To start off, neurology is the study of the brain and nervous system and is used to diagnose and treat disorders and diseases. Neurology is split into two main divisions: the central nervous system, which includes the brain and nervous system, and the peripheral nervous system, which includes the other sensory receptors, such as the eyes, skin, ears etc. A neurologist typically treats coordination problems, muscle weakness, a change in sensation, confusion, dizziness and many other neurological problems. Neurologists do not, however, perform surgery.
If surgery is required for treatment, the patient is referred to a neurosurgeon. Usually, neurologists work alone, but on occasion will work with other neurologists and/or the patient’s physician. In order to be a successful neurologist, certain skills and abilities are needed. For example, because neurologists are responsible for diagnosing their patients, they must be able to analyze data as accurately as possible. They also need to have good communication skills because neurologists need to be able to listen to their patient attentively in order to give a precise diagnosis. Certain abilities that are needed include the ability to apply concepts of neurological medicine and have enough stamina to carry them through long hours and work under pressure.The typical neurologist has at least four years of education in a college or university. Afterwards, they go to medical school for four years and graduate with either an MD or a DO degree.
The next step would be to take a one-year internship in internal medicine or surgery, then have at least three years of specialty training at an accredited neurology residency program. Once all of the above is completed a neurologist can either seek out additional training on a specific part of neurology or can immediately start their career as a junior neurologist.To practice neurology in Virginia several things that need to be done first.
An application must be completed and turned in along with a fee of $302 to the Virginia Board of Medicine. Also, if you took the USMLE, Flex, LMCC or a state examination, your scores must be submitted directly from the Federation of State Medical Boards to the Virginia Board of Medicine. The Board must also have your official medical school transcript along with a list of all residencies, internships, fellowships, employment/unemployment, affiliations, private practices, observations and volunteer services since your graduation from medical school. Once these have been submitted and reviewed by the Board, then you may legally practice neurology in Virginia.
A large majority of neurologists work either solo or in a larger group of physicians. They work near hospitals and are allowed to treat patients there or refer them to other hospital-based neurologists and neurosurgeons. The work environment is usually stressful and requires them to work 60+ hours. Job opportunities are good, especially in more rural areas due to the fact that more people would rather work in the cities. On top of that, the pay is great. The salary of an entry level neurologist is around $209,394 and steadily rises with more experience. Even the job outlook is above average.
As the current generation gets older, neurology is expected to grow 13.42% by 2018. For more information, the American Academy of Neurology, at 201 Chicago Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55415.