Neurologists diagnose and treat disorders of the nervous system.
With over 100 billion nerve cells required for everyday functions such as movement, communication, thinking and feeling, it is no surprise that a neurologist needs excellent clinical skills when encountering the wide breadth of clinical presentations seen in everyday practice. The specialty encompasses the treatment of both acute medical emergencies along with the management of a wide variety of chronic disorders. In addition to primary neurological diseases, a neurologist can also expect to encounter and diagnose a large number of underlying medical disorders that first present with neurological features. This is why neurologists will tell you that they work in the most interesting and intellectually stimulating branch of clinical medicine!
While clinical acumen remains the cornerstone of neurology, the specialty benefits from rapid advancements in diagnostic tests (e.g. Advanced Imaging Techniques), molecular genetic and cellular understanding of inherited and many hitherto unexplained diseases (e.g. Motor Neurone Disease) along with the development of effective treatments (e.g. Disease Modifying Therapies in Multiple Sclerosis).
These developments have been built on an active body of research, from large public health studies to the determination of disease-causing protein complexes at the atomic level, meaning that this is an extremely exciting time to be a clinical neurologist. Furthermore, there are many opportunities for our East of England neurology trainees to undertake a period of scientific research during their training leading to the award of an MD or PhD.
Once trained as a neurologist, you will have skills that can be applied across a range of different roles at the Consultant level. Despite at least 10% of acute admissions to hospital being related to neurological problems, along with an estimated 1 in 50 of the UK population being disabled by a neurological condition1, the number of trained neurologists in the UK has lagged significantly behind our colleagues on the continent. For example, figures from 2011 show that there was on average 1 neurologist per 150,000 of the UK population compared to 1 per 25,000 across the rest of Europe. The employment prospects of trained neurologists in UK remains therefore very positive.
The ABN has a mentoring program for those who are interested in Neurology, but would like to find out a little bit more. It is also intended to offer support to gain experience and find opportunities to get involved: http://www.abnt.org.uk/mentoring.php
Now that we have convinced you that neurology is the right specialty for you, click here to learn about what we offer in the East of England.