What is Neurology?

A neurologist is a medical doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system. Pediatric neurologists are doctors with specialized training in children's neurological disorders.

A neurologist's educational background and medical training includes an undergraduate degree, four years of medical school, a one-year internship and three years of specialized training. Many neurologists also have additional training in one area of neurology such as stroke, epilepsy or movement disorders.

Neurologists are principal care providers or consultants to other physicians. When a patient has a neurological disorder that requires frequent care, a neurologist is often the principal care provider. Patients with disorders such as Parkinson's diesase, Alzheimer's disease or multiple sclerosis may use a neurologist as their principal care physician.

In a consulting role, a neurologist will diagnose and treat a neurological disorder and then advise the primary care physician managing the patient's overall health. For example, a neurologist would act in a consulting role for conditions such as stroke, concussion or headache.

Neurologists can recommend surgical treatment, but do not perform surgery. When treatment includes surgery, neurologists will monitor surgically treated patients and supervise their continuing treatment. Neurosurgeons are medical doctors who specialize in performing surgical treatments of the brain or nervous system.