What Is A Neurologist: Definition, Salary, Training, And Neurological Examination | Heidi Moawad, MD | RxEconsult

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Neurologist: Definition, Salary, Training, And What They Do Category: Neurology: Alzheimer's, Dementia, Development by - January 27, 2016 | Views: 31750 | Likes: 0 | Comment: 0  

What is a neurologist, training, salary

Definition of Neurologist And The Conditions They Treat

If you have been told that you need to see a neurologist for neurological symptoms or for a neurological condition that requires neurological specialty care, you may want to know more about what a neurologist is. Most people do not directly decide to make an appointment with a neurologist, and generally, obtain a referral or a recommendation to see a neurologist from another doctor, usually a primary care doctor. 

A neurologist is a highly trained medical doctor who graduated from medical school and also completed additional residency training in the field of neurology. Neurology is the study and treatment of disorders of the nervous system (brain, spinal cord, and nerves).

Neurologists evaluate patients who have complicated neurological symptoms or complex neurological conditions. Some of the conditions treated by neurologists include:

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Stroke
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Speech and language problems
  • Lou Gehrig's disease
  • Seizure disorders
  • Headaches, Migraines
  • Infections of the brain 
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Spinal cord disorders

Learn More: Common Neurological Disorders


Most of the time, a primary care doctor can manage neurological conditions. When the diagnosis is not clear, or when the treatment plan is more challenging than usual, then the patient receives a neurology referral. 

Neurologist Training And Salary

There are about 120 accredited neurology residency training programs in the United States, typically at major university hospitals Neurology residency training programs require a prerequisite of a one-year Internal Medicine internship after medical school prior to the 3-year dedicated neurology residency.

Pediatric neurologists must have specific training in pediatric neurology, which includes one year of pediatrics residency, and three years of pediatric neurology residency. Some neurologists also complete additional training beyond the specialty neurology training. This is called subspecialty training. Neurologists who are subspecialized may have additional experience in specific neurological disorders, such as epilepsy, movement disorders or stroke. Subspecialty training in neurology may take between 1 to 5 years. 

There are approximately 16,500 neurologists in the United States. The average neurologist works about 55-70 hours per week and earns between $150,000-275,000 per year, although it varies significantly depending on the region of the country and the type of medical center. 


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