Neurologists are medical professionals who specialise in the diagnoses and treatment of conditions affecting the nervous system. The nervous system includes the brain, spinal cord, muscles and nerves. This is a speciality of which there is much research being conducted, due to the nervous system being of such importance. The treatment of patients is gradually turning toward outpatients, but there are still many patients who are long-term sufferers. The treatment of patients is done by way of medication and other hands-on techniques, but does not involve the use of surgery, which would be done by other sub-specialists if necessary.  

Conditions of the nervous system that may affect a patient include brain tumours, migraines and epilepsy. Other less serious problems include dizzy spells, headaches, muscle pain and blurred vision. A neurologist would need an extensive knowledge of such acute and chronic conditions. This is a sub-speciality which is continuing to advance, with new treatments and methods of diagnoses being created all the time. This requires neurologists to continue studying during their career in order to know of such advances.

Work activities

Typical work activities a neurologist would need to carry out include:

  • Work with both outpatients and inpatients.
  • Carry out various tests, including MRI scans and blood tests to determine a patient’s illness.
  • Perform therapeutic methods of rehabilitation to help patients recover from their illnesses.
  • Deal with conditions including headaches, muscles pain and brain tumours.
  • Continue to research and study in order to keep up-to-date with advances in the treatment and care of patients with conditions affecting their nervous system.
  • Work alongside sub-specialists of other medical disciplines.
  • Work in hospital settings and specialist clinics.
  • Provide a network of support for patients to help them get through such difficult times.
  • Carry out your own research into neurology, if you so wish.

Essential skills

  • Friendly and approachable manner.
  • Organised and professional in how you work.
  • Understanding of your skills and also your limitations.
  • Able to work as part of a medical team of sub-specialists and as an individual.
  • Excellent communication and analytical skills.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Extensive knowledge of and an aptitude for medicine.
  • Able to remain composed when dealing with sensitive subjects.
  • IT competent.
  • A genuine desire to help people recover from illness.
  • Self-motivated.
  • Able to work and study in order to learn of any new advances that may affect your diagnoses and treatment of patients.