Neurologist Career

Job Description: Diagnose, manage, and treat disorders and diseases of the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves, with a primarily nonsurgical focus.


Is Neurologist the right career path for you?
Take the MyMajors Quiz and find out if it fits one of your top recommended majors!

Neurologist Career

What Neurologists do:

  • Communicate with other health care professionals regarding patients' conditions and care.
  • Counsel patients or others on the background of neurological disorders including risk factors, or genetic or environmental concerns.
  • Develop treatment plans based on diagnoses and on evaluation of factors, such as age and general health, or procedural risks and costs.
  • Examine patients to obtain information about functional status of areas, such as vision, physical strength, coordination, reflexes, sensations, language skills, cognitive abilities, and mental status.
  • Identify and treat major neurological system diseases and disorders, such as central nervous system infection, cranio spinal trauma, dementia, and stroke.
  • Inform patients or families of neurological diagnoses and prognoses, or benefits, risks and costs of various treatment plans.
  • Order or interpret results of laboratory analyses of patients' blood or cerebrospinal fluid.
  • Order supportive care services, such as physical therapy, specialized nursing care, and social services.
  • Participate in continuing education activities to maintain and expand competence.
  • Perform or interpret the outcomes of procedures or diagnostic tests, such as lumbar punctures, electroencephalography, electromyography, and nerve conduction velocity tests.
  • Prescribe or administer medications, such as anti-epileptic drugs, and monitor patients for behavioral and cognitive side effects.
  • Refer patients to other health care practitioners as necessary.
  • Diagnose neurological conditions based on interpretation of examination findings, histories, or test results.
  • Interpret the results of neuroimaging studies, such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT), and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans.
  • Coordinate neurological services with other health care team activities.
  • Interview patients to obtain information, such as complaints, symptoms, medical histories, and family histories.
  • Prepare, maintain, or review records that include patients' histories, neurological examination findings, treatment plans, or outcomes.
  • Advise other physicians on the treatment of neurological problems.
  • Provide training to medical students or staff members.
  • Determine brain death using accepted tests and procedures.
  • Supervise medical technicians in the performance of neurological diagnostic or therapeutic activities.
  • Participate in neuroscience research activities.
  • Prescribe or administer treatments, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation, vagus nerve stimulation, and deep brain stimulation.
  • Perform specialized treatments in areas such as sleep disorders, neuroimmunology, neuro-oncology, behavioral neurology, and neurogenetics.

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Performing Administrative Activities - Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Monitoring and Controlling Resources - Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.

Selling or Influencing Others - Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.

Staffing Organizational Units - Recruiting, interviewing, selecting, hiring, and promoting employees in an organization.

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

Holland Code Chart for a Neurologist