Veterinarian Interests   01/05/2023

Recommended Educational Veterinarian Focused TV Shows

By Jonathan Decker

Recommended Educational Veterinarian Focused TV Shows

There are plenty of animal-centered TV shows out there and some even educate viewers about veterinary care. Reality veterinary TV has its share of critics, but those naysayers are typically fellow veterinarians. However, Veterinarians featured on animal TV shows view them as powerful teaching tools that showcase their skills and emphasize the importance of caring for animals. So, what can veterinarians learn from reality television? Let’s break it down by some of the most popular programs:

Pet MDs

One of the most popular shows is Pet MDs, which plays on a mixture of true-life veterinary drama and emotional rush. Each episode features eight animal health cases and real footage of animals undergoing surgeries, suffering from disease or needing to have broken limbs repaired. The series also follows veterinary students at the University of Saskatchewan as they rotate through different departments and areas of the hospital.

The Vet Life

The Vet Life is a new series on Animal Planet that follows three Tuskegee University graduates— Dr. Aubrey Ross, Dr. Diarra Blue and Dr. Michael Lavigne— as they juggle life with their careers. They treat a wide variety of animals from small to exotic species and everything in between. Despite their busy schedules, the show focuses on veterinarians' relationships with their families and the lives of their patients.

Emergency Vets

The hit Animal Planet television show, Emergency Vets, features the work of Certified Veterinary Technician Taryn Marsh, a veterinarian who performs her job oblivious to the film crew’s presence. The show is filmed in 12 hours jaunts and captures every scene in the animal hospital with Taryn and her counterparts treating a variety of animals.


David Attenborough's animal television shows are often global in scope. Especially touching to watch in the wake of the damage 2022’s flooding brought to one of our country’s most beloved parks, Yellowstone follows a year in Yellowstone National Park. As the seasons change, the animals adapt and survive. A glimpse of the park's flora and fauna will inspire a veterinarian to make an effective treatment plan for animals with special medical needs. In particular, Yellowstone shows how big cats adapt to harsh winters and a lack of prey and highlights the resiliency of this species.

Hanging with the Hendersons

Hanging with the Hendersons premiered on Animal Planet early in 2019, and YouTube viewers swooned at the sight of Dr. Ross Henderson singing an Elvis song to a nervous golden retriever named Ruby. The performance subsequently went viral and made Dr. Henderson a household name. Hanging with the Hendersons follows the Henderson family practice in Lakewood, Colorado. Founded in 1996 by Dr. Tony Henderson, the clinic includes Dr. Ross, Dr. Ryan and technician-assistant Cole. They also have a large extended family that includes several pets.

Heartland Docs

Veterinary television series Heartland Docs, DVM is a great way to learn about the life of a veterinarian and the animals they help. The series illustrates the challenges and triumphs of family life for veterinarians and demonstrates how they use their compassion to help a variety of animals. The show also features a pet pygmy goat named Veronica that has become the new mascot for the clinic.

The Incredible Dr. Pol

The Incredible Dr. Pol showcases Jan Pol— a witty and charismatic DVM, and his staff, which include his wife Diane and his son Charles. Dr. Pol emigrated from the Netherlands and opened his central-Michigan clinic in 1981. Doc Pol and his team work diligently to serve the community and still have fun. On any given day, the folks at Pol Veterinary clinic could be saving injured house pets or assisting local farmers with their herds. There is never a lack of excitement with the Incredible Dr. Pol.

Dr. Oakley

This wildlife-themed TV series features Dr. Oakley, an on-camera personality for National Geographic and an all-species veterinarian. She runs a veterinary clinic out of her home in the Yukon Territory, which is a wild, low-populated, mountainous area in northwest Canada. One of the best things about Dr. Oakley's Yukon Vet Clinic is her honesty. She does not film her interviews in a studio, and the episodes are often posted a week or two later. In addition to sharing her expertise, she also shows viewers how she treats wildlife in their natural habitat.

These and other animal-centered TV shows highlight the skills and personal passions of veterinarians. Watching these programs can help veterinary students become more compassionate while caring for animals. The list above is just a small sampling of what’s available; many other animal-centered series are worth watching, like Dr. K’s Exotic Animal ER, Critter Fixers, The Zoo/Secrets of the Zoo and Dr. T Lone Star Vet.

Learn More About Managing Your Risk as a Veterinarian

Now that you’ve got your educational entertainment covered, it’s important to make sure you’ve got your risks covered as well. Consult one of our Veterinary Malpractice Insurance Experts to learn about 360 Coverage Pros Veterinary Professional Liability Insurance for veterinarians and veterinary practices offering companion animal veterinary-inspired services. The 360 Coverage Pros Veterinarian Professional Liability Program provides peace of mind while you focus on running your practice.

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