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Neurology

The term Neurology is derived from the Greek words, "neuron" meaning 'nerve' and "logia" meaning 'study of '. Hence Neurology is the study of nerves or the medical specialty related to the human nervous system. To be more specific, Neurology is a specialized branch of medicine which studies the ailments of the nervous system such as the brain, spinal cord, central nervous system as well as related tissues and muscles of a human body. Medical practitioners who specialise in this field are generally known as Neurologists. Neurologists are physicians who are trained for diagnosing, treating, and managing the ongoing care of patients suffering from disorders of the nervous system. Neurologists are highly motivated and dedicated people, specialists within a special field of medicine, working with some of the most difficult medical conditions known to science. They treat disorders such as brain trauma, stroke, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer’s disease etc. Neurologists who deal with surgical procedures are known as Neurosurgeons. There are three primary forms of Neurology- Clinical Neurophysiology, Child Neurology, and Pain Medicine. Clinical Neurophysiology deals with diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorder of autonomic, central and peripheral nervous systems. Child or pediatric neurology deals with diagnosis and treatment of the brain and nervous system disorders in children and adolescents. Those specialised in Pain medicine focuses on relieving serious illnesses and chronic pains caused by Neurological disorders. Apart from the main three, there are also many other specialisations. Each form of neurology deals with neural dysfunction in some form. The terms Neurology and Neuroscience is not the same. Neurology is the branch of medicine which relates to ailments of nervous system. Whereas Neuroscience is a division of science which deals with the study of nervous system in all its aspects. There is an overlap between the field of neurology and psychiatry, as many of the diseases of the nervous systems have a psychological component, or often a psychological after-effect. Eligibility Educational Neurology is considered as the most complex branch of medicine. It requires several years of study. To become a Neurologist you must first become a medical doctor. Aspiring Neurologists, after completing their 10+2 with biology, chemistry and physics, must appear for the competitive entrance exam for MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery). This is a 5½ years course which includes a one-year internship period as well. Then go for MD or MS or DNB in general medicine. After that to go for specialisation in the field i.e for PG programs in Neurology one should attend another entrance exam in order to get admissions to the PG program. Courses offered with eligibility DM in Neurology (i) MBBS: The duration of the course will be for a period of five years. (ii) MD/DNB in Internal (General) Medicine or Pediatrics: The duration of the course will be for a period of three years. M.Ch. in Neurosurgery (i) MBBS: The duration of the course will be for a period of five years. (ii) MS/DNB in General Surgery: The duration of the course will be for a period of three years. Duration of D.M./M.Ch. courses: 3 years (except Neurosurgery 6 year course directly after MBBS) Personal attributes A caring personality and excellent communication skills are the two qualities that are of paramount importance. Communication skills are required as they have to convey their findings and discuss the treatment options with other medical staff. They must be patient and have intense interest to hear the patient's side of the story. Like any other physician, Neurologists must have dedication, eye-hand co-ordination, motivation, ability to work as part of a team, be capable of working long, irregular hours in high-stress medical environments. Good management skills are also necessary to manage other administrative employees. Job prospects & career options Neurology as a field of medical specialisation has ample opportunities available for eligible candidates. Those who specialize in the field of neurology are in high demand as medical advances and new technologies create new treatments for a variety of brain, spinal and muscular function disorders. Neurologists work in one of the most complex and fascinating areas of medicine, involving the brain and nervous system. They can work in general neurology or they can choose to specialize in one of several different neurology sub-specialties. In most cases they treat patients referred by another doctor or physician. Neurologists diagnose and determine treatment by examining brain and neck nerves, muscle strength, movement, balance, reflexes and a patient's speech. The most common diagnostic tests performed by a neurologist include the CAT scan, MRI, spinal taps, electroencephalography and electromyography. Neurologists use medicine or other non-surgical techniques to treat neurological problems. They refer patients to a neurosurgeon if the treatment requires surgery. He may also refer the patient to other specialist for further diagnosis. Some choose specializations that focus on neurological research, whereas others work directly with patients and yet another group focus on academic neurology. Neurologists have great opportunities in private as well as government hospitals, group medical practice or health care network. They may be involved in clinical research, clinical trials, as well as basic research and translational research. Neurologists can also publish research articles or write articles for medical journals. A neurologist can be promoted to a managerial level if he is eligible, is an expert in the field and exhibits leadership qualities. Neurologists are employed in medical research institutes and medical colleges/schools as faculty members. Self-employment is also an option available once they have a good experience in hand. Remuneration Medical practitioners who enter this field can expect a high salary and opportunities for advancement within a public or private setting. Pay scale of Neurologists depend on the educational qualification, years of experience in the field and the university from where the education has been acquired. At entry level one can expect Rs. 25,000 -30,000 per month in India.

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