Monitor the Coronavirus (COVID-2019) Outbreak Here

Types of Neurologists

Neurologists are physician specialists. They diagnose and treat diseases or injuries of the brain, central nervous system, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, muscles and blood vessels. Neurologists also oversee the health care of people with Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, brain tumors, sleep disorders and more than 600 other neurologic diseases, some of which are rare.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Definition

The term “neurology” comes from the Greek words "neuron," or nerve, and "logia," which means "sayings or oracles." A neurologist is a physician who specializes in neurology.

Specialties

A neuroimaging specialist has advanced skills in the use of tools that provide high-resolution images of the brain. These tools include:

  • functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • or fMRI
  • positron emission tomography
  • or PET,
  • electroencephalography
  • among others

Education

General neurologists receive nine years of medical education; neurology subspecialists receive an additional three to eight years of training. The training includes four years of premedical education in a college or university; four years of medical school resulting in a doctor of medicine, or M.D., degree; and one year of internship in either internal medicine or medicine/surgery. In addition, subspecialists must obtain a minimum of three years of specialty training in an accredited neurology residency program. Neurologists are certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, or ABPN.

Misconceptions

It’s a common misperception that neurologists and neurosurgeons are the same. In fact, the specialties are quite different. A neurologist is not a surgeon by training. Neurologists diagnose and treat neurological conditions, but when these conditions must be treated surgically, the patient is referred to a neurosurgeon.

Expert Insight

Illnesses that affect the brain and central nervous system can be devastating to patients and their families. A high degree of compassion, as well as a strong interest in finding cures through research, is suggested for those who pursue this field. He added that "Nothing is off-limits to science and critical thinking. We don't have great tools, but they're good enough to get started."

The Wrap Up

Neurologists are physician specialists. Neurologists diagnose and treat neurological conditions, but when these conditions must be treated surgically, the patient is referred to a neurosurgeon. Illnesses that affect the brain and central nervous system can be devastating to patients and their families. He added that "Nothing is off-limits to science and critical thinking.

×