The causes and consequences of inequality in severe myocardial infarction: The double-edged sword of centralized, highly specialized care

  • // Denmark
  • University/Institute Name University of Southern Denmark
  • University/Institute Name Department of Clinical Research
  • Attendance Type On Campus
  • Position Funding Type
  • Application deadlineExpired

Position Details (PhD Program)

The research unit for cardiology at the institute of clinical research is looking for applicants for an interdisciplinary PhD scholarship within the fields of public health, health economics, clinical epidemiology, quality of health care and inequality.

We are looking for a person with a relevant degree with respect to the interdisciplinary fields mentioned above. You might have a background from public health, economics, political science or clinical research as long as you have strong quantitative skills and a strong interest in interdisciplinary research regarding the performance of the health care system.

Research environment

The successful candidate’s office will be in the research unit for cardiology at OUH in a multidisciplinary environment. Within this environment a newly established group focusses on social inequality in access to care, quality of care and outcome of care. This smaller group is led by a professor in health economics and currently counts one postdoc with background from public health, one postdoc with background from economics, and two pregraduate students from public health along with clinical professors and PhD students with medical background.

The project is further affiliated to the newly established frontline centre of excellence for Mechanical Circulation Support – MeCiSu – which further provides a dynamic and enthusiastic interdisciplinary group of colleagues with frontline expertise within the field of highly specialised technology for patients with severe myocardial infarction.

Project description

The project addresses an untouched dilemma of how years of focus on centralization of sophisticated therapy, with good intentions for better clinical quality and patient outcomes, could have harmed both efficiency and inequality because patients with equal needs are not offered equal care. The consequences could be over- and undertreatment, life years lost, unnecessary costs and increased inequality in health.

The aim of this project is to inform the management of a large and vulnerable patient population, which is at high risk to the downside of centralization and specialization: severe myocardial infarction (MI). The pathway typically starts with the pre-hospital and includes both specialized and non-specialized hospital care, rehabilitation, and aftercare by municipalities. The sophisticated, possibly life-saving technology of mechanical circulatory support (MCS) is available at university hospitals in the larger cities only. The system has sought to compensate for that by pre-hospital helicopters but neither the availability of MCS nor the coverage of helicopters have been settled due to patient need.

The societal perspective and relevance of the project are that both lives and health care costs can be possibly saved while inequality is not worsened – a triple win. The project’s results can guide better management of a large and vulnerable patient population with several sector crossings but also facilitate recognition of the broader consequences of structural health care system planning, which is relevant for many other centralized, highly specialized therapies than MCS.

The project is fully funded by a grant from the Danish Research Councils and a full project description is already developed and currently being pre-assessed by the PhD school.


  • Strong interest in interdisciplinary research.
  • Strong quantitative skills.
  • Interest in structure and performance of the health care system.

Previous experience with register-based research, clinical quality databases, Danish administrative registries such as the National Patient Registry and/or Stata will be useful but is not required.

Knowledge on the organizational structure of the health care system, the patient population defined by severe myocardial infarction, social inequality in health and/or cost effectiveness will be also useful but is not required.

For further information about the project, please contact:

Professor Rikke Søgaard
Department of Clinical Research
University of Southern Denmark (SDU)

Mobile phone +45 28991387
E-mail: [email protected]

Applications must include:

• At letter stating the interest, motivation and qualifications for the project (max. 2 pages) – upload under “Application form”.
• Detailed CV, including personal contact information
• Certified copy of diploma (Master’s degree in a relevant field)

Applications must be submitted electronically using the link “Apply online”.

The system will ask for a project description but as this is not required for this project, please just upload a blank document.

Attached files must be in Adobe PDF or Word format. Each box can only contain a single file of max. 10 Mb.

Incomplete applications and applications received after the deadline will neither be considered nor evaluated. This also applies to reference letters.

Closing date January 31, 2023

The successful candidate will be later asked to send an application to the PhD Secretariat, Faculty of Health Sciences, to be enrolled as PhD students.

The PhD programme will be carried out in accordance with Faculty regulations and the Danish Ministerial Order on the PhD Programme at the Universities (PhD order)

The terms of employment as a salaried PhD Research Fellow are stated in the Agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC).

The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

Research Skills Required

Computer/Software Skills Required

Research Areas & Fields of Study involved in the position

Applicant type required for this position

Position Start Date