Interviews from the newsletters

In our students newsletters at LIME we include interviews with persons and topics that are important. For easier access we have extracted them from the newsletters.

Meet one of our teachers at LIME 

George Keel – Assistant professor, Researcher in Health Economics and Course Leader for three of the courses in Health Economics, Policy and Management. 

You are the course responsible and teacher for the courses in Economic Evaluation of Health Care Programmes, Health Economics - Financing Health and Medical Care, and Advanced Course In Health Economics. How did your interest in Health Economics begin? And what is your specialization? 

I actually started my professional career as a research assistant at LIME, and was recruited to that position as I was wrapping up my master's thesis within the HEPM program – the program in which I teach today!

During the program I became interested in the overlapping principals and frameworks surrounding "value" in both health economics and management sciences. I began working as a research assistant in projects exploring the management-side of these ideas within the new (at the time) ideas emerging within value-based health care. I had also been historically drawn to the puzzle-solving nature of decision analytic modelling within health economics, and I was consistently trying to find opportunities for working with these kinds of analytics.

I was later recruited to IMS Health (now IQVIA) to work as a consultant in health economic modelling, where I specialized in economic model adaptation and development within market access. 

The future of health economics – what kind of possibilities and challenges do you see? 

As with many industries, I am curious about the magnitude of disruption we can expect from recent and ongoing developments with large-language models like ChatGPT. This has potentially massive implications for the industry of model development, report writing, problem solving, and decision analysis. Anyone entering into the field of health economics should have a close eye on this.

There are many possibilities in and challenges currently, but they are perhaps a bit difficult to describe outside of the field. Particularly, the QALY is very much under the microscope as an outcome measure but is still very much the key outcome of effectiveness in health economics. Its shortcomings are often discussed, and I am curious to see what alternatives emerge (if any) that may shake things up a bit. 

Further, the standard-operating-procedures for how we make decisions around which medical technologies and treatments we approve based on the current Net-Monetary-Benefit approach has some negative consequences when one looks at the wider perspective of society as a whole – if we consistently purchase expensive therapies that are "affordable" considering an established willingness-to-pay for outcomes, this will have consequences for the budget and these resources need to come from somewhere, and may simply affect our ability to pay for treatments in the future (sinking our willingness-to-pay). These are just a few of the many challenges I see in our field right now.

Without a doubt, you have recieved extraordinary positive feedback from our students in the course evaluations. Why do you think students appreciate your courses so much? Do you use a special methodology or pedagogy? 

Thank you for the kind words. I am not sure if my approaches are ideal or not for many reasons, and they come with a high workload. But I can say that perhaps the most important thing is to establish a relationship with the people (students) you are working with. Demonstrate that you are interested in what they think – get their opinions and preferences regarding how content is delivered, or how things should be done differently. And do so on a regular basis. Then implement those changes that you can as soon as possible, and make clear why you cannot implement changes that you can't. This way students feel heard, and valued. 

A second thing is to consistently have their futures in mind – make sure they know that priority number 1 is their learning, and that this learning is centered around skills and concepts that will help propel them into the modern workplace. Be clear with them that this is the goal. Provide examples and emphasis for concepts and ideas that are used in the workforce today – how, when, where, and why they are used. This helps students feel the value of the content they are learning – they feel it is something they will likely need to apply and understand in practice.  

Finally, I think humility is important. Make students aware you are not perfect and that you make mistakes. Be up front about your shortcomings and weaknesses so that they know what to expect and the context from which your instructions, content, and opinions are coming. They can then decide for themselves how they want to internalize what you are saying, while considering the source.

 Besides being a teacher, what else do you do?

I am a research manager at the Swedish Institute for Health Economics, where I essentially work as a research consultant with a specialization in costing and health economic modelling. I work with clients in start-ups, pharma, med-tech, academia, and others to help gather information, generate evidence, and support decision making using established and occasionally innovative methods. Its a lot of fun, and its good to apply what I teach/learn in practice – it feels good to do something that generates results in the short(ish) term.

Choose one of the folllowing questions - what do you do in your sparetime?

