Posted on March 03, 2020

The Interprofessional Education Student Association (IPE), a group of healthcare students from different universities, organized one of its most successful events of the year, entitled ‘The Fifth Annual IPE Forum for Healthcare Students’ at Qatar University (QU).

The event included faculty, students and clinicians from various healthcare disciplines in different universities across Qatar including Qatar University’s (QU) College of Pharmacy (CPH), College of Health Sciences (CHS) and College of Medicine (CMED) alongside peers from University of Calgary in Qatar (UCQ), College of the North Atlantic - Qatar (CNA-Q) and Weill Cornell Medicine - Qatar (WCM-Q).

The forum was designed to engage students from various healthcare disciplines in the healthcare team challenge and to advocate for their profession in form of poster and oral presentations. The event was attended by Dr. Egon Toft, Vice President for Medical and Health Sciences and CMED Dean at QU, Dr. Hanan Abdulraheem, CHS Dean QU, faculty and students from all participating institutions. This forum provided opportunities to raise awareness for IPE and interprofessional collaboration in Qatar and the Middle East and an opportunity for students to learn with, from and about each other outside their classroom settings.

Dr. Egon Toft welcomed guests followed by CPH Assistant Dean for Student Affairs at CPH and QU Health Chair of the Interprofessional Education Committee Dr. Alla El-Awaisi and President of the IPE Student Association and CPH MSc student Ms. Sawsan AlMukdad. The master of the ceremony was CMED second year student Jawaher Baraka. Keynote speaker Dr. Mohamed Ghaly Professor of Islam and Biomedical Ethics Center for Islamic Legislation & Ethics (CILE), Academic Director College of Islamic Studies (CIS), Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) introduced the topic of Islamic Bioethics to Future Healthcare Professionals. Five teams competed against each other, in the Healthcare Team Challenge, and presented their proposed patient-centered care plans which they worked on for around two weeks in an innovative creative format.

The case was about a 57-year-old Thai man who underwent a kidney transplant in Thailand 2 months ago and returned to Doha from Thailand one week ago presented to the emergency department in Al Wakra hospital and was confirmed with the diagnosis of coronavirus. The challenge gave the students the opportunity to collaboratively work together outside their academic schedules. The teams were judged based on their ability to satisfy the IPE competencies including collaboration, interprofessional communication, patient centered care, team functioning and role understanding.

Finally, the event also featured the distribution of awards for the winners in the best poster, oral presentation competitions as well as the winning team in the healthcare challenge. The winner of the healthcare team challenge were: Reem Alenany CPH pharmacy student, Yazan Aldali CMED medical student, Maria Mohammed UCQ nursing student, Noof Al-Mansoori CHS nutrition student, Noora Shams CHS Biomedical student, Chaellie Miranda CNAQ respiratory student, Ibrahim Laswi WCMQ Medical student and Tharaa Alshammari CHS public health student. The team were under the mentorship of CPH PharmD student Ms Iqrah Qurishi.

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Winner of the first place were CPH students: Laila Shafei, Halima Saadia, Ruba Sulaiman and Mariam Mustafa for their oral presentation: ‘A step forward: Pharmacists’ managing anticoagulation clinics’.Winner of the second place were UCQ students John Michael GLodoveza and Necah Marie Gimotea for their oral presentation: ‘More than a caregiver’.Winner of the third place were CMED student Ahmed Elsabagh for his oral presentation: ‘Commitment to altruism’. The winners for the best poster presentations were CPH students Marwa Elshazly, Hala Alkhatibe, Ola Almasalmeh and Sabah Khabbaz for their poster entitled 'Choose your destination'.

Prof. Egon Toft, welcomed in his opening speech the participants in the conference that highlights the growth of the interprofessional education in the region, and noted the relationship between Qatar University and health sector in the country. “He added that the acquisition of cross-learning experiences will have an impact on students ’personal and professional lives, and this opportunity will inspire them to acquire effective communication skills and knowledge exchange, in addition to making them competent leaders who are able to make positive changes in the health sector in the State of Qatar.

Dr. Alla El-Awaisi congratulated the IPE student association on the successful forum and added: “This year’s topic for the healthcare challenge was on the coronavirus outbreak, a genuine current issue. The challenge created an opportunity for students to collaborate over an extended period of time. The aim was to raise the awareness of healthcare students on the critical role they play as a healthcare teams responding to this outbreak as healthcare professionals, across the different professions, need to work collaboratively and be on the front lines of this outbreak to help support and manage patients. The challenge was a wonderful learning experience for the competing students and we were impressed by the creativity, innovation of our future healthcare professionals in dealing with this situation and how engaged they were. The forum which is a student led event, in its 5th cycle, was successful by all means and an opportunity for the IPE student association executives to develop their leadership skills necessary to become the leaders of healthcare in the future.”.

IPE-SA President and Pharmacy MSc. student Sawsan AlMukdad said: “This is the fifth time where the IPE Student Association organizes the Annual IPE Forum for healthcare students. We always aim to improve and facilitate collaboration and interaction between all healthcare students in Qatar in order to meet the complex health and social care needs of individuals and populations by working collaboratively.” “This year we had the healthcare team challenge which aims to promote teamwork and collaboration, in which students were expected to work, learn and share their knowledge, experience, and skills in solving the case of a patent who had a coronavirus which is a current outbreak infection,” she added.

Al-Mukdad added, “In addition, we had the poster and oral sessions where students focused on advocating for their healthcare profession. The continuous support from all universities and colleges in Qatar allowed this event to be successful and beneficial. Also, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the executive members of the IPE Student Association who were working hard to organize this event.”