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Monday, March 11, 2013

The difference between a scholar and a learner

When one considers the dichotomy between a learner and a scholar, one has to identify the similarities as well as the differences. The two individuals, the learner and the scholar, are both interested in academic learning either it be in the social sciences, natural sciences, humanities and even in the mathematics and engineering subdivisions. The difference between the two is that the learner is one who finding out the basics of a particular subject matter or one who learns from articles written by scholars. Scholars are lifelong academics whose passion for learning is manifested through research, collaboration with other scholars in the field of interest, particularly in psychology. Scholars are individual who plow through the body of knowledge and add new information through active research, asking and answering questions that have manifested through past research.

There is a quote by Donald Foster that comes to mind, “No one who cannot rejoice in the discovery of his own mistakes deserves to be called a scholar.” What does this mean? What is the importance of such a statement? Scholars conduct research on a regular basis in the form of qualitative research methods or quantitative research methods. During the process of data acquisition, there will be times where ones’ hypothesis will not be supported by data, forcing one to accept the null hypothesis. Now, just because one’s hypothesis was not supported by data does not necessarily mean one failed, but means that the variables must be reconsidered. This means that research scholars can now retrench and reconsider a new question to ask, or to address any errors committed in the methodology of the research. 

As a dual M.D & Ph.D learner, I am fascinated with ability to intertwine scholarly research and studies as I plow through this Ph.D program and at the same time finish up my last months of my M.D program. My interest is to go into Psychiatry and then specialize in Trauma. I would like to take advantage of the clinical data and then conduct research on the variables that influence the recuperation of trauma patients in regards to their mental health, or any variables that can reduce the healing time or antagonize it entirely. Scholars are individuals who love to learn, who are interested in conducting a life-long work on research and contributing the body of knowledge. The learners learn from the works of scholars , the scholars are those who champion research and claim new knowledge through research.

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