How to become a neurologist (2023)

CareerExplorer's step-by-step guide to becoming a neurologist.

Step 1

Is being a neurologist for me?

The first step in choosing a career is to make sure you are ready to commit to a career. You don't want to waste your time doing something you don't want to do. If you are new here, you should read the following:

Overview What do neurologists do? Career satisfaction Are neurologists satisfied with their careers? Personality What are neurologists like?

Still not sure if neurologist is the right career for you?Take the free CareerExplorer career testto find out if this job is right for you. You may be suited to becoming a neurologist or a similar career path!

Described by our users as "surprisingly accurate", you can discover careers you never thought of before.

step 2

High school

Already during high school you can prepare for a career in neurology. ONational Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)facilitates a summer study program in the neurological sciences.

The program provides a unique opportunity for academically talented high school, undergraduate, graduate, and medical students to receive a world-class education in neuroscience research. Students gain hands-on experience collaborating with leading scientists in the Institute's Department of Intramural Research. Laboratories are located in Bethesda and Rockville, Maryland and Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

If these extraordinary opportunities offered by NINDS are not practical or affordable for you, there are other ways to lay the groundwork for work in the field of neuroscience:

(Video) So You Want to Be a NEUROLOGIST [Ep. 20]

  • Take advanced science courses in anatomy, biology, chemistry, physiology, and physics
  • Take math classes to help calculate drug dosages and read charts
  • Learn Latin to understand unfamiliar medical terms that often have Latin roots
  • Learn a foreign language to improve your ability to communicate with the non-English speaking population
  • Consult a practicing neurologist
    Ask simple but specific questions:
    What sparked your interest in neurology?
    Can you tell me about a typical work day, from start to finish?
    What do you like about your job? What do you not like?
    What is the hardest thing about being a neurologist?
    What advice would you give someone who wants to become a neurologist?
    If you could start all over again, would you still be a neurologist? Why?
  • Find out which colleges offer the best neuroscience courses

stage 3

bachelor degree

Although no specific degree is required for undergraduate studies, aspiring neurologists often focus their courses on advanced life sciences to meet medical school admission requirements.

You must complete an accredited bachelor's degreeVormediPrerequisite courses such as microbiology, biochemistry, and human anatomy. Courses in English, advanced mathematics and statistics are also recommended. Most medical schools require a minimum GPA of 3.5 and can only select candidates who are at the top of their class.

During the degree, it is also important that the student acquires experience that differentiates him from other candidates and prepares him for the intended profession. This experience could include volunteering at a hospital, community service, and research work.

Of particular value are the job tracking programs that allow students to follow neurologists and other medical professionals during a workday. All of these activities demonstrate a work ethic and dedication to the medical field. If possible, these experiences should be documented in letters of recommendation that can be sent with medical study requests.

Step 4

Medical College Admission Test

During their freshman year, prospective neurologists must take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) administered by the Association of American Colleges of Medicine (AAMC) and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM).

Through a series of multiple-choice questions, this standardized exam allows medical schools to assess a candidate's education and skills. Many schools post the average MCAT scores of their incoming students on their website to let students know how they need to do to compete with other applicants.

(Video) How to Become a Neurologist

To achieve the highest possible MCAT score, students are encouraged to use the support available to them. This includes study materials, pre-tests, practice tests, and online and face-to-face tutoring. These features are designed to ensure that students achieve the best possible score, which opens the door for medical schools.

step 5

School of medicine and national accreditation

Neurologists receive a:

  • Doctor of Medicine (MD)., or one
  • PhD in Osteopathic Medicine (DO).

Medical school is a very challenging four-year course divided into two parts. The first part, or two years of school, focuses on coursework and laboratory work that prepares students intellectually for patient interaction. This education includes the biological and physical sciences, physiology, chemistry, medical ethics, and the art and practice of medicine.

Students who want to become a neurologist often adapt their studies to include advanced courses in brain anatomy, medical diagnosis, and clinical research. To test their understanding of this part of the curriculum, second-year medical students seeking an MD must take and pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) - Level 1. Those seeking a DO must take the United States States Comprehensive and pass the Osteopathic Medical Licensing Exam (COMLEX-USA) - Level 1. A passing score on the USMLE or COMLEX-USA indicates that students are ready to proceed with supervised patient visits, begin clinical experience, and obtain results .

The second part of medical school or the second two years is calledturns. During this time, students have the opportunity to learn about different medical specialties and different medical contexts under the supervision of experienced physicians.

Rotations encourage students' understanding of patient care, situations, scenarios, and the teams that come together to help patients. As they complete rotations, students often find that they are drawn to specific areas or environments that match their particular interests and abilities. It is important that this time they communicate their choice of specialty or subspecialty so that they feel fully satisfied as physicians.

