A neurologist is a medical specialist who works in the field of neurology, or the study of the nervous system. Neurologists diagnoses neural disease and disorders in hospitals and clinics throughout the world. They use complex machinery such as MRIs, EEGs and CAT scans to determine abnormalities of the spine, brain, nerves and muscles, and then make patient treatment plans to address and cure the problems. With so much complex information involved in the field of practice, the field of neurology requires a substantial amount of years of schooling and experience before a doctor can enter the workforce.
The first 4 years of becoming a neurologist consists of undergraduate work. This can be done at any four year college or university. Most neurology candidates choose pre-medicine or biology majors to increase their chances of getting into medical school.
The next 4 years of becoming a neurologist consist of medical school. Medical school is an intense educational experience that consists of in-depth classes and hands on experience in each of the different facets of general medicine. This can range from general anatomy and physiology, to specific classes such as pathology, immunology, bio-ethics and pediatrics.
After graduation from medical school, a residency in a hospital is required to use the skills that you have learned in medical school. The first year of this residency is usually spent in general medicine.
After a year in general medicine residency, a doctor can choose to move to a residency that specializes in neurology. This residency will continue for another 3 years. After the residency has been completed, the doctor can sit for the American Board of Medical Specialties exam. However, some doctors choose to stay in the residency for an additional 1 or 2 years. This brings the full amount of time needed to become a neurologist to at least 12 years. But it can sometimes take as much as 14 years to become a neurologist.