How Do I Become a Neurologist?

A neurologist plays an important role in diagnosing diseases of the nervous system. If you suspect that you may have a spinal cord issue or brain disorder, then a neurologist can help diagnose your specific medical issue. Neurologists perform tests and administer treatments for these types of issues. He or she may have to perform a CAT scan, MRI or EEG. One should have a deep commitment to this profession if he or she wants to become a neurologist. The process of becoming a neurologist can take over ten years. The education required to become a neurologist can also be very expensive. Maybe you have wondered, “How do I become a neurologist?” If you want to become a neurologist, then the best thing that you can do is to begin making your education plan for the rest of your life.

What’s it like to be a neurologist?

When you are a neurologist, you meet with patients who have issues with their nervous system. A patient may have a tumor in his or her brain. The patient may have suffered a spinal cord injury. It is your task to figure out the specific medical issue that a patient faces and to think of the appropriate treatment for that issue. You are entrusted with a lot of responsibility as a neurologist. You may have to deal with a very complex brain disorder and have to recommend treatment for a patient. Patients depend on you for medical advice in times of hopelessness. You may also have to complete a very complicated surgery procedure for an individual who has a brain issue. Your weekly tasks may involve meeting with patients, administering tests and sending test results to laboratories. You may also have surgery procedures lined up for the week.

Education Requirements

To become a neurologist, the education requirements are quite rigorous. You will need to obtain a four-year bachelor’s degree in a field of science. It is a good idea to prepare for medical school by taking relevant courses in anatomy, biology and chemistry. After obtaining your bachelor’s degree, you will apply for programs at medical schools throughout the country. You will also need to take the MCAT entrance exam prior to applying for medical schools. The competition to get into medical school is very tough. It is important for you to maintain a high grade point average during your time in college in order to be admitted into a medical school program. When you are finished with medical school, you will then apply to specialized residency programs. You will need to spend time living in an actual hospital and observing the tasks of a neurologist. You will see how neurologists relate to patients on a daily basis.

Salary & How to Get a Job

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the starting salary for a neurologist is about $166,000 a year. The demand for qualified neurologists is expected to grow by at least 24 percent in the next ten years. If one wants to get a job as a neurologist, then he or she can apply for positions at local hospitals or open a private practice. Some individuals decide to go directly into private practice after they graduate from a medical school program and residency program.