I like to hike, camp, pick mushrooms/berries, and picnic with my wife and my kids. Also I like to work with my hands on my in-laws' farm.

I've had to set aside some of my special talents as I am the father of a 3-year-old. But I very much enjoy brewing beer (not exactly the most public-health friendly hobby, but you gotta live a little I guess), bouldering, kayaking, and riding horses in fields and forests. 

Tips from the Programme Director

Interview with Nadia Davoody, Programme Director (PD) of LIME’s popular joint master programme in Health Informatics. 

Nadia shares her tips for successful studies with you.

You are the Programme Director (PD) of LIME’s popular joint master programme in Health Informatics together with Stockholm University. What does a programme director do?

A programme director has a KI¬overall responsibility for the quality and coordination of programme courses. The programme director also ensures that the courses within the programme obtain high quality and good research connections and attends the educational board meetings for quality assurance of the programme.

The PD is also responsible for preparing decisions regarding the distribution of educational assignments regarding courses within programs. In addition, the PD has a close collaboration with the teachers within the programme and the student representative/s. The PD together with the teachers goes through the course evaluations and students’ feedback on the programme at the programme council meetings and teacher workshops. 

Why do you think the programme is so popular?

The field of Health Informatics is a quickly growing field around the world and the need for new health informaticians increases rapidly. The master's program in health informatics is a global programme in collaboration with Stockholm university. Our students have technical and/or medical backgrounds and come from different parts of the world. The students get a unique opportunity to work with students with different academic backgrounds and cultures and learn about the field in Sweden and other countries.

In addition, our programme collaborates with different agencies, organisations, and companies working within the field of health informatics and eHealth. We offer several study visits and guest lecturers giving lectures with examples of real-life projects. All these aspects have contributed to the popularity of this programme. In addition, KI has a prestigious international ranking and the fact that the programme is a joint master’s programme with Stockholm university increases the popularity of the programme even more.

Today, a new batch of students are starting your programme – what advice can to give them in order to succeed in their studies?

I choose to give some advice from previous students that I strongly agree with: 

1. You will need to be self-motivated. Doors will open because of this degree and where it's coming from. 

2. Keep an open mind. 

3. Be prepared to work with people of various backgrounds since there will be a lot of group work. 

4. Look for job opportunities as you go along. 

5. Attempt all assignments like you're writing a thesis (language, references, etc.) 

6. The thesis you choose will have a great effect on your future. 

7. Get in touch with updates on healthcare technical developments. 

8. Get ready for critical thinking. 

9. Do not hesitate to contact the lecturers with any questions. 

10. To use time at KI, not only to follow the program they study but to explore various opportunities that KI and the Life science environment give here. 

11. To use KI career services that help to prepare for job seeking. 

12. To be open, positive, active, to make friends, and not to forget to enjoy the time you have here in Stockholm. 

Being a programme director is just one part of your employment. What do you do at LIME otherwise?

As a lecturer, I am involved in teaching and supervising master students. I am the course leader for two of the courses within the master’s programme and I am supervising Ph.D. students.

In addition, I am doing research and I am involved in various projects. My research focuses mainly on participatory health informatics studying the design, implementation, and evaluation of different eHealth services.

Last – do you have a motto?

I would like to quote Albert Einstein: “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious. The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”

How to succeed with group work

Interview with Bodil Moberg, Writing instructor at KI and project manager of "Structure in your studies"

Being a student at LIME means you are being prepared for the work environment in Sweden and internationally. Working in groups / teams and doing group assignments are a big part of your studies. We all know it can be quite challenging – students from different cultures coming together with different experiences and expectations of group work.

So we wonder: Is there any help to succeed with group work?

We have contacted Bodil Moberg, who has a long experience and education to help students improve their study technique and their academic writing. At the moment she is the project manager for the project “Structure in your studies” (this semester only for Swedish speaking students). One part of the project is about group work so we decided to ask Bodil how students can succeed in working in groups.

What do you do at KI?

At the moment I manage a project that aims to give KI students better tools for succeeding in their studies, “Structure in your studies” or “Struktur i studierna” in Swedish. But I am also a writing instructor at KI’s Academic writing support.

