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SLU Students Debate Students from Qatar University in International Interprofessional Health Care Event

A team of five students from across various health care disciplines at Saint Louis University (SLU) recently debated a team of students from Qatar University on the topic of airline travel restrictions related to COVID-19 vaccinations. The debate took place Thursday, April 8 via WebEx and YouTube. The SLU participants included Kemba Noel-London, Ph.D. candidate – Public Health; Lauren Fox, Public Health student; Eldwin Neritani, Athletic Training student; and researchers/alternates Will Drexler, Public Health student; and Lauren Swords, Athletic Training student. SLU Doisy College of Health Sciences Professor Anthony Breitbach, Ph.D., ATC, FASAHP, FNAP, and Emeritus faculty Diana Carlin, Ph.D., coordinated the event on behalf of SLU.

SLU IPE Debate Team
SLU IPE Debate Team. Back row (left to right): Dr. Anthony Breitbach,  Lauren Swords, Kemba Noel-London, Eldwin Neritani. Front row (left to right): Will Drexler, Dr. Diana Carlin, Lauren Fox.

Neritani explained that he was excited to work with a team on a topic that had so many layers and affected areas outside of even just health care.

“The topic of the debate sounded pretty interesting from the start. Even after just some light research, the deeper I got into everything, I found myself getting more and more intrigued by how it really isn’t such a black-and-white topic,” Neritani said. “There are so many different pieces at play and everyone is affected by it, regardless of sector. It was something that does really require all hands on-deck and I was happy to be a part of it.”

Neritani went on to discuss how working with different people – both from different places and from different disciplines – can provide important new insights.

“Working with the students from Qatar University really kept my mind open. Even through a simple conversation, you can learn so much about how people handle things differently when it comes to health care,” Neritani said. “Differences don’t only come from the other side of the world either; I would talk about the debate with my friends in engineering, political science or economics and it was very interesting to hear their insight about the topic.”

Doisy College of Health Sciences Interim Dean Tricia Austin, PT, Ph.D., ATC, was excited for students from both universities to have the opportunity to engage in topics that are affecting the global health care community.

“The virtual IPE debate was a wonderful opportunity for students to debate topics that have high salience across health care disciplines and cultures,” Dr. Austin said. “We are very grateful to be included in such an event that permits students to engage in skills and critical thinking necessary to provide optimal future care.”

The debate followed a format where each student was given five minutes to speak, a two-minute caucus and a chance for cross-examination from the opposing team. The audience was allowed to ask the teams questions after the debate before recommendations from the judges. The winning team was determined after receiving the votes from the judges (70%) and the audience (30%).

Saint Louis University is a Catholic, Jesuit institution that values academic excellence, life-changing research, compassionate health care, and a strong commitment to faith and service. Founded in 1818, the University fosters the intellectual and character development of nearly 13,000 students on two campuses in St. Louis and Madrid, Spain. Building on a legacy of more than 200 years, Saint Louis University continues to move forward with an unwavering commitment to a higher purpose, a greater good.