A neurologist is a medical doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating, and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system. Neurologists do not perform surgery.
A neurologist's training includes an undergraduate degree, four years of medical school, a one-year internship, and at least three years of specialized training. Many neurologists also have additional training in other areas—or subspecialties—of neurology such as stroke, epilepsy, neuromuscular disease, and movement disorders. These are some of the more common subspecialties within the field of neurology.
What Does a Neurologist Treat?
Common neurologic disorders include:
What is the Role of a Neurologist?
Neurologists are principal care providers, consultants to other doctors, or both. When a person has a neurologic disorder that requires frequent care, a neurologist is often the principal care provider. People with disorders, such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, seizure disorders, or multiple sclerosis may use a neurologist as their principal care doctor.
In a consulting role, a neurologist will diagnose and treat a neurologic disorder and then advise the primary care doctor managing the person's overall health. For example, a neurologist may act in a consulting role for conditions such as stroke, concussion, or headache.
Neurologists can recommend surgical treatment, but they do not perform surgery. When treatment includes surgery, neurologists may monitor the patients and supervise their continuing treatment. Neurosurgeons are medical doctors who specialize in performing surgical treatments of the brain or nervous system.