A neurologist’s career is quite challenging and allows you to conduct an in-depth study of the human nervous system. The following article provides information regarding the educational qualifications and job description of a neurologist.
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For further specialization in neurology, you can also pursue an additional fellowship program after the residency.
The realm of medicine is quite widespread, with its branches covering almost all the ailments affecting the body. Neurology is one such branch, which treats problems related to the nervous system. This medical specialty deals with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, and disorders of the human nervous system, which includes the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves. Hence, a neurologist’s job description involves treating patients who suffer from brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy, coma, encephalitis, migraines, meningitis, sleep disorders, strokes, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, neuromuscular diseases, speech and language impediments, etc. They perform various tests like MRI, spinal tap, ultrasound of the head and neck, and CAT scan to diagnose or rule out a potential health problem. Becoming a neurologist holds a high degree of responsibility in terms of the patient’s treatment and aftercare. Since the nature of work can be quite taxing and may also require long hours of working, the aspiring candidate needs to be physically as well as mentally fit. A neurologist’s career involves a lot of challenges and responsibilities. Here is a brief guide about the educational requirements to become a neurologist.
» In order to become a neurologist, one should obtain a bachelor’s degree in science. The candidate may specialize in streams like biology or chemistry. Some medical schools may also focus on basic courses like physics, chemistry (both organic and inorganic), and zoology for a bachelor’s degree. A master’s degree is an added advantage.
» After the completion of the four years of graduation studies, the candidate has to appear for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) to get accepted into a medical college. After four years of extensive study, a medical degree is awarded. The candidate can then apply for an internship of at least one year in any hospital, which has a neurology department.
» Once the candidate has completed the internship, he can apply for a residency program, where he will specialize in a certain area of study related to neurology. This residency program will continue for at least three years.
» On the completion of studies, in order to practice as a professional neurologist, the candidate will have to apply for a license. For this, he will have to undertake oral as well as written tests conducted by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). A certificate from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Inc. (ABPN) is also necessary, if you want to set up your own practice.
Neurologists can set up a private practice or offer their services in hospitals. As the job of a neurologist is a challenging one, the remuneration offered is quite satisfactory. This is one of the highest paid jobs with a wide range of salary. The average salary of a neurologist on an annual basis can range from $150,000 to $220,000. The annual salary may get raised to about $300,000, based on the experience and expertise.
Apart from the degree, in order to be a successful neurologist, one must possess qualities like compassion, self motivation, and a decisive nature. If you are fascinated with the working of the nervous system, and love taking up challenges, then this is the right career for you. Wish you luck!