How did it all start?

The project is a direct answer to the governments wish to act on the stress level and other health issues they feared students had due to the pandemic situation and the fact that a lot of the education moved online from campus.

As for myself, I have been working at KI over ten years, for the most part at the Academic Writing Support, where I’ve coached numerous students not only in academic writing in Swedish, but also in managing their studies, as well as working efficiently together in teams.

What would you say is the key to a have success in group work?

Communication! You have to start a group work with communicating your thoughts and in the group make plans for how to work together.
Set rules for the group work, for instance how often to meet, what each member should accomplish between meetings, and which platform to use for collecting data, writing the text and making a presentation.

If one fails to communicate chances are you’ll only think that you have a common understanding which could lead to severe misunderstandings.

Start each assignment with not only discussing the “What” (as in “what are we supposed to do”) but also with the “How” (as in “how shall we solve the task and how shall we work together). Then write an agreement on what you concluded. After that it’s easier to talk about participants that don’t fulfil their lot.

Do you have any concrete suggestions on how our students can improve their group work / group assignments?

The group is a team, with a common goal, not a random group of individuals working independently from each other. Act as a team, take responsibility as a team and communicate as a team, that is make plans for your work together and remind each other of your goals.

We have all been in group work or teams when some do everything, and some just are “freeriders” – do you have any suggestions how to deal with freeriders?

Oh, I remember this with frustration from my own school years. But as a student you’re a grown up and should treat the other team members as fellow grown-ups. If you, for any reason, can’t meet the goals the group has set, you’ll have to talk to the other students in your group and reset the goal. If you notice that someone is not contributing according to plan, you’ll have to address that, and the group must come up with a solution.

So, once again communication is key. Often when you do a group work, you also write a report about how you worked together, and if someone didn’t do their share this has to be mentioned in that report.

Conflicts is a part of group work. When are they beneficial and when are they not?

This is such a big question! And an interesting one as such, well deserving a long and elaborated answer. But for the moment, let’s just mention that every evolution starts with a crisis of some sort. By arguing your points of views, you’ll most likely develop a deeper understanding of the subject. Now, if the conflict is not about the subject but more personal, that’s another story.

As a member of a group, you don’t have to love or even like everyone in the group, but you do have to respect and accept them. It’s a talent that has to be trained, working with different kinds of people.

Where can students find more information or help on how to improve their work group abilities?

In the project we offer students a seminar series, where the third and last seminar concerns group work. 

Last – do you have a hidden talent? Or a motto?

Well, if I had a motto it would be “There is not one right way of doing things, but many”. It makes me listen more to others and consider different solutions, before deciding how to act. I guess this is what I want for every student to understand as well.

Studying at two or more universities

Interviews with 4 students from the master programmes at LIME who have studied at multiple universities.

• Adrián Sánchez Ibañez, second year student in Bioentrepreneurship, who has taken courses at KI, KTH and Stockholm University.

What was the biggest difference in studying in multiple universities?

The interdisciplinary approach. Taking courses outside of KI showed me that there are certain topics that can be addressed from different perspectives apart from the ones I was used to.

The teaching style was also different. For example, at KI I felt the professors were closer and the lectures were more personalized, whereas at KTH, the number of students per course was much higher and administratively speaking it became harder.

What advantages did you notice in having courses at KI and KTH/SU?

Being equipped with this type of interdisciplinary skills that I could apply in different contexts and meeting new people with different backgrounds and interests.

What disadvantages did you notice in having courses at KI and KTH/SU?

Sometimes the schedules were a bit tight and there were a couple of overlaps, but it was very rare.

What can KI learn from KTH/SU?

I believe each university is different but there is no need to change that.

Do you have any tips for our newly admitted students how to handle to study in two universities? Or anything else you would like to add?

If you are given the opportunity to complement your studies with courses at a different university, do it. Being trained in different environments is unvaluable and expanding your networks beyond your niche can become very useful in the future!

What is your motto in life?

Keep moving!


• Suhail Muzaiek, graduated from Health Informatics in June 2022, who has taken courses at KI and Stockholm University.

What was the biggest difference in studying in two universities?

