How to Become a Neurologist
If you're interested in medicine and health then you might like to become a neurologist. Neurology is the study of illness and disease which affects the center, peripheral, and automatic nervous systems. A neurologist will diagnose and treat these diseases and their symptoms. There is an overlap between the field of neurology and psychiatry, as many of the diseases of the nervous systems have a psychological component, or often a psychological after-effect.
Dementia, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, movement disorders, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's are all examples of illnesses that would be diagnosed and treated by a neurologist.
Education Requirements to Become a Neurologist
A neurologist is a medical doctor that specializes in neurology. To become neurologist, you'll first need to become a medical doctor. If you're in high school, concentrate on getting good grades. Enter a four year bachelors degree in college that offers a good pre-medicine major.
After college you'll need to attend four years of medical school. Your acceptance into medical school will be based on your grade point average in college, an interview, and medical school examinations. In the first two years of medical school you'll complete theory, then in the later years have more of an opportunity to interact with patients.
After you graduate from medical school, you'll be able to take your exams to gain certification in your state. You'll then need to complete a one year internship at a hospital. to find out about certification requirements in your state, have a look at the Federation of State Medical Boards.
After your internship, you will need to complete a residency in neurology. This will take between 1 and 3 years to complete. After this you can apply to the American Board of Medical Specialties to become a certified neurologist.
Neurologist Job Description
A neurologist works with patients with diseases of the nervous system, usually affecting the brain and spine. A neurologist's job begins when they are referred a patient, usually by another doctor. They will study the patient's history and any previous test results.
Usually, there is then an initial consultation with a patient. They may perform a range of tests, including CAT and MRI scans. Other tests may be as simple as the patient solving puzzles or answering questions. The results will form part of a diagnosis.
After the neurologist has formed a diagnosis, they will then design a treatment plan for a patient. Some disorders can be cured, others can only be managed. A treatment plan could involve pharmacy drugs, changes to diet, mental activity such as crosswords, further sessions with a neurologist, or a referral to a specialist such as a neuropsychiatrist.
Here are some of the tasks of a neurologist:
- Examining patient records
- Meeting with a patient
- Performing a range of tests
- Ordering other tests and scans
- Forming a diagnosis
- Preparing a treatment plan
- Communicating with other medical staff
Neurologist Salary and Career Path
Most neurologists work within hospitals, where they are referred patients internally, or from other medical doctors. Some work in consulting rooms, which they may share with other practitioners.
Once you become a neurologist, you may choose to complete a fellowship to gain a specialty in a particular area. You might also go on to complete other research work, or even publish papers as to your findings. Some people in this field go on to supervisor's positions within a hospital, such as head of medicine, or head of research. Some in this field may go on to teach in a college or medical school.
Neurologists have the capacity to earn a high income. The median income for a doctor working in a field of specialty is $338,000 a year.
Medicine is a high growth area, so job opportunities in this field are set to be excellent. Those in rural areas will have better prospects than those in urban areas.
Some similar roles to that of neurologist include:
- Medical doctor
If you're looking for a challenging career in medicine that allows for plenty of patient contact, then you might like to become a neurologist. Although you'll spend plenty of years in school, after your graduate there is a very secure job available for you with an excellent salary.
*Salary Information provided by the Bureau Of Labor Statistics