Clinical Epidemiology

Epidemiology--a course taken by third-year medical students at UND--is the branch of medicine that deals with the incidence, distribution, and possible control of diseases and other factors relating to health.

See the novel research produced by epidemiology students at UND

Third-year Medical Student Clinical Research Project

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:

  1. Formulate a research question
  2. Identify and evaluate basic study designs (e.g., descriptive, cross-sectional, case-control, cohort) used in observational epidemiology
  3. Design an observational epidemiology study
  4. Understand the Institutional Review Board (Human Subjects Review) process
  5. Understand and utilize CDC national secondary datasets
  6. Recognize appropriate analysis and interpret results to answer a research question
  7. Present research findings in a useful and readable manner, including clear and concise tables
  8. Write a research manuscript

Course Activities:
Students will:

  1. Formulate a research question on a topic of personal interest and curiosity
  2. Conceptualize and design a observational clinical research project to answer the research question
  3. Complete the CITI on-line IRB education/research ethics course
  4. Obtain approval from the IRB at the University of North Dakota, if necessary
  5. 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
  6. Use appropriate statistical analysis output data to determine the study findings
  7. Develop a presentation of the study to be given to the class
  8. Write a manuscript of the study in IMRAD format



James R. Beal, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Family & Community Medicine, RM E172
University of North Dakota School of Medicine
1301 North Columbia Rd, Stop 9037
Grand Forks, ND 58202-9037
701-777-3849 fax

Copyright © James R. Beal, 2010