How to Become a Neurologist ? Academic Qualifications, Eligibility & Entrance Exam

Updated October 8, 2022

If you are wondering to know how to start your journey to become a neurologist, then you have come to the right place. You might be well aware that being a Neurologist is the highest responsible job profession, and therefore it requires the aspirant to embrace significant qualifications, training, skills, & license to practice medicine. 

Essentially, the journey to becoming a neurologist is long & arduous. And, studying Neurology as a specialized medicine begins with post-graduate, wherein the curriculum digs deep into the discipline & offers sufficient knowledge to the participants to involve in preventing disorders related to the nervous system.

There are several other academic qualifications & skills required to become a neurologist. The article has tried to cover all steps of a Neurologist, so keep reading.

Basic Understanding of the Neurology Discipline  

Among the most important medicine, the Neurology branch of medicine is concerned with the comprehensive study of the nervous system & treatment of its related acute & chronic disorders. The practitioners of Neurology medicine thus serve their vital role in treating & diagnosing the central & peripheral nervous system issues.

Neurology as a specialized discipline is studied after completing a Bachelor of Surgery, Bachelor of Medicine (MBBS). And at this level, several courses focusing on the Neurological discipline are available, which include but are not limited to MSc Neuropharmacology, MD Neurological Science, and Master of Neurological  Rehabilitation. 

Who are Neurologists?

Neurologists are the medical personnel who embrace an in-depth understanding of the discipline & treatment procedures to cure the patients suffering from complications related to the brain, spinal cord & nerves. They have a critical role in the contribution of the healthcare system.

But in the journey of becoming a neurologist, participants would have to complete various phases, including obtaining a graduation degree, post-graduation degree, residency program, training, and others in the concerning discipline.

Since Neurology is positioned as the most vital medicine, it requires a participant to learn and earn every fine aspect. And participants, upon learning the ins and outs of sophisticated and delicate disorders & treatment procedures, come out as specialists who could treat and save precious lives. Talking about the complications & issues related to the Nervous system, Epilepsy, stroke, language disorders, Alzheimer’s, etc., are some of the disorders that come under the domain of the Neurological discipline.

How to Become a Neurologist in USA?

To become a neurologist, the aspirants would have to learn & gain requisite qualifications along with the skills, competencies & abilities. The stepping stone for an individual wanting to become a neurologist is obtaining an intermediate certificate with excellent grades. Further, there are several specialized academic degrees, training & others needed to hold the responsible Neurologist position. Let’s take a glance over the steps to becoming a Neurologist in the United States of America.

(a) Earn an Intermediate or 12th Certificate

Neurology as a specialized degree is undertaken from the post-graduate, but the journey of becoming a neurologist begins from the 12th schooling. In this first phase, aspirants must have obtained a 10+2 certificate in the science stream from an accredited board of education. The discipline particularly deals with biological aspects, therefore, Physics, Biochemistry/chemistry, & Biology must be the main subjects in 12th schooling.

(b) Obtain Undergraduate Degree

Upon completing their 12th education, the aspirants will then need to obtain an undergraduate degree from a recognized institute in biological sciences. During the undergraduate duration, the candidates can upskill & enhance the basic concepts that will directly benefit in the journey of becoming a Neurologist.

Moreover, students can also secure an advantage on their side by involving in training in the government hospitals or any medical service environment. It is pointed out that candidates would get benefitted in the journey of Admission to the Neurology specialized courses if they have volunteering experiences during their undergraduate studies.

When aspirants complete their UG studies, they would have to enroll in the reputed institute. 

(c) Complete Post-Graduate Degree

The major journey of learning the discipline & becoming a neurologist starts with a Post-graduate or MD course. At this level, the curriculum especially emphasizes in-depth & significant aspects of medicine in order to make the participants’ expertise into it.

But, it is really important for the aspirants to have Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) certificate to enroll in the accredited institute. Only when students take and pass the MCAT entrance test they would be eligible to get admission into any specialized neurological discipline.

They then must submit their applications through an online service administered by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM). Upon completing the admission requirements, the aspirants can pursue the specialization through a choice of courses. Some of the post-graduate curricula include the following:

(I) Associate of Arts in Neurodiagnostic Technology
(II) MPhil Neurological Science
(III) MSc Neuropharmacology
(IV) MSc Clinical Neurology

(V) MRes Neuropharmacology
(VI) Master of Neurological  Rehabilitation
(VII) Graduate Certificate in Brain Disorder Management
(VIII) MSc Advanced Professional Practice in Neurological Rehabilitation

(d) Should Have USMLE/COMLEX License to Practice Medicine

In the United States, it is mandatory to have passed the United States Medical Licensing Examination to practice neurological medicine. The National Board of Medical Examiners & the Federation of State Medical Boards administers the USMLE (the United States Medical Licensing Examination). You can take the USMLE/COMLEX examination once you complete your post-graduate degree in Neurology Medicine.

(e) Can Earn a Doctorate Degree/Fellowship in Neurology

To gain more expertise & skills, the practitioners usually prefer to advance their steps toward a Doctorate of Medicine or fellowship program in the concerning discipline. Upon completing such kind of program, they stand in a position to assort the disorders with proper therapeutic treatment.

How to Become a Neurologist in India?

The journey of Becoming a neurologist in India is no different from the United States of America. Like in the USA, the aspirants would have to complete an intermediate examination, undergraduate degree, MD degree, DM in Neurology, internship, training and others.