In addition to Ladok system, the tools used by the two partners were totally different. Karolinska institute uses Canvas platform while Stockholm University uses Daisy and Ilearn which was a bit confusing at the beginning specially for international students. The studied courses differed in structure and examination requirements. Students had to use different accounts for Zoom and Microsoft office applications which were a bit tricky for example tracking shared calendars.

What advantages did you notice in having courses at KI and Stockholm University?

Studying at the two universities had a lot of advantages, you get the chance to explore a wide range of teaching styles offered by a group of excellent professors and teachers with different academic backgrounds. You also get access to both universities' libraries and resources. It was always nice to enjoy the various facilities on different campuses like the big gym in Karolinska Insititutet and the modern study rooms at Stockholm University.

What disadvantages did you notice in having courses at KI and Stockholm University?

Traveling between Karolinska Institutet campus in Solna and Stockholm University campus in Kista takes around 40 to 50 minutes using public transportation which could be a little bit challenging during winter if students had lectures on both campuses on the same day, a good thing that we had the chance to attend online but this was during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On a few occasions, we had conflicting schedules between the courses given at the same time by the two universities that needed to be sorted out.

What can KI learn from Stockholm University?

Nothing in particular as both universities are well established, but one improvement could be to have a unified shared access card for students studying in mixed programs, as we had to get three different physical cards, one issued from Karolinska Institutet and two from Stockholm University.

Do you have any tips for our newly admitted students how to handle to study in two universities? Or anything else you would like to add?

Give yourself the chance to explore the two campuses upfront and to get familiar with the different facilities and the routes to them. It is also recommended to check your access to all the needed software each year. Do not forget to go through the schedule of each course at the beginning to plan your activities upfront.

What is your motto in life?

"Enjoy the little things in your life"


• Emilia Neumann, second year student in Bioentrepreneurship, who has taken courses at KI, KTH (Kungliga tekniska högskolan) and SSES (stockholm school of entrepreneurship).

What was the most significant difference between studying at multiple universities?

The biggest difference between studying at two universities at the same time was how they divide the work between seminars, pre-readings and actual lectures with relevant content led by the teacher. Since the courses at KTH were really information heavy, this resulted in 100% of the mandatory lectures was lead by the teacher only with information. However, at KTH we also had the opportunity to do non-mandatory assignments, for example, to write a group assignment for extra points on the exam.

On the opposite side, the course at SSES was more based on mandatory pre-readings and seminars and not as much own independent studying. The courses at KI are somehow inbetween these two extremes.

What advantages did you notice in having courses at KI and KTH and SSES?

Since the course at SSES involved students from multiple universities such as SU (Stockholms university), SSE (Stockholm school of economics), KTH and KI, the advantage I noticed was to learn, listen and work together with other students from other backgrounds. Normally you do group work assignments together with students from the class, which have the same background as you (not specific the same background in BME but at least within the same area).

The advantage to work with other universities is to learn how other students work and also learn how to contribute with your own knowledge within your field. Since the real world outside the universities is based on diverse people, I consider this experience i.e., how to adapt to other people with diverse backgrounds as a great advantage before entering the real world.

What disadvantages did you notice in having courses at KI and KTH and SSES?

The disadvantage I noticed when having courses at other universities besides KI was that both universities want you to focus on their course 100%, independent if the course only is part-time. The other disadvantage was that different universities use different report frameworks and different reference standards. This results in that, in addition to almost studying 200%, you also have to understand and learn the different universities’ frameworks and what they focus on when grading your texts.

What can KI learn from KTH and SSES?

During the course at SSES, it was mandatory to read different articles before every lecture and during the lecture, we talked them through, first in small groups and then discussed questions with the whole class. Having mandatory small assignments before every class contributes to a foundation of what the future lecture is all about which results in a wider understanding and more interesting discussions.

In addition to that, it also results in less stress before the exam - since you have been “forced” to read relevant articles during the course.

Do you have any tips for our newly admitted students on how to handle studying in two universities? Or anything else you would like to add?

