1.Who is Nikoleta Novak?
Nature lover. Social bee. Passionate reader. Wise Owl for close friends. Open-minded.. “Half-full glass” type of a person…
Apart from that Nikoleta is veterinary surgeon working in Veterinary Clinic Novak dealing with cardiology cases, but also seeing first-opinion cases and doing some soft tissue surgery.
She is also a mother of two girls, a writer of children’s books and the owner of a dog, cat and 55 years old tortoise.
2.Do you think is hard to be professional in veterinary medicine on the Balkans nowadays?
When one of my friends, who is also a vet, first time visited England, he said : “This is a Disneyland for a vet!” For veterinary practice on Balkans nobody will say such a thing. Here you need to struggle with lots of problems, drawbacks, lack of medicines ,equipment, different mentality of clients… On the other hand, being a vet on Balkans is more challenging. You need to think differently, to look for solutions outside the textbooks, be ready to be a service provider both for your clients and for your equipment, even if you are not a creative person you are forced to become imaginative and resourceful …
3.Why you didnt leave your country? (vet like you has many opportunity to do this)
One part of you really wants to be in Disneyland. Me and my former husband set and passed RCVS exam (exam set by British Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons) and became their members which means we could work in the U.K or other E.U. countries. (Serbia is not part of the EU). The whole of our staying in the U.K. and the exam itself was a great experience for us and we enjoyed every moment of it, even very hard studying . But then it was a life decision: starting a new life in the U.K. or going back home and continue the life we left. We decided to go back and never regretted this decision. Why? There is a list of reasons, but for me probably the strongest one was a family. On the other hand it is not the same if you are just visiting Disneyland and if you live in it.
4.What do you think about the level of veterinary medicine on the Balkans?
It is getting better and better, but still we all have to put much more effort and more work. We need to educate both ourselves and our clients.
5.You are a writer of children’s books. I read some of them.They are amazing. Tell us more about this part of your life?
Since I was a child I loved to read and write. I even wrote my first picture book before starting school. It was about animals of course (smiling). Throughout my life I was a keen reader but the only things I wrote were professional articles. Then by lots of connected coincidences I was contacted by a children’s book publishing house “Pčelica” (www.pcelica.rs). They asked me to write a manual for children about pets. And that’s how it all started. Now I have three serials of eight picture books each, one manual and most recently, a novel published by “Pčelica”. So all together, I have 25 books published. I managed to connect my three loves together: love for children, for animals and for books – as I write books for children and most of the characters are animals. In my books I try to show children how amazing animals are, and to evoke love for animals in them, but I also do address some important human values, dilemmas and problems, on children’s level of understanding of course.
6. Tell us more about your project “Blue dog” ?
Blue dog is an European project designed to promote the education of children in their relationships with dogs . The first resouce was the interactive CD-ROM with its printed parent guide. This was well received in scientific circles. However, promoting a prevention message to the public proved to be challenging in Serbia but also in all other countries which are participating in the program.
As a member of the Blue Dog team in Serbia. I really do enjoy working with children but all the other issues connected with it (writing projects, raising money for it etc.) I personally find hard to deal with. That’s why the Blue Dog team needs to have people with different knowledge and skills involved in it’s work.
In Serbia we had lots of workshops and other kind of activates in preschools, schools and different public happenings designed to teach the children safe behavior towards dogs and to promote and spread the Blue Dog project idea.
7. What do you think about “Vets on The Balkans” ?
I read the interview you had with our colleague Nikola Bunevski, and I think he said it perfectly; “Sharing is caring. Vets on the Balkans can serve that purpose””Vets on Balkans” is really a great idea and I do wish you all the best on this exciting and high-minded mission.
The team of Vets on The Balkans would like to express their gratitude to this brilliant veterinarian from The Balkans and we are proud to have her as a colleague and friend!
Dr Nikoleta Novak
Nikoleta Novak BVSc MRCVS, surgery specialist, graduated in 1995 from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Belgrade. She attained her surgery specialist degree in 1997. From 2000-2002 she expanded her professional knowledge in Great Britain, mostly in Cambridge veterinary school.
Nikoleta has been a Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (MRCVS) since 2002. More recently, she obtained three parts of ESAVS certificate in Small Animal Cardiology, and continuing to expand her knowledge in the veterinary cardiology area by attended June Boon’s Echocardiography courses in Belgrade and Italy, over the past few years. She has attended more than 50 various continuing education programs, congresses, symposia, workshops, round tables, professional meetings beside those where she was involved as an organiser.
Nikoleta was a member of the Scientific and Professional Committee of Serbian Association of Small Animal Practicioneres (SASAP). as well as a member of the Editorial Board of the SASAP Bulletin for eight years.
She works Small Animal Veterinary Clinic – Veterinary Clinic “Novak” ; which is an institution that provides general and specialized veterinary medicine and surgical services for small animals.
Nikoleta is the leader of the Blue Dog Project in Serbia. (European project on safe behavior between children and dogs).
In 2010 Nikoleta wrote a short manual for children “Let’s learn about pets” for the publishing house “Pčelica” . Continuing this successful partnership, she published 3 serials of 8 picture books each, and most recently a novel for older children.