James Beal, Ph.D. is a professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine, where he directs and teaches medical students the required clinical epidemiology course and research projects. His primary teaching focus has been on developing and fostering medical students’ understanding and interest in clinical research. Dr. Beal obtained his PhD in Educational Administration from University of North Dakota. He also received a master of public administration and bachelor of business administration from the University of North Dakota.
Dr. Beal has mentored and authored numerous peer-reviewed publications and presentations. He has authored and secured more than $2.7 million in federal grants to expand and improve teaching and education programs. Dr. Beal has served on numerous Primary Care Training Grant Peer Review Panels, including serving as Chair of an Academic Administrative Units in Primary Care Panel. He has served as a peer-reviewer for several journals including Obstetrics & Gynecology, Family Medicine, and the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved. Dr. Beal is a member of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine and currently serves on their Research Committee.
Course Director & Lecturer
MED 8101-8104. Clinical Epidemiology. 2 credits
Clinical Epidemiology is a required third-year course that consists of students developing and conducting a clinical research project. The goal of this course is to develop an understanding of clinical research. The course is designed to give students an opportunity, which they previously may not have had, to investigate a topic of interest. All medical students are required to formulate a research question; design a study; utilize a CDC secondary dataset; test and/or verify their research question; present their findings; and complete a written report. This course is different than the traditional mentored research in that, students generate the idea and are the principal investigators, while under guidance and support of faculty from the Department of Family and Community Medicine, Medical Education and campuses.
It is hoped this early exposure to research will encourage students to undertake research projects during residency and while in practice.
Educational Goal: Develop an Understanding of Clinical Research
Course Learning Objectives:
On completion of this course and its assignments, the student should be able to:
- Formulate a research question
- Identify and evaluate basic study designs (e.g., descriptive, cross-sectional, case-control, cohort) used in observational epidemiology
- Design an observational epidemiology study
- Understand the Institutional Review Board (Human Subjects Review) process
- Understand and utilize CDC national secondary datasets
- Recognize appropriate analysis and interpret results to answer a research question
- Present research findings in a useful and readable manner, including clear and concise tables
- Write a research manuscript
- Formulate a research question on a topic of personal interest and curiosity
- Conceptualize and design a observational clinical research project to answer the research question
- Complete the CITI on-line IRB education/research ethics course
- Obtain approval from the IRB at the University of North Dakota, if necessary
- Utilize the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS) or the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS) for data collection
- Use appropriate statistical analysis output data to determine the study findings
- Develop a presentation of the study to be given to the class
- Write a manuscript of the study in IMRAD format
-Olig E, Mountain S, Beal JR, Sahmoun AE. Race and Length of Time Pursuing Pregnancy Among Women Who Utilized Medical Help to Get Pregnant. Journal of Family and Reproductive Health. 2019 Sept;13(3): 146-153.
-Richards L, Hopkins N, Colwell N, Sahmoun AE, Beal JR. The Association Between Patient Visit Demographics and Opioid Analgesic Received in the Emergency Department. Cureus. 2019 Sept 17; 11(9): e5678. doi:10.7759/cureus.5678.
-Jacobs D, MD, Gokey R, Beal JR. Impact of Long-Distance Travel on Rhegmatogenous Retinal Detachment Presentation and Outcome in Rural North Dakota. Journal of VitreoRetinal Diseases. 2019, Vol. 3(4) 229-234. https://doi.org/10.1177/2474126419854282. Epub 2019 June 25
-Klinkhammer B, Gruchalla M. Is There an Association Between Heparin-Induced Thrombocytopenia (HIT) and Autoimmune Disease? WMJ. 2018 Mar;117(1):13-17.
-Best LG, Lunday L, Webster E, Falcon GR, Beal JR. Pre-eclampsia and Risk of Subsequent Hypertension: In an American Indian Population. Hypertension in Pregnancy. 2017 May;36(2):131-137. doi: 10.1080/10641955.2016.1250905. Epub 2016 Dec 21.
-Hellekson, C., Larson, G., Poswilko, S., Beal, J., Sahmoun, A. and Russo, J.K. On the Association between Travel Distance and Treatment Choice for Low-Risk Prostate Cancer: Results from a Rural State. Journal of Cancer Therapy, 7, 656-664. http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/jct.2016.79068. Epub 2016 September 21
-Frenette A, Morrell J, Bjella K, Fogarty E, Beal J, Chaudhary V. Do Diametric Measurements Provide Sufficient and Reliable Tumor Assessment? An Evaluation of Diametric, Areametric, and Volumetric Variability of Lung Lesion Measurements on Computerized Tomography Scans. Journal of Oncology, 2015:1-6; 2015:632943. doi: 10.1155/2015/632943. Epub 2015 May 10.
-Selid PD, Jundt MC, Fortney AC, Beal JR. Intravitreal bevacizumab and aflibercept for the treatment of exudative age-related macular degeneration. Ophthalmic Surgery, Lasers and Imaging Retina. 2014 Jul 1;45(4):275-81. doi: 10.3928/23258160-20140709-03.
