but I felt so much more could have / should have, been done. Why were no IV fluids being run, why wasn't this poor baby given something for the terrible pain, she had to be suffering. I watched that entire show and prayed he would get back to the clinic and finally be able to operate on this puppy - and save her, we all want that happy ending. I am really saddened to read these negative remarks about Dr Pol. He is someone I would travel to Mi just to have the opportunity to meet. I hope the NatGeo show is not putting pressure on him to do more, handle more,-for the sake pf the show. I feel he is, and always has been a savior to all the animals he works with in his vary large community. I hope the comments from these newer -more highly trained young vet 's do not tarnish his long legacy he has established over many years - with his clients. If he needs an update on newer procedures - he should get it. If he needs newer more modern equiptment - he should get it. I really hope NatGeo continues this show. It is one of the only reality shows I do enjoy watching.
GQ Morris

Keene, NH

#2 Oct 9, 2012
Rhonda, your head is telling you Dr. Pol is a terrible veterinarian, but you're allowing your fondness for the man and his television show to override your critical thinking skills. Don't - those instincts are spot-on.
All veterinarians are required to take continuing education courses throughout their careers, so situations such as the one you describe with the mauled puppy are handled with medically appropriate, up-to-date protocols. There's really no excuse for becoming a dinosaur other than sheer intellectual laziness.
I guess I'm one of those "highly trained young veterinarians", but at this point I have over 10 years' experience and no longer feel young. Several of my colleagues graduated from veterinary school in the 1960s and 1970s. Had any of my colleagues seen that puppy, there would have been striking differences in the way the case was managed because my colleagues have not allowed themselves to become dinosaurs. That's just one of many, many examples, and I've only seen a couple episodes.
The problem is not that Dr. Pol lacks access to up-to-date training or modern equipment. He owns an ultrasound, for example; in the malpractice case mentioned in this article, he failed to use it correctly and was directed by Michigan's board of veterinary medicine to take a course. While this case was not part of the show, the behavior described by the board was consistent with what I've observed on the episodes of the show I've watched.
If Dr. Pol is incapable of updating his skills, he should retire and see no more patients. As that's unlikely, at the very least, National Geographic should cancel this show based on its abysmal educational value and harmful message: it's okay to be incompetent if you're nice to people. Don't you want your kids to be both nice AND competent?
Lab Breeder

Ramsey, NJ

#3 Feb 6, 2013
What some of you are forgetting, ANY human thzt is breeding a litter should be educated by a mentor and/or someone else. The people with the pregnant bitch should have known more than they did. It sounds like a BYB 'backyard breeder' looking to make a quick buck on a litter of puppies. They lacked education that Dr Jan Pol may have assumed they had but it sounds as if their bitch never saw a vet after mating if they even knew when it occurred. If they did see Dr Pol prior which sounds unlikely then him or more than likely the staff were wrong too. Wee dont know the whole story though, bits n pieces later in the bitches pregnancy. If they DID have an OV around conception and Dr Pol or Dr Brenda didn't do blood work to determine when ovulation took place which it sure sounds like they DID NOT, then they were as much in err as the Pol staff if not more so. It sounds like they were newbie patients and probably new at breeding any breed. They should have been advised the dog come in for a head/spine count radiograph which I've seen him do for a Yorkie where the owners had no idea when she conceived!!!!! and a progesterone level to see if the pups were mature enough for whelping/delivery. In my opinion the 'breeder' didn't know much of anything, was a new patient and when all pups were DOA it was ready to blame Pol Veterinary. JMOFWIW.

In essence shame on the 'breeders' and possibly the staff at Pol Veterinary.

Orlando, FL

#4 Apr 6, 2013
I think there are a lot of jealous people out there.the State Board had no choice but to find him guilty because of lack of documentation .In any kind of medicine if you didn't chart it you didn't do it. As an RN and ky husband a family physician we spend almost as much time CYA than in treating patients.plus we live in a sue happy culture.plus those people that lost the litter of puppies obviously know anything about whelping puppies.even as a medical person I studied everything I could get my hands on before breeding my pug hitch.I made sure I consulted with ky vet first.I had her examined midway through pregnancy.I also had x ray done so I knew how many puppies.I also knew which puppy was breech and knee what to do for that. Plus you never really get to hear the doctors full side of story.Dr.Pol praftices in a very depressed area of Michigan.These people are grateful that he is practical in his approach to medicine. Plus these are ANIMALS the standard of care is different. Plus its a t.v. show its edited folks.leave Dr.Poul alone.there would be a lot of people with no veterinary care at all without him or unable to afford it. Plus there are a lot of jealous people out there.you here them lament why couldn't nat Geo follow a good vet? Dr. Pol is a good vet to his 19000 CLIENTS. If you don't like his style of medicine don't use him but don't bash a man in a public forum when he has no way to defend himself. Shame on all of you.
amanda chatelain

United States

#5 Jan 11, 2014
dr.pol knows his shit. I could learn a lot from him, he is not complicated. i have a lot of respect for him.

Since: Oct 12

Location hidden

#6 Feb 16, 2014
Don't care for any past charges....Dr. Pol is a great Vet, from everything i have seen......

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