Neurology is an important field that studies and manages a wide spectrum of diseases and conditions affecting the brain and the nervous system. According to Ruham Nasany, M.D, neurology is a popular and ever-growing field that focuses on learning skills in medicine, technology, and even engineering.
A neurologist is a medical doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating, and managing disorders and conditions like:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Headache and nerve pain
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Movement disorders
While many of these conditions used to be managed by neurologists, overtime the field bloomed tremendously and many subspecialities branched out attracting more graduates and medical students to it, Ruham Nasany says. The question is: How to become a neurologist? Today’s article will discuss the educational requirements and skills required. Read on!
Becoming a neurologist starts with college. You need to graduate from a 4-year college or university. Doctors generally and neurologists particularly advise that you work or volunteer in a medical field related position. According to Ruham Nasany, medical schools in the U.S, Canada, UK, and Australia are highly competitive and it is never too early to do your research and start to learn about the acceptance requirements of the medical schools you are interested in.
You must submit your transcripts and scores from the MCAT and letters of recommendation to enter a medical institution.
In addition to the transcripts and MCAT scores, a medical school evaluates your personality, interests, life experience, and leadership skills. Your admission interview conducted by the admission committee carries a significant weight as well.
Medical school is 4-year long. The first two years of medical school are considered the preclinical years. In those two years, you will go through science training where you learn about basic medical concepts, the structure and functions of the body, diseases, diagnoses, and treatment concepts. Classes in pharmacology, anatomy, biochemistry, medicine laws, and healthcare ethics are common, but the curriculum varies to
The last two years are the clinical years and involve working with experienced physicians one-on-one or in a team setting in hospitals and clinical environments to achieve hands-on experience. You will work in different departments including internal medicine, pediatrics, surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, neurology, and psychiatry. Ruham Nasany advises that you explore your desired speciality early in medical school whether through choosing to spend elective time in these specialities or through extracurricular opportunities such as specialty interest groups.
Essential Skills Needed
Improving your clinical and interpersonal skills is essential to becoming a successful neurologist. According to Ruham Nasany, being a successful neurologist starts with working on achieving excellent communication skills. Neurological conditions often alter the patients’ lives and listening to them is the first step to establishing a good relationship.
Keeping an open mind is another skill a successful neurologist needs. Many of the diseases a neurologist encounters can take a long time and a lot of effort to get diagnosed. Providing the patients with appropriate and evidence-based care to alleviate their pain and suffering while working on getting answers to the etiology is crucial. Jumping to conclusions early in the process can cause significant harm.
Leadership skills in neurology are essential to streamline teamwork and manage a staff of health professionals. Organizational skills will allow you to align medical procedures and management in a hospital environment to simplify corporate strategies and operations.
Moreover, patience is key in medicine in general, but more so in neurology because you will have to work for prolonged periods and provide treatment to patients that require special attention. Remember, this includes taking care of your health and boosting your physical stamina.
Furthermore, Ruham Nasany recommends focusing on your problem-solving skills to evaluate patients’ symptoms, analyze critical situations, and administer evidence-based and tailored treatments. Problem-solving skills are directly proportional to improving a patient’s wellbeing.
Average Annual Salary
According to the Medscape physician compensation report, the average annual salary of neurology doctors is between $200,000 and $220,000.
However, those averages have been on the rise especially with more neurologists pursuing further specialization within neurology. Remember, your salary depends on various factors, such as
- Practice setting; hospital employed, private practice, or academic setting.
- Geographical location.
- Departmental r
- Years of experience.
Is it Worth Becoming a Neurologist?
Although neurologists work long, irregular, and sometimes overnight hours, they have promising medical careers. Neurology offers a wide range of career paths and specialization areas which is appealing to many physicians. You can choose your pace, procedure involvement, and clinical setting. You can also choose the life-work balance setting that suits you.
Overall, it is a respectable, promising, and fulfilling career.