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What Does A Neurologist Do?

Males doctor examining brain MR

Learn About Being a Neurologist

Neurologists are doctors who specialize in the brain and nervous system. They can provide essential care to patients with neurological conditions, such as epilepsy and multiple sclerosis, which affect over 100 million Americans.

Neurologists also treat traumatic injuries to the head or spine, like concussions and spinal cord injuries.

As a person who loves learning about all things health-related (including my own!), I’m always curious about what different professions entail from an average day at work. So when I discovered there were neurologists out there helping people manage their neurological needs, it was only natural that I became interested in what they actually do on a daily basis! Here’s everything you need to know about being a neurologist:

Typical salary

A neurologist’s annual salary varies depending on their specialty and experience, as well as the location of their practice. The average annual salary for a practicing neurologist is around $216,000, though it can range from approximately $180,000 to more than $300,000 depending upon factors such as experience and education.

Neurologist requirements

  • A high school diploma or GED is required.
  • Four years of college are next, which include courses in biology and chemistry.
  • Four years of medical school are next, including classes in anatomy and physiology, biochemistry, microbiology and pharmacology.
  • A residency program consists of a minimum of one year; some programs require two years or more. During this time, residents train under seasoned physicians to learn firsthand how to diagnose and treat patients with various conditions within their specialty area. After completion of your neurologist requirements you must pass written board exams before receiving a license to practice medicine as a physician assistant in your state/country/province etc.

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Neurologist work environment

  • Neurologists work in a variety of environments, including hospitals and clinics. They also may choose to work in private practice.
  • Neurologist are also found in outpatient clinics.

Most neurologists specialize in treating adults, but some also treat kids.

Most neurologists specialize in treating adults, but some also treat kids. The pediatric neurology subspecialty is one of the fastest growing in medicine. Pediatric neurologists treat children with brain disorders and other nervous system problems, such as headaches and epilepsy.

Neurologists use a variety of tests to diagnose conditions.

Neurologists use a myriad of tests to diagnose conditions. These can be simple or complex, performed in a doctor’s office or hospital, and performed by the neurologist or by a technician. Some tests are used to rule out certain conditions while others help confirm them. Some tests are routine while others are only necessary if certain symptoms are present.

Here is an overview of some common tests used by neurologists:

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Not every neurologist treats all conditions affecting the nervous system.

Not every neurologist treats all conditions affecting the nervous system. Some specialize in treating patients with epilepsy, stroke, or certain types of headache. Others may concentrate on multiple sclerosis (MS) and other autoimmune disorders that affect the brain and spinal cord. A few work in research or teach at medical schools.

Neurologists generally do not perform surgery or prescribe medications; however, some neurologists specialize in diagnostic procedures such as cat scans and can prescribe medications when necessary.

There are many different careers within neurology.

There are many different careers within neurology. You can work in hospitals, clinics, private practice and research labs. Some neurologists are also neurosurgeons and treat both the brain and spinal cord.

If you want to specialize in treating a specific condition or group of patients (e.g., children) you will have to complete extra training after your residency program is completed so that you get board certification in that area.

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Knowing more about what neurologists do can help you make informed decisions about your health care.

Finding a good neurologist is an important part of getting the right diagnosis and treatment.

  • Neurologists treat diseases of the brain and nervous system. They can be general or specialized in their area of practice—for example, pediatric neurologists treat children with neurological problems; neurosurgeons perform surgery on patients with neurological disorders; movement disorder specialists manage patients who have movement problems like Parkinson’s disease or dystonia (a movement disorder causing abnormal muscle contractions).
  • You may choose to see any type of neurologist depending on your situation and needs, but if you are interested in seeing one that specializes in pain management, you should ask your primary care doctor for a recommendation for such specialists within their office network so that it’s convenient for you to get referrals when needed.*
  • Because there are so many different types of neurological conditions out there, it’s important that you find someone who can relate well with yours! For those who suffer from chronic pain due to back problems or arthritis might benefit most from seeing an orthopedic surgeon because these doctors specialize in treating joint pain specifically caused by arthritis related issues like disc degeneration or osteoarthritis which could improve quality-of-life significantly if treated properly (especially since many people suffer silently due to lack knowledge/understanding about how they got here).


So, what does a neurologist do? The answer is: it depends. The specialty is divided into different subspecialties, and different doctors have different preferences. So this list isn’t exhaustive (nor should it be!). But if you want to get started on your own research, it might help to know that the most common diseases treated by neurologists include:



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