However, entrance examinations for offering admission to the recognized institutions in India are totally different from the USA. In India, NEET-UG, NEET-PG. AIIMS PG, NEET-SS, JIPMER, etc., are some of the entrance tests taken to help the aspirant in becoming a Neurologist. 

Elucidated below are some of the vital phases that one must complete to become a neurologist in India:

(a) Complete 12th Schooling in Science Stream:

From scratch, one has to start with intermediate standards. In fact, aspirants wishing to become a neurologist must have done their 12th board in science, and especially physics, chemistry & biology should be the main subjects. Upon completing 10+2 schooling will really need to appear in the NEET-UG entrance exam.

NEET-UG is a national-level entrance test which allows students to get admission to the MBBS degree. If you are also on a journey to become a neurologist, it is better to take this particular entrance exam for an MBBS degree.

(b) Obtain Undergraduate Degree

The undergraduate degrees are not largely focused on neurology medicine but help you to develop a basic understanding of various disciplines which will directly benefit you during higher studies. Upon completing the UG degree, aspirants would then need to gain six or one years of training experience.

Once you are done with your UG degree & training, the next step of your how to becoming a neurologist is to obtain a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree in Neurological discipline. It could be studied only after qualifying for the reputed entrance exams, including but not limited to JIPMER, NEET-PG, PGIMER, & AIIMS-PG.

(c) Post-graduate Degree in Neurology  

The main journey of becoming a Neurologist begins from this particular degree. It is so because the post-graduate degrees largely focus on providing comprehensive & in-depth knowledge of the neurology discipline. And after obtaining the MD in Neurology, or other PG in Neurology, the participants can start practising the medicine.

If you are also interested in gaining more expertise & experience in the concerning discipline, you can take a proactive approach for a Doctorate of Medicine (a Super-speciality degree).

What are Skills Requirements to Become a Neurologist?

If you are on a journey to become a Neurologist, you must be embraced several critical skills & competencies. It is so because being a neurologist is the most reputable & responsible task as you will be in the position to cure & prevent several chronic or acute nervous system-related complications. And it is in your hand to save the precious life & eventually bring off a family from distortion.

Listed below are some of the crucial skills, abilities & competencies that one should imbibe while studying the neurology curriculum.

(a) Empathy
(b) Critical Thinking
(c) Problem Solving Ability

(d) Communication & Presentation Skill
(e) Analytical Ability
(f) Leadership Quality

(g) Ability to Handle Emergency Situations
(h) Ability to Work in Pressure
(i)Management Skill

Reputed Colleges to Study Neurology Medicine 

There is no dearth of recognized universities in the USA & around the world. Once you are done selecting your choice of course that provides neurology discipline, the next step of your how to become neurologist journey is to narrow down the perfect colleges that suit your interest. Here are some of the institutes located in tier-I countries from where you can fulfil your aspiration to become a neurologist:

(a) Keele University
(b) Mohawk College
(c) University of Plymouth
(d) University of Liverpool

(e) Edith Cowan University
(f) Western Sydney University
(g) The University of Sheffield
(h) Nottingham Trent University

(i) George Washington University
(j) University College London, United Kingdom
(k) King’s College London
(l) University of Birmingham
(m) The University of Sheffield

Where to Study the Neurology Medicine in India?

To study the Neurology discipline around any corner of India, there are numerous reputed colleges/Universities in India. Once you complete your intermediate examination & undergraduate programs, you can explore various institutions that offer specialized neurology courses. Some institutes listed below might help you in your journey to becoming a neurologist:

(a) Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi
(b) Osmania Medical College, Hyderabad
(c) Motilal Nehru Medical College, Allahabad

(d) Smt. NHL Municipal Medical College, Ahmedabad
(e) All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi
(f) Institute of Human Behaviour & Allied Sciences, New Delhi
(g) Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh

Salary After Becoming a Neurologist

Individuals after becoming a neurologist can explore numerous promising employment spaces in & outside India and can make considerable salaries annually. More so, the annual earnings of a neurologist are quite high than the counterparts in other specialities. On average, a neurologist can earn at least 10-25 Lakh.

What are the major Employment Areas for a Neurologist?

Elucidated below are some of the major employment settings where an individual having appropriate qualifications & skills can explore:

(a) Private Practice
(b) Medical Colleges
(c) Private Hospitals
(d) Specialist Hospitals 

(e) Government Hospitals
(f) Armed Forces Medical Services
(g) Railways Medical Facilities
(h) Spine and Brain Hospitals

Question Mostly Asked About “How to Become a Neurologist”

Q. Is it Easy to Become a Neurologist?

Ans- No, it’s not easy to become a Neurologist. The journey of becoming a Neurologist is arduous and requires your patience, hard work & in-depth understanding of the Neurology discipline.

Q. How Long Does it Take to Become a Neurologist After 12?

Ans- The minimum time it would take to become a neurologist is 10 years because numerous vital degrees and qualifications are needed.

Q. How Hard is Neurology?

Ans- The extent of difficulty usually depends on the aspirant who wishes to become a neurologist. Some find it hard, but for others, it is easy to hit the target of being a Neurologist. However, it’s a long journey and requires arduous efforts & patience from the aspirant. 

Q. Is neurology a good career?

Ans- Yes! Studying Neurology and gaining the requisite qualifications stand an excellent chance to get a lucrative and impressive career in the concerning field. 

Reads Beyond Journey to Becoming a Neurologist Under Career Posts

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