Dr Nikoleta Novak- veterinarian, mother, writer…. successful lady on the Balkans

My dog Rasha and me

Dr Nikoleta Novak

1.Who is Nikoleta Novak?

Nikoleta is…
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?

ESAVS cardio course Luxenburg

ESAVS cardiology course in Luxenburg

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)

EHO workshop with June Boon in Italy

Ultrasound workshop with June Boon in Italy

big patients1


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?

2015 book fair anouncment for my novel promotion

2015 book fair anouncment for her novel promotion


one of her books

Belgrade book fair - my dog as a character in one of my picuter books

Belgrade book fair – her dog as a character in one of her picuter books

My new novel and the main character

Her new novel and the main character

Visting Children's book fair

Visting Children’s book fair

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 part of the team

Blue Dog -part of the team

Blue Dog workshop

Blue Dog workshop

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” ?

my girls and our dog

her girls and her dog!

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.

Dr Nikola Bunevski- macedonain vet in Zagreb, Croatia. Real Balkan story


Dr Nikola Bunevski

1.How long  you work in Croatia? (tell us more about your internship in the university)?

I’m working in croatia for 2,5 years and 2,5 years on postgraduate studies on the University of Veterinary Medicine in Zagreb Croatia. Postgraduate studies on the University of Veterinary Medicine where on the Department of Surgery Orthopedic Ophthalmology and Anesthesiology -they were excellent ,on the Department of Surgery here in Zagreb  are working excellent veterinarians who are excellent in their surgical skills from which you can learn a lot!!! I’m really grateful that i have a chance to be there and learn so much.

2.Why and how you decided to go in Croatia,not in country of West Europe?


Veterinary Clinic Kreszinger

I was thinking a lot where to sign up  for Postgraduate studies. I was looking for postgraduate studies in Athens, Sofia, Belgrade, Zagreb and Ljubljana, because they are offering programs that i can afford, and i see the Department of Surgery here in Croatia, and realize that they have new modern clinic and a lot of cases where I can learn a lot.

3.Tell us more about the level of veterinary medicine in Croatia?



The level of veterinary medicine in Croatia? I can tell you that the veterinarians are working very hard to push up the level of veterinary medicine to be similar like western european countries. Croatian Small Animal Veterinary Section (CSAVS) are organizing a lot of events workshops educations and a lot of professors and educators are coming from around the world and giving lectures and teaching us how to perform better veterinary medicine. The level is high and is growing rapidly. I’m really feel blessed that i have a chance to meet so good friends/veterinarians here in Croatia.

4.And in Macedonia?

The faculties of veterinary medicine in Macedonia are young. Veterinary medicine is changing especially from the young new veterinarians side. I know a lot of young veterinarians in Macedonia who are working a lot and they are giving best from them self to change the future of vet.med. in Macedonia.I really hope that soon a lot of young veterinarians will come in the clinic where im working so we can exchange knowledge and not just here but around Europe to experience some good veterinary practice . I really believe that those young veterinarians will make changes, I’m in very good contact with a lot of them helping in everyway that I can, and I’m expecting some of them here in Zagreb  to work together for some time, some of them already came. It’s really great when you share knowledge.

5.Future plans?



I don’t have plans for future. But i have a dreams-to be a better veterinarian and have a chance to collect some new knowledge, maybe to return and work again in my home country Macedonia, or in some place where I can practice good veterinary practice, places like here in Croatia or somewhere around the world.

6 .What do you think about Vets on The Balkans?

Sharing is caring. Every information is priceless. We are working near each other we have similar problems and questions, it will be better for each of us if we share those questions and problems to one another, we will come to answers faster and painless. Vets on the Balkans can serve that purpose.Thank you for having me.

The team of Vets on The Balkans :” Thank you very much Dr Nikola Bunevski  for sharing with us ! We are proud of having vet like you on the Balkans!!! “



Dr Nikola Bunevski

Dr Nikola Bunevski

He graduated:

Trakya University

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine – Stara Zagora , R. Bulgaria

major: Veterinary Medicine (September 2001 – February 2008)

Professional title: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

He got his Master calss :

University of Zagreb

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine-Zagreb Croatia

Department of Surgery,Ortopedics Ophtalmology and Anesteziology.

Profesional title:University Master of Surgery (2010-2012)



Member of the Veterinary Chamber of Macedonia


Member of  Croatian Small Animal Veterinary Section

Member of the Veterinary Chamber of Croatia.

Member of the Society of Radiology genetically influenced skeletal disorders in small animals eV (GRSK)-Germany.

