Qualification requirements of a Neurologist

Neurologists are medical professionals who are specialists in the field of diagnosing and treating conditions that affect the central nervous system (which includes the brain and spinal cord) and the peripheral nervous system (which includes the nerves, nerve roots and muscles). They perform neurological tests on different parts of the nervous system and often examine the muscle movement, reflexes, sensation and other cognitive abilities, in order to properly diagnose and treat related disorders. In order to become specialists of the nervous system, medical practitioners need to undergo extensive training after completing their medical school (which includes internships, residency requirements and acquiring requisite licenses and certifications).

Qualifications to become a Neurologist
To become a neurologist, the applicant must complete four years of medical school followed by extensive neurological residency program, must have an unrestricted state license to practice medicine and also successfully pass both the written tests of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology( ABPN) or by the American Board of Medical Specialties( ABPS).

Medical School
A medical student must first concentrate on becoming a medical doctor or a doctor of osteopathy, by completing an undergraduate programme plus a medical degree of four years. Potential neurologists should also complete a three-year neurology residency and another year of internship (with minimum of eight months of internal medicine).

After internship, the medical doctor must complete a residency requirement of three years. Residency programmes must be certified by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). These programmes help in providing exposure to hospital and ambulatory care settings, educational conferences and research trainings. After completion of the residency training, neurologists may join a sub-specialty fellowship program specializing in movement disorders, stroke and dementia.
Further, physicians interested in child neurology have three options for completion of their initial residency – one year in internal medicine followed by one year in pediatrics; two years in pediatrics residency; or one year in research and one year in pediatrics.

Board Certification
After completion of residency program, medical doctors seek for state medical licensure as well as board certification from ABPN (member of ABMS). Only physicians who have a high degree of skill in the field of neurology are certified. Before getting board certification, a doctor must complete three years of residency in neurology or pediatrics, must possess a medical license and clear both written and oral exams of the ABPN.

Certification from the American board has to be renewed from time to time. Also, the doctor should have demonstrated good ethical standards have been an active member of the American or Canadian Osteopathic Associations for at least two years.


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