Neurologist vs Neurosurgeon

The definition of a Neurologist is a physician who specializes in neurology and investigating or diagnosing neurological disorders. A neurologist treats and finds disorders of the brain, nervous system, spinal cord, and muscles. While a Neurosurgeon performs the medical treatments of the brain and nervous system.

Job Description

An expert within neurology, they will diagnose and treat a disorder that includes the brain, spinal cord, nerves, strokes, dementia, neuromuscular disease. A neurologist will work in a hospital, clinic or university. When in a university they can conduct research or teach students.

Neurologist Duties

On a daily basis, a neurologist might perform the following duties:

Meet with and examine patients
Order diagnostic tests
Perform tests on patients measuring cognitive abilities

How To Become A Neurologist

The process to become a neurologist is lengthy meaning a lot of work goes into becoming a Neurologist. First, one must complete a bachelor’s degree. Before graduating with their bachelor’s degree, students will need to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and apply to medical school. Medical school must then be completed, followed by an internship, and then a residency program. After all of these educational requirements have been met, prospective neurologists can take their state boards to become licensed and begin practicing as a neurologist.Then you can specialize in a specific area within the field of study such as a Pediatric Neurologist working closely with children and babies.

How Long Does It Take To Become A Neurologist?

It typically takes about 12 years to become a neurologist. 4 years are spent as an undergraduate working toward a bachelor’s degree, and then another 4 years are spent in medical school. After medical school, graduates will then undertake a one-year internship, followed by a 3-year residency program.

Education Requirements

Becoming a neurologist involves many years of intense schooling. Those wanting to become a neurologist must first complete a bachelor’s degree. Although there is no mandatory undergraduate degree needed to be accepted to medical school, it is always beneficial to major in a scientific field where one can satisfy the biology, chemistry, and physics prerequisites. Students can also choose to major in pre med which will offer them a degree that encompasses all necessary classes required to apply to medical school.

It is highly competitive to gain acceptance into medical school, so it is imperative that prospective neurologists maintain a high-grade point average during their undergraduate career, obtain excellent letters of recommendation, gain medical work experience, and receive an above average score on the MCAT which is the test prospective medical students need to take before applying to school.

During medical school, students can expect to spend the first few years taking courses in such subjects as pharmacology, anatomy, and physiology. The last two years of medical school involve clinical rotations where students work in medical facilities under a licensed physician. There are mandatory rotations that a student must complete in different areas such as pediatrics and geriatrics.

After graduating from medical school, those who would like to go into the field of neurology must then complete a one-year internship gaining experience in many different areas of medicine. After the internship is finished, prospective neurologists go on to complete a three-year residency where they will learn more about neurology, working with patients under the supervision of a licensed neurologist.


Neurologists can become board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Becoming board certified shows a level of professionalism and instills confidence in patients. Neurologists can also obtain specialized certifications in various areas of neurology such as brain injury medicine, sleep medicine, and epilepsy.


All 50 states mandate that all physicians and surgeons must be state licensed. In order to qualify for a state license, all education requirements must be met and then candidates will need to pass an exam. In addition, all physicians will need to take the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination to become nationally licensed.

MD vs DO

MD is Doctor of medicine while a DO is a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. Both types of doctors are licensed to practice within the United States. They both also have a similar education and certification the difference is the training and philosophy of patient care.

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