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Rich fellowship useful to all

Thursday 30 June 2016 10:26am

Professor Alison Rich at ceremony
Professor Alison Rich (left) at the Royal College of Pathologists admissions ceremony for new fellows.

The world-class standard of oral pathologist Professor Alison Rich's endeavours has been recognised by the London-based Royal College of Pathologists, which has added her to their roll of Fellows after assessing her published works.

Professor Rich says "It's an honour and an achievement to have that international recognition. To be judged by your peers for the quality of your research work is satisfying. I'm a diagnostic oral pathologist, which essentially means I diagnose lumps and bumps from the oral region, mostly via biopsies sent from dentists and dental specialists from around New Zealand."

As Faculty of Dentistry Deputy Dean, Head of the Department of Oral Diagnostic and Surgical Sciences, and leader of the Oral Pathology training programme, Professor Rich says her Fellowship is useful for staff and postgraduate students.

"It's good that they can be exposed to a different qualification, to see different international options you have for earning further qualifications in oral pathology.

"As a Fellow, I also have access to all the Royal College of Pathologists' databases, expert groups and publications, which is helpful to me and our team and, through that, the Dental School and University as a whole."

Faculty of Dentistry Dean, Professor Paul Brunton says he is "delighted to see that Professor Rich's significant and sustained contribution to Oral Pathology has been recognised with such a prestigious award."

Professor Rich was informed that her Fellowship application had been successful late last year and attended the admission ceremony in March.

"It was held in Middle Temple, an amazing old London building [which had been the Knights Templar headquarters until 1312]. I was one of three people accepted as Fellows in the published works category."

The event may have reminded Professor Rich of how far she'd come since graduating with her undergraduate degree from Otago in 1976. She spent two years in her first job at Christchurch Hospital, then went on to enrol at the University of Melbourne, Australia, for her master's. She was subsequently offered a staff position, but after many years the attraction of family ties drew her back to Dunedin in 1998. She began at the Dental School as a Senior Lecturer in Oral Pathology, working her way up to her current position.