An Adult Neurologist is a medical doctor who specializes in diagnosing, evaluating, managing, and treating a variety of neurological diseases and disorders affecting adult patients.
A Neurologist is a medical doctor whose specialization is in treating diseases of the nervous system. This includes the brain, spinal cord, nerves, and muscles. Nervous system-related diseases or conditions such as degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, accidents and infections that affect the nervous system like brain abscesses, and other neurological disorders like stroke, seizures are often treated by a neurologicalt.
The role of an adult neurologist differs from that of a pediatric neurologist, who specializes in diagnosing, managing, and treating diseases and disorders of the growing and developing nervous system, which includes, the brain and spinal cord of babies and young children. Their role is also different from that of a general practice medical doctor, A general practice doctor usually refers a patient with neurological disorders to the neurologist.
It is also important to note that a neurologist is different from a neurosurgeon also, neurologists are not expected to perform surgical operations on patients with neurological disorders, that is the job of the neurosurgeon.
What is Neurology?
Neurology is the study of the nervous system which includes the nerves, brain, spinal cord, and muscles. It is a branch of medicine that deals with neurological diseases and disorders ranging from congenital birth defects to degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. The nervous system is divided into two, the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. Neurology studies both the functions and structures of these two divisions of the nervous system. Neurology is the subfield of neuroscience, which is the scientific study of the human nervous system.
The central nervous system, made up of both the brain and spinal cord, together with, the peripheral nervous system and their subdivisions i.e the autonomic and somatic nervous system controls all body functions such as movement, memory, speech, sleep, balance, and so on. The nervous system is a complex system with a wide range of neurological conditions arising from it, such as neurological degenerative diseases, seizures, stroke, sleep disorders, speech disorders, infections, and others which has led to an increase in mortality, across the globe.
Key Duties and Responsibilities of an Adult Neurologist
Every day, neurologists carry out their several duties, these following are some of the responsibilities and duties a neurologist performs. They:
- Assess and read medical tests, films such as electroencephalograms, computed tomography scans, and imaging tests like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)tests.
- Interprets results before diagnosis and treatments of neurological problems.
- Examination of patients with neurological disorders such as strokes, seizures, etc, once or twice daily.
- Prescribes drugs and develops therapies and treatment plans.
- Monitor and work closely with other health practitioners to ensure their patients receive maximum healthcare.
- Stay current on new development of knowledge and trends in their area of specialization.
- Monitor their patient’s recovery from the disease condition and change the treatment plan if needed.
- Perform study research in neuroscience and neurology.
- Recommend procedures to diagnose and help treat a neurological problem such as lumbar puncture, tension, and electromyography.
To become a neurologist, these are the following educational requirements needed
- About four years in pre-medicals, in a tertiary institution such as a university, and college.
- Doctor of medicine or osteopathy certificate
- One year of internship training.
- Complete residency training.
- Valid practice license
Adult Neurologists can also advance in their area of specialization by picking one area of interest in neurology such as neuromuscular disorders, sleep disorders, stroke, and seizures.
Skills and Qualities of a Neurologist
- Good Communication Skills
- Relational Skills
- Leadership Skills
- Physical Endurance And Stamina
- Decision Making Skills
- Strong Critical Thinking And Reasoning Skills
What about Salary?
According to the Bureau of labor statistics, The average salary of an adult neurologist is $208,000 per annum. Neurologists specialists are often paid more and sometimes with additional allowances. The years of experience can also increase the neurologist’s wage.
There are diverse settings that adult neurologists can work in. These include:
Other Healthcare settings.
In summary, Adult Neurologists diagnose, treat and manage diseases of the nervous system. They conduct tests and carry out procedures such as lumbar puncture and electromyography before diagnosing and recommending a treatment plan. Adult Neurologists specialize in treating neurological problems that affect general body functions like movement, sleep, memory, balance, and speech. These neurological problems include degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, seizures, stroke, sleep disorders, brain disorders, brain infections, and so on.
The adult neurologist’s job is to examine their patients, carry out tests and procedures to help diagnose and treat the patient’s disease conditions. A good adult neurologist has good Communication and relational skills and patience in dealing with their patients. The Job of an adult neurologist is a highly rewarding one, if you love the job’s description, then go for it and become a highly skilled neurologist expert.