Scholarship assists UNDA student with pathology studies

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Winter 14-8-2012

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame Australia

Publication Place



A research project which investigated and analysed cases of thyroid carcinoma in patients has earned a fourth-year Medicine student on Notre Dame's Fremantle Campus an academic scholarship from the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA).

Keith Potent, who is currently completing a Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery (Honours), said he was "honoured, humbled and overjoyed" to have received the scholarship.

The scholarship will provide financial assistance for Mr Potent to present his research at future medical conferences and to have it published online.

His research project covered a retrospective analysis of cases of carcinoma of the thyroid gland. While not as aggressive and malignant as other cancers, men and women who have been exposed to high levels of radiation or who have a family history of goiter (a non-cancerous swelling of the thyroid gland) are more susceptible to contracting thyroid carcinoma.

The scholarship has capped off a remarkable year for Mr Potent who became a father for the first time in 2012, while undertaking his final year of medical studies.

In addition to developing a strong academic and research portfolio, Mr Potent hopes to pursue a career in ear, nose and throat surgery with a focus on disease management and prevention in rural and remote Australia.

"Pathology is central to understanding the process of disease and is crucial knowledge for all doctors," Mr Potent said.

"I am particularly passionate about pathology. This project will not only help me meet requirements to apply for a surgical traineeship but will also equip me with sound knowledge of a very common disease – thyroid carcinoma.

"Medicine is without a doubt a demanding degree; however I am blessed with a very supportive family without whom I couldn't have survived these last four years.

"Along with my classmates, I also feel really grateful that the staff in the School of Medicine are very understanding of students with family commitments."

Professor of Pathology in the School of Medicine at The University of Notre Dame Australia's Fremantle Campus, Theo Gotjamanos, congratulated Mr Potent on his wonderful achievement.

"I commend Keith for the dedication and commitment he has shown in the Medicine curriculum and the Honours program at Notre Dame. He thoroughly deserves the scholarship and recognition from the RCPA," Professor Gotjamanos said.

MEDIA CONTACT: Michelle Ebbs: Tel (08) 9433 0610; Mob 0408 959 138 Leigh Dawson: Tel (08) 9433 0569; Mob 0405 441 093