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Career profile Neurologist

Also known as Adult and Pediatric Neurologist, Adult Neurologist, Attending Physician, General Neurologist, Neurologist, Neurologist and Director of Medical Research, Pediatric Neurologist

Neurologist

Also known as Adult and Pediatric Neurologist, Adult Neurologist, Attending Physician

Interests Profile
  • Investigative
  • Social
  • Realistic
Pay Range
$61,380 - $208,000+ (annual)
Required Skills
  • Active Listening
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Speaking
Knowledge Areas
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Psychology
  • Biology
Core tasks
  • Interview patients to obtain information, such as complaints, symptoms, medical histories, and family histories.
  • 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.
  • Perform or interpret the outcomes of procedures or diagnostic tests, such as lumbar punctures, electroencephalography, electromyography, and nerve conduction velocity tests.
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What does a Neurologist do?

Neurologists diagnose, manage, and treat disorders and diseases of the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves, with a primarily nonsurgical focus.

What kind of tasks does a Neurologist perform regularly?

Neurologists are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Interview patients to obtain information, such as complaints, symptoms, medical histories, and family histories.
  • 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.
  • Perform or interpret the outcomes of procedures or diagnostic tests, such as lumbar punctures, electroencephalography, electromyography, and nerve conduction velocity tests.
  • Order or interpret results of laboratory analyses of patients' blood or cerebrospinal fluid.
  • Diagnose neurological conditions based on interpretation of examination findings, histories, or test results.
  • Prescribe or administer medications, such as anti-epileptic drugs, and monitor patients for behavioral and cognitive side effects.
  • Identify and treat major neurological system diseases and disorders, such as central nervous system infection, cranio spinal trauma, dementia, and stroke.
  • Develop treatment plans based on diagnoses and on evaluation of factors, such as age and general health, or procedural risks and costs.
  • Inform patients or families of neurological diagnoses and prognoses, or benefits, risks and costs of various treatment plans.
  • Prepare, maintain, or review records that include patients' histories, neurological examination findings, treatment plans, or outcomes.
  • 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.
  • Interpret the results of neuroimaging studies, such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT), and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans.
  • Determine brain death using accepted tests and procedures.
  • Coordinate neurological services with other health care team activities.
  • Refer patients to other health care practitioners as necessary.
  • Advise other physicians on the treatment of neurological problems.
  • Order supportive care services, such as physical therapy, specialized nursing care, and social services.
  • Participate in continuing education activities to maintain and develop expertise.
  • Provide training to medical students or staff members.
  • Supervise medical technicians in the performance of neurological diagnostic or therapeutic activities.
  • Participate in neuroscience research activities.

The above responsibilities are specific to Neurologists. More generally, Neurologists are involved in several broader types of 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.

What is a Neurologist salary?

The median salary for a Neurologist is over $208,000, and the average salary is $218,850. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Neurologist salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Neurologists earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Neurologists earn less than $61,380 per year, 25% earn less than $126,470, 75% earn more than $208,000, and 90% earn more than $208,000.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Neurologists is expected to change by 4.5%, and there should be roughly 13,400 open positions for Neurologists every year.

Median annual salary
Over $208,000
Typical salary range
$61,380 - Over $208,000
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
4.5%

What personality traits are common among Neurologists?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Neurologist are usually higher in their Investigative, Social, and Realistic interests.

Neurologists typically have very strong Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Also, Neurologists typically have strong Social interests. Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Lastly, Neurologists typically have moderate Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Neurologist tend to value Achievement, Recognition, and Working Conditions.

Most importantly, Neurologists very strongly value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Second, Neurologists very strongly value Recognition. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious.

Lastly, Neurologists very strongly value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Neurologists must consistently demonstrate qualities such as concern for others, integrity, and attention to detail.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Neurologists, ranked by importance:

Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

What education and training do Neurologists need?

Many Neurologists have earned a graduate degree. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a doctoral degree, such as a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D..

Neurologists may need some on-the-job training, but most candidates will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

Educational degrees among Neurologists

  • 100.0% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Neurologists

Neurologists may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as medicine and dentistry, psychology, or biology knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Neurologists might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Medicine and Dentistry
Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
Psychology
Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Biology
Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Therapy and Counseling
Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Important Abilities needed by Neurologists

Neurologists must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Neurologists need abilities such as inductive reasoning, deductive reasoning, and oral comprehension in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Neurologists, ranked by their relative importance.

Inductive Reasoning
The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Deductive Reasoning
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.

Critical Skills needed by Neurologists

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Neurologists frequently use skills like active listening, reading comprehension, and speaking to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Neurologists, ranked by their relative importance.

Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Social Perceptiveness
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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