Up close with Dr. Violeta Shijakova
“After laser diopter correction, we often see tears of joy in patients’ eyes”
- You are the first trainee to complete the specialization in ophthalmology through the Sistina Ophthalmology Education Program. What experience was the specialization for you?
Yes, I had the opportunity and privilege to be the first intern whose specialization was part of the education program of Sistina Ophthalmology – Skopje, in cooperation with Svjetlost Clinic – Zagreb. During the educational process, in addition to the theoretical, I gained a lot of practical experience. At Sistina Ophthalmology, there is a positive working atmosphere and an excellent opportunity for professional advancement. I think that teamwork is the key to the success of the hospital. Modern technology and good work organization allow us to provide patients with the best medical care. All in all, my experience as a trainee has been very positive, I am satisfied with all the aspects that influenced my education, as well as with the enormous support provided by Sistina Ophthalmology.
- Diagnostics is of particular interest to you. Do you think that communication with patients is important in order to make a correct diagnosis and treat certain diseases?
Communication with patients is essential, even before the diagnosis is made, for it to be made and for the treatment process to be successful. For a successful diagnosis, the most important thing is for the doctor to be focused on the patient, that is, to carefully listen to what he has to say regarding the symptoms and the disease. All the details of the patient’s story are important, for a complete picture of his health condition. The doctor should ask questions about anything that is more important than what the patient says. The patient expects empathy from the doctor and to explain the disease clearly and comprehensibly. Whatever the diagnosis is, it should be told honestly to the patient. In a way, in which he will not be afraid, or have other negative emotions. Patients expect us to treat them like adults. Their trust depends to a great extent on our attitude towards them.
For us, at Sistina Ophthalmology, it is very important that we have constant opportunities to improve our communication skills, which are the most important prerequisite for building a positive relationship with patients.
- In addition, you are a specialist in refractive surgery, you do laser vision correction. What kind of intervention is it, and what are the benefits that the patients have?
Laser dioptre correction is a revolutionary method for surgical removal of dioptre for better vision without optical aids (lenses and glasses). The biggest advantage is that it is a quick, safe and painless intervention, and patients can go home immediately. There is no hospital stay, the results are visible immediately, i.e. after 24 hours of the procedure. Patients can return to their daily activities after 3-5 days.
Before we do the intervention, we do a detailed examination, which lasts about two hours and examines every segment of the eye. Based on that, it is determined whether or not he is a candidate for laser vision correction, and which method is appropriate.
When it comes to laser vision correction, at Sistina Ophthalmology, we often see tears of joy the day after the intervention itself. Patients often say “I should have done the correction earlier”. With almost all patients, we build relationships based on mutual respect and trust, they become loyal to us and give us their recommendation.
The feeling of the doctors is irreplaceable when we see the happiness in the eyes of the patients. It is a real boon to enable young people, as well as older people, to function freely, without eye aids.
- You come from a family of ophthalmologists. Does it help you in your career?
Yes, both my father and my brother are ophthalmologists. Independently of each other, we chose this branch of medicine as one of the most beautiful and noble professions. When we are together, we know how to debate for hours on topics related to ophthalmology, exchange ideas and knowledge, argue and finally come to a common conclusion.
During the specialization, I had unconditional support from my husband, parents and brother. That was very important to me, to fulfill my own desire for a good education and a successful career.
- What do you like to do most in your free time?
In my free time, I like to travel a lot, to European destinations, but also to more distant and exotic trips. Traveling fulfills me, and makes me richer with knowledge, experiences and memories. There is nothing more beautiful than studying new places and discovering new habits, values, traditions, cultures, and beauties. In my free time, I also really like to be with my family and friends, with whom I often spend nice moments together.
- Which book would you recommend?
During my specialization, I didn’t have much time to read fiction. I would single out the books “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Neal, “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne and “How to Talk to Anyone” by Lil Launders.