Participation in WSAVA Continuing Education Course in topic: Oncology and Reconstructive Surgery, Stara Zagora, R. Bulgaria (October 2006)

Certificate of attendance-Small Animal Veterinary Symposium Belgrade Serbia 2010

Certificate of attendance-17th  FECAVA Eurocongress Istambul-Turkey 2011

Certificate of attendance-Small animal Orthopedics seminar-Belgrade Serbia 2011

Certificate of attendance-Small Animal Veterinary Symposium Belgrade Serbia 2011

Certificate of attendance-Small animal  Neurology seminar-Belgrade Serbia 2012

Certificate of attendance-Small Animal Veterinary Symposium Belgrade Serbia 2012

Certificate Course Participant- All About the Stifle Joint Course Opatija Croatia 2013

Certificate of attendance-1 Congres of Croatian Small Animal Veterinary Section  Zagreb Croatia2014

Certificate Course Participant-AOVET Course-Principles in Smal Animal Fracture Management  Zagreb Croatia 2014

Certificate of attendance-Belgrade Veterinary Neurology Conference Belgrade Serbia 2014.

Vertificate of attendance-20th FECAVA Eurocongress Munich Germany 2014

Certificate attended as a Faculty-A Practical Approach to External Skeletal Fixation Opatija Croatia 2014

Certificate of attendance-2 Congres of Croatian Small Animal Veterinary Section  Zagreb Croatia2015





Meeting with Dr Rares Capitan, DVM, resident ECVD


Dr Rares Capitan , DVM, resident ECVD

    1. When and how you decided to be veterinarian?

I was inspired by my mom and she implement this idea in my mind, as early as I was in elementary school. For me it was my one option. It was life a goal to achieve. I studied veterinary high school and the next step was Veterinary Faculty. Another personal motivation was my first dog. When I was 10 years old and he unfortunately  died of Parvovirosis. I was  promised to myself that I will try to save as many animals as I can.

     2.How did you choose Dermatology as your professional?

I think all started by frustration of dealing with dermatological cases in my clinic.      Because if you think about Dermatology, are more less the same. So can you figure it out what is going on with the patient and what is the right diagnosis.Of course, you need to have patience , to have detective way of thinking. I think everything started by attending workshop by Chiara Noli in Bucharest. Then I understood that this is what I wanted to do . The more I got into it, I could not stop. Now, here I am, traveling as a specialist.

3. Tell us ” the price ” to be professional veterinarian?

This a good and hard question. Everybody is first concern about the money. Because the learning in this level is very costly. From my experience , I cannot say is not a financial matter, but is not the most important thing to reach your dream. Time is the most precious thing , because you need to learn, to prepare yourself for the mentor and college expectations. This is far beyond of my initial expectations.

To do residency at european level you need to be 200% motivated , 200% dedicated, 200% willing to succeed  and more less leave everything aside. But at the end I know it will worthy.

4. Tell us about your Dermatology Association in Romania?

I am very proud about our association. I think, the biggest goal is to bring international high level of science and practice of veterinary dermatology, closer to our region. I think SRDV (Romanian Society of Veterinary Dermatology) is starting to do that. We are young society, but we already had our first annual congress with 300 participants, 2 workshops and we plan to do 2 more this summer. We are organizing the second big annual congress in October this year. For future plans we want to spread the knowledge over other countries on the Balkans, where I know, there are vets , who  need to be part of our society. So we are open to welcome any vet from the Balkan to join us, whoever wants to get involve and join our spirit.

5.Which are negative and positive things to be vet on the Balkans?

Let’s start with the negative. We are depending of our countries economically substantial difference between our general practice level and this one in Western Europe. But there are a lot of good enthusiastic people who want to learn more and align the way of practice and knowledge.

6. Would you like to share with us your future plans?

Of course, I want to finish my residency and pass my exam. I want to build first dermatological clinic in our region. Another big dream of mind, is to have my own residents from the Balkans. So they continue this win. I am already looking for highly motivated vets that want to do performance.

7. What do you thin about Vets on The Balkans?

I think is a good interesting idea. I really hope that this project will  continue for a long time and collect many vets as want to share their experience. So the whole community from the Balkans will progress in a good way.


Dr Rares Capitan, DVM , resident in ECVD

He graduated in 2006 at Faculty in Veterinary Medicine in Bucharest , Romania. He is member of ESVD- Europian Society of Veterinary Dermatology.

He passionate about all areas related to veterinary dermatology services to elevated to international standards.

Founder member and President of SRDV – Romanian Society of Veterinary Dermatology

He is passionate about all areas related to veterinary dermatology services to elevated to international standards