I don't envy you as you meet this Thursday to address, among other agenda items, what to do about Dr. Pol.
You must fulfill the "obligation to take disciplinary action against licensees who have adversely affected the public's health, safety, and welfare" (1) by upholding the established standards of your state (2).
You have, in multiple episodes of the "Incredible Dr. Pol" show, inarguable violations of the Public Health Code by failure to meet established state standards. These violations are committed by a licensee who is already on probation after having been found guilty of negligence and incompetence. Said licensee has since publicly stated he feels "that his clinic made no mistakes in the case" and was misled at his hearing (3).
Said licensee has two associates, both also on probation after having been found guilty of negligence and incompetence while in his employ. One was found guilty in the same complaint (4, 5) and one in a different case (6). The second complaint also involved a case resulting in potentially avoidable death.
But while you must prosecute failure to meet minimum standards, you must not persecute. Dr. Pol is a caring, dedicated professional who has day and night answered the call to provide service to his clients and their animals for 41 years. That commands respect and requires that his dignity be guarded and his reputation upheld throughout the proceedings against him.
But proceeding against this one veterinarian will not address the reason I started the petition (7) on Change.org, calling on National Geographic to cancel the show. It will not prevent the portrayal of substandard care as acceptable. Nor will it prevent the provision of substandard care in the first place. To those ends, I ask you to consider enacting the following policies:
If on probation, a licensee
On behalf of the almost 1500 veterinarians, technicians, assistants and animal owners who signed the petition- and the hundreds of thousands of clients and animals we represent- I thank you for the attention you will give this matter when you meet tomorrow night. We look forward to your response.
Eden Myers DVM
For the benefit of those wishing to consult the background material of this situation:
(4) Michigan Board of Veterinary Medicine complaint and order against Dr Jan Pol
(5) Michigan Board of Veterinary Medicine complaint and order against Dr. Brenda Grettenberger
(6) Michigan Board of Veterinary Medicine complaint and order against Dr. Eric Gaw
Multiple vets and veterinary organizations have both contacted Dr. Pol personally and contacted NatGeo to serve as unpaid technical advisors. Dr. Pol was ordered by the Michigan Board of Veterinary Medicine, a state regulatory body, to get education and pay a fine in one case that resulted in death. They are prosecuting another case against him now.
A solution to this problem is to hold Dr. Pol accountable for upholding the standards he agreed to when he sought and accepted the privilege of a license to practice medicine in the state of Michigan. Contrary to your belief, Dr. Pol’s license being revoked would not leave the state of Michigan without access to veterinary care.
There are numerous other providers in his area- all of whom are able to meet the standards of care established by Dr. Pol’s own peer group.
Aseptic field operations, both emergency and routine, are done EVERY DAY on farms in Michigan. Farm animals are treated with kindness, skill and pain medication, in both emergency and routine situations , EVERY DAY on farms across Michigan,. The truly sad part is that Dr. Pol doesn’t even bother to adhere to aseptic technique or provide pain relief in the clinic with pets, much less on farms.
If all that is lacking is paperwork then I think people are going on a witch hunt and using Dr. Pol as the witch.
When any doctor graduates medical school they need on the job training (internship) before they are allowed to practice alone. 30 plus years of Dr. Pol’s training allows him to diagnose and treat the animals from experience rather than tbousands of dollars in medical testing that these farmers don’t have to spend. I enjoy Dr. Pol’s show and have never seen him do any treatment that I thought was inappropriate, harmful, dangerous or unnecessary. He treats his patients and clients with respect and does his best to give great service inside a budget that they can afford.
It sounds like to me that there are a bunch of jealous people that wish tbey had a tv series and the knowledge and experience that Dr. Pol has.
I guarentee that any of his critics would be under the same microscope and fault would be found in their practice if they had their own veteranery show.
So enjoy the show or don’t watch it but get off your hi-horse and let a talented doctor and staff do a job and entertain us with their veteranary skills.
I have always heard people in glass houses should not throw rocks. Some of you won’t get the meaning of the previous sentence but it means if your in veteranary practice your not perfect and your going to make mistakes. And your going to outed for your mistakes. So don’t throw rocks at people because you just might get caught having the rocks thrown back at you and you will be in the spotlight for your failures.
So find a worth while cause where someone is really doing wrong and start your patitions on that.