-Johnson EL, Beal, JR. Impact of a comprehensive smoke-free law following a partial smoke-free law on incidence of heart attacks at a rural community hospital. Nicotine & Tobacco Research. 2013 Mar;15(3):745-7. doi: 10.1093/ntr/nts216. Epub 2012 Sep 27.
-Leigh D, Eken J, Beal JR, Ganti AK, Sahmoun AE.Statins use and risk for brain metastasis from lung cancer. Cancer Invest. 2011 Feb;29(1):68-72. Epub 2010 Sep 27.
-Martin E, Miller M, Krebsbach L, Beal JR, Schwartz GG, Sahmoun AE. Serum calcium levels are elevated among women with untreated postmenopausal breast cancer. Cancer Causes Control. 2010 Feb;21(2):251-7. Epub 2009 Oct 24.
-Eaton M, Eklof J, Beal JR, Sahmoun AE. Statins and breast cancer in postmenopausal women without hormone therapy. Anticancer Res. 2009 Dec;29(12):5143-8.
-Magura L, Blanchard R, Hope B, Beal JR, Schwartz GG, Sahmoun AE. Hypercholesterolemia and prostate cancer: a hospital-based case-control study. Cancer Causes Control. 2008 Dec;19(10):1259-66. Epub 2008 Aug 13.
-Harms S, Larson R, Sahmoun AE, Beal JR. Obesity increases the likelihood of total joint replacement surgery among younger adults. International Orthopaedics. 2007 February; 31(1): 23-26. Epub 2006 May 11.
-Folden DV, Machayya JA, Sahmoun AE, Beal JR, Holzman GS, Helgerson, SD, Lo TS. Estimating the proportion of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus that is community-associated: two definitions yield dramatically different estimates. Journal of Hospital Infection. 2005 August; 60(4):329-332.
-Moore J, Zelen D, Hafeez I, Ganti AK, Beal J, Potti A. Risk-awareness of cutaneous malignancies among rural populations. Medical Oncology. 2003 Winter; 20(4):369-73.
-Howe C, Paschall C, Panwalkar A, Beal J, Potti A. A model for clinical estimation of perioperative hemorrhage. Clinical & Applied Thrombosis/Hemostasis. 2003 Apr;9(2):131-5.
-Hartz MB, Beal JR. Patients' Attitudes and Comfort Levels Regarding Medical Students Involvement in Obstetrics and Gynecology Outpatient Clinics. Academic Medicine, 2000 Oct; 75(10):1010-1014.
-McCulloch K, Dahl S, Johnson S, Burd L, Klug MG, Beal JR. Prevalence of SIDS risk factors: before and after the Aback to sleep@ campaign in North Dakota Caucasian and American Indian infants. Clinical Pediatrics, 2000 Jul; 39(7):403-10.
-Beal, JR, Burd, L., Dahl, S., Klug, M.G., McCulloch, K. Family Physicians vs. Obstetricians. Differences in Cesarean Section Rates and Indications in Rural North Dakota. North Dakota Journal of Human Services, 1999 Dec; 4(2): 10-15.
National Peer-Reviewed Presentations
-Gokey R, Beal JR, Sipma K, Nelson D, Leonard K, Jacobs D (Poster). Patient Travel Distance and Rhegmatogenous Retinal Detachment Outcomes In Rural North Dakota. Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Annual Meeting, Seattle, WA. May 1-5, 2016.
-Traynor MD, Torrison J, Hallanger-Johnson JE, Newman DW, Beal JR (Poster). Clinical Performance and Utility of Afirma GEC in a Community Hospital Practice. Endocrine Society Annual Meeting, Boston, MA, April 1-4, 2016.
-LaBore B, Fowler Z, Beal JR (Poster). Association between distance from a comprehensive cancer care center and stage at diagnosis and treatment modality in a rural population of men with prostate cancer. American Medical Student Association’s Annual Convention, Washington, D.C., March 31-April 3, 2016.
-Best LG, Laramie L, Webster E, Beal JR (Poster). Pre-eclampsia and Risk of Subsequent Hypertension: An American Indian Population. American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Epidemiology and Prevention/Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health 2016 Scientific Sessions, Phoenix, AZ, March 1-4, 2016.
-Genereux AD, Parker C, Beal JR (Poster). The Relationship Between Insurance Status & Stage at Diagnosis of Melanoma. 38th Annual Southeastern Consortium for Dermatology: What’s Old Is New, Charlottesville, VA. November 7-9, 2014.
-Jethwa K, Settergren B, Berg B, Beal JR (Poster). Association between travel distance to a comprehensive cancer center and breast cancer stage, treatment, and outcomes in a rural state. 12th Annual American Association of Cancer Research International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research, National Harbor, MD. October 27-30, 2013
-Carpenter N, Lohstreter SK, Cho MY, Beal JR (Poster). Association between statin use and risk of developing cataracts. Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Annual Meeting, Seattle, WA. May 5-9, 2013.
