James Scholar Program Handbook
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Philosophy of an Honors Program
The aim of an honors program is to challenge the best students to the limits of their capacity by matching them with experienced faculty who share their interests. Encouragement and opportunity are needed to assure that the brightest students will be challenged during their education in becoming competent physicians.
Philosophy of an Independent Study Program
Independent study allows the medical student the freedom to tailor their curriculum to their special needs, goals, desires or interests. It promotes the qualities of intellectual independence, self-motivation and scholarship and allows utilization of the widest range of possible resources.
One consequence may be the reduction of formal instruction in order to increase time available for self-directed study. Independent study offers the opportunity for unusually creative, imaginative and willing students to deviate from the standard path and pace of instruction; to develop a learning strategy that best suits the student's educational and research goals and interests.
This does not mean absence of all parameters and guidelines, but rather provides a means of liberation from the limitations imposed by a structured curriculum and an increased opportunity for self-directed learning. It attracts and supports students who learn best when goals and methods are self-derived.