After the second part of the medical course, students take the US Medical Licensing Exam - Step 2 or the US Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Exam - Level 2. The purpose of these exams is to test whether or not students have developed the clinical knowledge and skills needed to make the transition to unsupervised medical practice.

(Video) Medical Careers : How to Become a Neurologist

step 6


Upon completion of medical school, graduates who wish to pursue a career in neurology must complete a year as a hospital intern. Although prospective neurologists typically interne in internal medicine or surgery, they often rotate between departments and are also exposed to other areas of medicine.

Interns are not entitled to practice medicine without supervision and must practice within the confines of the training program in which they are enrolled.

step 7


After completing the internship, graduates begin a three-year neurological residency program accredited by the Accrediting Council for Graduate Medical Education.

Neurology residents typically attend lectures, participate in patient groups with a licensed neurologist, and conduct clinical case studies. You will gain experience with a variety of neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and spinal cord injuries.

Securing a neurology residency is competitive. It is important to compile a complete resume detailing educational history, research experience, and completed internships. and letters of recommendation.

step 8

State licensing and continuing education

All physicians in the US must be licensed by the state. Admission requirements may vary from state to state. Generally, applicants must have earned a bachelor's degree, completed medical school, completed residency training, and passed all required exams.

The exam portion is usually completed by passing the USMLE or COMLEX-USA exam. States may also require periodic license renewal and require continuing education.

The continuing education component can be carried out by awarding a scholarship; following a certification maintenance program; or by attending courses and seminars held by medical schools and professional organizations.

(Video) How to Become a Neurosurgeon

step 9

Board certification (optional)

OAmerican Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN)offers voluntary certifications for qualified neurologists. To be eligible to sit for the certification exam, candidates must have completed an accredited medical school program, have a medical license, and meet ABPN training requirements.

To maintain their certification, neurologists must participate in ABPN's 10-year certification program, which includes completion of self-assessment activities and other ABPN continuing education components.

step 10

Specialized Training/Scholarship (Optional)

A "Fellow" is a physician who decides to pursue further training or a "Fellowship" in a specialist area after or shortly before completion of their specialist training. Subfields of neurology include:

(Video) How to Become a Neurologist

  • Neuromuscular Medicine
    This subspecialty focuses on many diseases and conditions that affect muscle function, either directly, such as voluntary muscle pathologies; or indirect, since they are pathologies of the nerves. treatneuromuscular connections, where a motor neuron is capable of transmitting a signal to the muscle fiber, triggering a muscle contraction.
  • Clinical Neurophysiology
    Clinical neurophysiology studies the central and peripheral nervous systems by recording bioelectrical activity, whether spontaneous or stimulated. It includes research related to pathophysiology and the clinical methods used to diagnose diseases that affect the central and peripheral nervous system.
  • Vascular Neurology
    Vascular neurologists assess, treat, and study disorders that affect the structure and function of the blood vessels that supply the brain. They mainly care for patients with cerebrovascular diseases that can lead to a stroke.
  • neurodevelopmental disorders
    Neurodevelopmental disorders are disturbances in the growth and development of the brain or central nervous system. A more restricted use of the term refers to a disorder of brain function that affects emotions, learning, self-control, and memory. Examples of neurodevelopmental disorders include autism, cerebral palsy, and visual and hearing impairments.
  • behavioral neuroscience
    Behavioral neuroscientific research studies the interaction between the brain, nervous system, and behavior. Topics typically associated with this field include behavioral genetics, behavioral neuroendocrinology, psychopharmacology, decision making, impulsivity, cognition, neuroplasticity, and the underlying neurobiological components of neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases. Alzheimer's disease is one of the disorders studied by behavioral neurologists.
  • movement disorders
    The field of movement disorders refers to disorders such as Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, tremors, dystonia, tics, and other involuntary movements.
  • Headache
    This specialty focuses on the management and comprehensive treatment of migraine, facial pain, tension type, clusters, chronic daily headaches and other headaches.
  • sleeping remedy
    Sleep medicine is dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders and disorders.
  • Pediatric Neurology
    Pediatric neurology or child neurology deals with the diagnosis and treatment of neurological diseases in newborns, infants, children and adolescents. The discipline of pediatric neurology includes diseases and disorders of the spinal cord, brain, peripheral nervous system, autonomic nervous system, muscles, and blood vessels that affect individuals in these age groups.


1. Why Did I Become A Neurologist
2. How To Become a Neurosurgeon | Family Life As A Surgeon and More!
(Antonio J. Webb, M.D.)
3. So You Want to Be a NEUROSURGEON [Ep. 6]
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4. 73 Questions with a Neurologist | ND MD
5. How to become an MS Neurologist
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6. How to Become a Neurosurgeon | Salary | Lifestyle | Unacademy NEET | Seep Pahuja
(Unacademy NEET)


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