-Lalich IJ, Herman ND, Beal JR, Sahmoun AE (Poster). Factors Associated with Re-Intervention Following Endovascular Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair in a Community Hospital. Society for Vascular Med.,21st Annual Scientific Sessions Meeting, Cleveland, Ohio, April 28-May 2, 2010.
-Magura L, Blanchard R, Hope B, Beal JR and Sahmoun AE (Poster). Association Between Hypercholesterolemia and Prostate Cancer: A Case-control Study, 2004-2006. Society for Epidemiologic Research 40th Annual Meeting, Boston MA, June 19–22, 2007.
-Beal JR, Schauer R, Larson D, Bittner H, Martin C. Utilizing Internet-based Videoconferencing to Teach Students at Rural, State-wide Family Medicine Clerkship Sites. Society of Teachers of Family Medicine 31st Annual Predoctoral Education Conference, Albuquerque, NM. January 27-30, 2005.
-Beal JR, Holzman G (Poster). A Curriculum for Medical Student Clinical Research. Society of Teachers of Family Medicine 38th Annual Spring Conference, New Orleans, LA. April 30-May 4, 2005.
-Beal JR, Holzman G, Mann W, Helgerson SD. A Longitudinal Curriculum for Medical Student Clinical Research. Society of Teachers of Family Medicine 29th Annual Predoctoral Education Conference, Austin, TX. January 30-February 2, 2003.
-Schauer R, Beal JR. Two-years Later: Development of a Longitudinal, Rural Interdisciplinary, Predoctoral Curriculum. Society of Teachers of Family Medicine 29th Annual Predoctoral Education Conference, Austin, TX. January 30-February 2, 2003.
-Mann W, Tsuchiya M, Beal J. Secure Handheld Computer Data Synchronization of Students’ Clinical Experience from Remote Sites Via the Internet: Problems and Solutions. Society of Teachers of Family Medicine 28th Annual Predoctoral Education Conference, Tampa, FL. February 1-4, 2002.
-Mann W, Tsuchiya T, Beal, J. Using Personal Digital Assistants to Monitor Medical Students’ Clinical Experiences and Patient Management. Society of Teachers of Family Medicine 27th Annual Predoctoral Educ. Conf., Long Beach, CA. February 1-4, 2001.
Ph. D.-Educational Administration-University of North Dakota
M.P.A.-Public Administration-University of North Dakota
B.B.A.-Management-University of North Dakota
1. Center of Excellence in Women’s Health Region VIII Demonstration Project
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health, CFDA 93.896
P.I.: Elizabeth A. Burns, MD, MA & James R. Beal, PhD
Role: Author; Administration and Evaluation
September 30, 2004 – September 29, 2007
2. Interactive Video Education to Remote FM Teaching Sites
Predoctoral Grant in Family Medicine, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Service Administration, Bureau of Health Professions, CFDA 93.896
P.I.: Roger W. Schauer, MD & James R. Beal, PhD
Role: Author; Administration and Evaluation
July 1, 2003 – June 30, 2007, No-cost extension 2006-07
3.Rural Opportunities in Medical Education (ROME) II
Academic Administrative Units in Primary Care Grant, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Service Administration, Bureau of Health Professions, CFDA 93.984
P.I.: Roger W. Schauer, MD (Year 2 & 3) Williams Mann, MD (Year 1)
Role: Author, Administration and Evaluation
September 1, 2001 – August 30, 2005
4.Evidence-based Residency Curriculum
Residency Training in Primary Care Grant, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Service Administration, Bureau of Health Professions, CFDA 93.884
P.I.: William Mann, M.D.
Role: Co-author; Administration
July 1, 2002 – April 4, 2005
5.Evidence-based Medicine Approach to Medical Education & Clinical Care
Predoctoral Grant in Family Medicine, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Service Administration, Bureau of Health Professions
P.I.: James R. Beal, Ph.D (Year 3 &4) Williams Mann, MD (Years 1-2)
Role: Author, Administration and Curriculum Development
July 1, 1999–June 30, 2003
6. Faculty Development in Family Medicine (IVN)
Faculty Development Grant in Family Medicine. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Service Administration, Bureau of Health Professions, CFDA 93.895
P.I.: Clayton Jensen, MD
Role: Editor and Budget Preparation
July 1, 1992 – June 30, 1994
7. EMT/ECT Services Outreach
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Service Administration, Bureau of Health Care Delivery and Assistance, Rural Health Outreach Grant
P.I.: Dale Severson
July 1, 1991 – June 30, 1994
7. American Indian Culture in Family Medicine
Predoctoral Grant in Family Medicine-Continuation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Service Administration, Bureau of Health Professions, CFDA 93.896
P.I.: Clayton Jensen, MD
Role: Editor and Budget Preparation
July 1 1991 - June 30, 1994
Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Research Committee, 2017-
University of North Dakota
Student Relations Committee, 2013-
University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences
Medical Curriculum Committee, 2016-
Biomedical and Health Sciences Curriculum Committee, 2015-
Department of Family and Community Medicine
Committee on Promotion and Tenure, 2009-