Neurologist Job Description

neurologist with brain image

Neurologist with image of the brain.  Neurologists study disease and injury of the brain and nervous system.

A Neurologist is a specialized physician who takes care of the nervous system and the brain. The Neurologist job description is an interesting one because Neurology is a branch of medicine dealing with disorders of the nervous system. Physicians specializing in the field of neurology are called neurologists and are trained to diagnose, treat, and manage patients with neurological disorders.

Typical disorders and diseases of the nervous system and brain include multiple sclerosis, migraines, Parkinson's, and strokes.   They also treat traumatic brain injury and epilepsy. 

Most neurologists are trained to treat and diagnose adults with neurological disorders. Pediatric neurologists, nearly always a subspecialty of pediatrics, treat neurological disease in children. As part of the neurologist job description Neurologists may also be involved in clinical research, clinical trials, as well as basic research and translational research.

Physicians and surgeons serve a fundamental role in our society and have an effect upon all our lives. They diagnose illnesses and prescribe and administer treatment for people suffering from injury or disease. Physicians examine patients, obtain medical histories, and order, perform, and interpret diagnostic tests. They counsel patients on diet, hygiene, and preventive health care.

Working Environment

Working conditions are usually pleasant with the work environment being indoors in well lighted exam rooms and hospitals. Hours of work frequently exceed 60 hours a week in the busier practices. This typically can result in being awakened at all hours of the night and/or being asked to come in at irregular times to evaluate a patient.

Education and Training

Formal education and training requirements for physicians are among the most demanding of any occupation—4 years of undergraduate school, 4 years of medical school, and 3 to 8 years of internship and residency, depending on the specialty selected. A few medical schools offer combined undergraduate and medical school programs that last 6 rather than the customary 8 years.

Premedical students must complete undergraduate work in physics, biology, mathematics, English, and inorganic and organic chemistry. Students also take courses in the humanities and the social sciences. Some students volunteer at local hospitals or clinics to gain practical experience in the health professions.


Licensing and Credentialing

In all 50 states and the U.S. Territories Physicians are regulated. The usual method to be a credentialed and licensed family or general physician is: 
1) Possess the amount of training and/or a degree from an accredited school of medicine or osteopathy
2) Complete an accredited program of neurology 
3) Pass a national exam 
4) Apply for licensure in the state you wish to practice in

Important Points

Many physicians and surgeons work long, irregular hours; over one-third of full-time physicians worked 60 or more hours a week in 2004. 

Formal education and training requirements are among the most demanding of any occupation, but earnings are among the highest. 

Job opportunities should be very good, particularly in rural and low-income areas. 

New physicians are much less likely to enter solo practice and more likely to work as salaried employees of group medical practices, clinics, hospitals, or health networks




Career Progression

The outlook for physicians is projected to be very good. Significant shortages exist in rural and underserved areas. The trend towards group practices will provide opportunities for more doctors to hold positions of leadership and authority. This still remains one of the best paying professions in the healthcare industry. 

Resources for Neurologists Job Description:

Neurologist Job description  Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.

American Academy of Neurology® 

› Neurologist

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