The Medical Specialty of Neurology

The Medical Specialty of Neurology

If you’re considering a career in medicine, you might be curious in what a neurologist does and what educational training is required to become one. A neurologist is a licensed and board certified physician that has a medical degree, either an MD or DO, who treats problems with a persons nervous system and brain. Neurology can be defines as the study of the neurological system. To become a neurologist, you’ll need a lot of schooling and training.

What does a Neurologist do?

A neurologist provides direct treatment to patients, diagnosing and treating disorders with the brain and neurological system. They may propose surgical intervention.  Neurologists do not perform brain surgery, but will refer patients to a Neurosurgeon for surgical evaluation.  Neurologists may operate in collaboration with other doctors in additional to seeing patients. 

Why would a person see a neurologist?

Patients may visit neurologists if they are experiencing symptoms of a condition, are ill, or have had trauma to the head. Some of the most common conditions that people see Neurologist for are:

  • Headeaches 
  • Brain injuries
  • spinal cord injuries
  • Epilepsy
  • MS
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease

A neurologist may also be consulted by patients who have suffered strokes.

What types of testing does a neurologist do to help make a diagnosis?

A neurologist uses a variety of methods to diagnose patients. They always take the complete patient’s medical history and, in some cases, administer tests to determine how well the patient is mentally functioning. Assessing a patient’s cognitive ability, speech or memory, eyesight, balance, reflexes, coordination, or strength are examples of such tests. A neurologist is a doctor who specializes in conducting tests to aid in the diagnosis of patients.

An EEG, a CT scan, a lumbar puncture, or an MRI are some of the most typical diagnostics a neurologist might perform. They may also advise their patients to undergo sleep testing. Because it’s crucial to retain well-organized records on patients and be able to evaluate your results, a neurologist should be excellent in communication, critical thinking, and attention to detail. You’ll also have to convey your findings to patients, colleagues, and in some cases, as part of continuing neurological medical research.

Neurologists must undergo extensive training.

The neurological system and the brain are extremely complex, and diagnosing and treating patients with these issues requires a highly experienced and well-trained clinician. As a result, neurologists spend a significant amount of time in school. After earning your bachelor’s degree, you should expect on spending at least eight years in education and training to become a neurologist. This will most likely require attending med school for 4 years, followed by a one-year internship, and then 3 years of study in a neurology residency  After neurology residency, there are subspecialties that one could consider going into that are highly competitive to get into and are called Fellowships.

For a more in depth information, please check out this article about Neurologists