My tips for newly admitted students who will study in two universities are that you should go with the flow, take advantage and learn from other students and, most importantly, make friends. An entrepreneur needs a diverse team to reach success, you can not do everything yourself and you can not create a new company or evolve that idea with only like-minded people.

What is your motto in life?

You need to have fun on the way and be open to meeting new people, and if you do - success will come to you, not the other way around.


• Denisa (Denny) Gombalova, second year student in Bioentrepreneurship, who has taken courses at KI, KTH (Industrial management and Strategic management control) and SSES (Execution: Running your own business)

What was the biggest difference in studying in multiple universities?

The emphasis at KI is a lot on individual reflections, discussions and group work. At KTH, the courses can be more lecture-based where you passively take in information as a basis for the course and then you apply it later in a group project or an individual exam.

At Karolinska there's a lot more discussion going on even during lectures. They are actually rarely lectures, more so workshops. At SSES the individual courses vary greatly but they are mostly skill-based where you learn by applying methods rather than gaining theoretical knowledge.

What advantages did you notice in having courses at KI , KTH and SSES?

Karolinska Institutet is a medical university. So even the business courses are placed in a life science context. At the other universities we got to interact with students from completely different programs and expertise outside of biology or even science. It was very interesting to learn in such an environment and think more broadly.

What disadvantages did you notice in having courses at KI, KTH and SSES?

It can be very stressful. The workload is not always optimized to the number of credits awarded. The timetables can clash and sometimes you will end up working 125% of a standard course load. You also end up spending quite a lot of time commuting back and forth.

What can KI learn from KTH and SSES?

To have more structure and clearer instructions on individual courses and provide information more in advance.

Do you have any tips for our newly admitted students how to handle to study in two universities? Or anything else you would like to add?

There's a lot of information and opportunities that you will be exposed to and it is impossible to be equally invested in all of them. Prioritize and explore your interests, deep dive into the things you find intriguing and be ok with not knowing or doing it all. Also focus on enjoying the journey day to day, it can be easy to live in your mind when you have many things to juggle.

What is your motto in life?

"Whatever you are, be a good one." by Abraham Lincoln

All about writing your master thesis

Interview with course leaders and programme directors from the master programme directors at LIME.

As a grand finale on every master's programme, all students need to complete a 30 credits master thesis project. Many students' express anxiety and stress about this work already in their first year, and therefore we have asked our examiners on our programmes, what you as a student should think about to keep calm and prepare.

• Hanna Jansson, Course leader BEM and Madelen Lek, Programme Director MBE

You are the examiners for the thesis on the master's program in Bioentrepreneurship. Can you briefly describe what the thesis process looks like at MBE?

We have a very structured process with different deliverables and check-points throughout the course. the first submission of a project proposal is due in late november and then we work step wise on a project plan, midterm report and final degree report. we also have group supervision which has been very successful. Usually the course start with two weeks of lectures and workshops to get everyone started.

In which areas can you write your thesis?

You can write your thesis in basically any subject that can be related to the course courses that you take in the programme. You will know if your project is suitable when your proposal is assessed at the end of the year.

As a student, how can you best prepare for the thesis course?

Start looking for a thesis placement (if you want to do your degree project in a company or organisation) in good time. Remember that you are doing a degree project course and you will not be able to work full time and write on your spare time. This needs to be clear to any collaborators.

Also try to find a partner in class that you can write your thesis with. We like to encourage people to work in pairs with students that they know that they can work well with and that has a common interest. This is only a suggestion though, you are of course welcome to do an individual thesis as well.

What is your most important piece of advice for our year 1 students, who will be starting their thesis work next year?

Plan your time wisely and make sure that you do not plan to work full time during the degree project course. And of course “trust the process”.

We have all been students once upon a time. How do you remember your own thesis work and what did you write about?

As we are both natural scientists by training, we did our degree projects in a lab which is quite different from an MBE thesis. It was a great opportunity to learn but also to use all skills that you had been trained in during the studies.


• Sabine Koch, Course leader, Health Informatics masters

You are the examiner for the thesis on the master's program in Health Informatics. Can you briefly describe what the thesis process looks like in the HI program?

