The neurologist is highly important in medicine. He is a doctor that is specialized in treating and diagnosing nervous system disorders. What many do not know is that does not only include the brain. It also includes peripheral nerves and the spinal cord. Also, the neurologist will treat various conditions that affect the body ranging from cognitive to functioning skills. The neurologist will only start treating the patient after another doctor, normally an internal medicine physician or general practitioner, refers him.
After patients are referred to neurologists an evaluation of the nervous system is performed, together with an analysis of the entire medical history that the patient has. That will regularly include checking gait, coordination, motor skills, cognitive function, cranial nerves, sensory capabilities and reflexes. Medical history is important as it will aid the doctor to determine if the family history includes neurological conditions or diseases.
A neurologist will treat various different conditions. This ranges from a common condition like a headache to serious conditions like seizures, dementia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, strokes and epilepsy. Treatment is always chosen based on the particular condition that the patient is in. It is possible to refer the patient to someone else, whenever necessary. However, when the conditions require it, medication is prescribed and surgical procedures can be done. In the event that it is needed, the patient is referred to physical therapists that can help improve coordination, reflexes and motor skills.
Besides treating many medical conditions, neurologists are sometimes needed to evaluate patients that are currently on life support and that are unresponsive. Doctors examine patients in order to determine if the brain is currently functioning or not.
Some of the neurologists will work with most neurological disorders. However, we do have many that are specialized in nervous system parts. There are also some that will specialize in specific procedures.
As a very simple example, the clinical neurophysiologist will specialize in the use of special electrodiagnostic techniques in order to diagnose some specific neurological disorders. We also have the quite common neurosurgery specialization, which is known by most people. This specialization combines surgical training with neurology. The neurosurgeon normally perform a surgery in order to great various neurological disorders. In most situations general neurologists make diagnosis and determine when surgery is required.
Neurologists do have many different duties, based on lace of employment and specializations. However, in most situations we have the doctors spending much of the day meeting referring physicians, visiting patients for follow up meetings and examining newer patients. Also, many days can be spend on-call, which means that they would be called in by the medical facility in order to take care of emergency situations, whenever they happen. Because of the uncertainty connected to the profession, neurologists often find themselves working irregular and long hours. It is something that is especially true when the career recently started. This specialization is highly important in the medical field and the doctors are seen as respectable figures, with annual salaries higher than the medium medical wage.