Qatar University’s (QU) Health Interprofessional Education Committee, in collaboration with the Interprofessional Education Students’ Association Qatar, has held its first virtual debate.
The motion of the debate was: 'This House believes that considering the continuous quarantine and precautionary measures should be of a priority, over lifting the restrictions to avoid the negative economic and social consequences'.
The event lasted for two hours and was conducted online through Qatar University's WebEx application. The event was attended by around 250 local and international participants. Vice-president for Medical and Health Sciences at QU, Dr Egon Toft, welcomed the attendees followed by assistant dean for Student Affairs at the College of Pharmacy and QU Health chair of the Interprofessional Education Committee, Dr Alla El Awaisi.
This was followed by an overview of the association’s vision, mission and activities presented by the vice-president of the IPE Student Association and third-year medical student, Jawaher Baraka.
The debate was moderated by the president of the IPE Student Association and CPH MSc graduate Sawsan AlMukdad.
The debate followed a format where each student was given five minutes for a speech, a two-minute caucus and a chance for a cross-examination from the opposing team.
The audience was allowed to ask questions directed to the teams after the debate and the judges also gave their clarifications and comments on both teams. The winning team was determined after receiving the votes from both the audience (50%) and the judges (50%).
Dr Toft congratulated the winner and said: “The initiation of this interprofessional debate format for our students is an excellent idea. The pandemic has shown the importance of working together more than ever and the potential online fora for high level of discussions and patient treatment are an obvious future solution for the benefit of patients and improving the healthcare system.”
As both sides comprised an interprofessional team, the debate contest opened an opportunity to see the perspectives of various healthcare students and allowed the participants to increase their knowledge on the different issues concerning the novel coronavirus that is currently affecting the lives of everyone around the globe through reliable data and evidence-based research.
Fatima Nazar from the winning team said, “We were able to explore in depth the different policies that were applied around the world, and the consequences of these policies. We were also able to define the different axes that the virus affected, such as health, economic and social aspects.”
Shahryar Rana, another participant, added: "A welcome challenge. I learned a lot from my interlocutors. Yes, there were heated moments but I left having learned more from my teammates as well as my opponents, and the panel's thoughts were enlightening on the overall scope of the issue. There were dimensions that I was simply not aware of from my vantage point as a medical student and I hope to learn more from such experiences in the future."
The Interprofessional Education Students’ Association Qatar will organise two more debates on August 10 and 17.