As the Health Informatics program is a joint program between KI and Stockholm University, we offer two master thesis courses, one at each university. Students can choose at which university to enrol. This decision is made based on the affiliation of the main supervisor who works at one of the two universities.

Students enrolled in the KI course usually pick one of the topics that are offered by KI teachers or researchers, find their own topic in one of KI’s many research groups, at a company or a healthcare provider, or they do their thesis at a university abroad. During the course we have different milestones where we discuss the progress of each student’s work in smaller seminar groups and students also get written feedback by thesis reviewers at different points in time.

In which areas can you write your thesis?

Health Informatics as a discipline is quite broad and our students do their thesis work in very different areas such as: design and development of digital solutions, usability and user experience evaluation, digital health implementation processes, integration and interoperability including health informatics standardization, and artificial intelligence.

As a student, how can you best prepare for the thesis course?

The master thesis is an opportunity to apply the knowledge that you have gained throughout the program but also a great opportunity to prepare for your future.

- What subjects during the program appeal most to you?
- Do you want to work in the tech industry, at a healthcare provider, or do research in the field?
- Do you want to gather some more experience in another country and do your thesis abroad?
These are some questions that you might want to reflect upon yourself. It will help you finding a topic and environment that fits your needs.

Do some literature research once you have decided your topic so you get an overview of related work and can pinpoint the specific problem you want to tackle. The most common mistake is that students try to grasp too broad. They want to solve many problems, but that’s just not feasible to do in the context of a master thesis. Look at previous master theses to get a feeling for what is expected.

What is your most important piece of advice for our year 1 students, who will be starting their thesis work next year?

Do not panic! Chose a topic that really interests you and you will do a good job! Apart from that: Read the instructions and engage in the different seminars that are offered during the course to discuss your progress with your peers.

We have all been students once upon a time. How do you remember your own thesis work and what did you write about?

My own thesis work was the reason I went to Sweden. I had no previous relation to Sweden and getting there in the middle of a dark and rainy November was perhaps not the best first encounter to wish for. “I can cope with this for half a year”, I said to myself. In fact, it was the start of an exciting and challenging journey working with the world leading dental informatics researchers at that time.

My own thesis work consisted of developing algorithms to assess the quality of digital intraoral radiographs automatically. I stayed longer than the planned six months and those who want to read more about my journey can look it up in the International Journal on Biomedicine and Healthcare.


Mathilde Sengoelge, Course leader, HEPM

You are the course leader of Degree Project in Medical Management at HEPM. Can you briefly describe what the thesis process looks like?

The process of writing the thesis consists of the following 4 key deliverables:

  1. Thesis proposal - early December, to share the area of interest, name of supervisor, preliminary title of thesis, and significance, motivation for the proposed study. 
  2. Project plan - early February, to obtain an overview over the thesis project and to set a clear and realistic plan for the duration of the master thesis project.
  3. Half-time report - mid March, to ensure progress and meet the needs of any revision of the data collection or any other aspects of the study design. The appropriateness of planned methods for data analysis and any problems encountered will also be discussed during the seminar.
  4. Final master thesis, with an oral examination for each student to demonstrate the knowledge gained within the chosen topic, application of relevant research methods, and the relevance for the field.

In which areas can you write your thesis?

A LIME thesis can be performed in Health economics, Health systems and policy or Health and medical care management.

As a student, how can you best prepare for the thesis course?

Preparation for the thesis course is reflecting ahead of time on what topics might interest you, what design you want to do (qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods), and reaching out to potential supervisors to ask if that person would be a match for the topic of interest.

What is your most important piece of advice for our year 1 students, who will be starting their thesis work next year?

My advice would be to have the courage to ask for peer review of your thesis work as it evolves over time in order to be able to hear constructive feedback to improve your research writing orally and in writing.

We have all been students once upon a time. How do you remember your own thesis work and what did you write about?

My Master thesis at Hopkins focused on resources for injury prevention in a global health setting. What I remember is that looking at theses completed made the thesis project look easy, but the process opened my eyes to the non-linear process of research, in which I experienced the 'roller coaster' of highs and lows related to the complexity of research in addressing the social determinants of health.