Featured Doctor

COLLAKU, Dr Artenca

Albania - Family Doctor

What work do you do now?

I work as a family doctor in Health Centre number 4 in Tirana, the capital of Albania.

For four years I was director of this Health Centre (with around 80 employees, of which 20 are family doctors, and that serves a local population of 60000). This was a very valuable experience for me and one of the main achievements, during my management, was the accreditation of Health Center number 4 - this centre was the first one accredited in Albania.

After successfully managing the Health Centre, I got together with some other family doctors and we decided to do something more for our professional community. We founded our own professional association - Albanian Academy of Family Doctors - three years ago. Our mission is to improve the service in Primary Care and to enhance the role and importance of family doctors, through education and scientific activities.

As president of this association, I know a lot of challenges are waiting for us, even though we already have lots of activities.

Other interesting things you have done?

I have been very active in representing family doctors in different projects, as an organiser or lecturer. I am co-author of the protocols "Si je” and “Clinical Practice Guide” that are being used in all Primary Care Facilities in Albania. "Si je” is a guideline for the check up program, an recent project of the Ministry of Health. In the protocol everything for screening and the interpretation of the check up is explained (cardiovascular disease, electrocardiograph interpretation, diabetes, depression, laboratory tests).
The other one is a guideline for clinical practice for most primary care problems.

What is it like to be a family doctor in the Albania?

This job gives you opportunity to care for people and help them to live healthily and through close partnership with our nurses. This is the bright site. On the other hand our job is full of challenges. Family Medicine is a new specialty in Albania, that not everyone understands well and accepts. We do much paper work and we have many restrictions on our practice, needing to refer to our "specialist" colleagues for things that are beyond our scope of practice as family doctors in Albania.

What are your interests outside work?

Apart from being a woman family physician, a manager, an educator, a daughter, a wife and a mother, I like to read, cook and do different sports in my free time.