What does a Neurologist do?

Diagnose, treat, and help prevent diseases and disorders of the nervous system.

Jobs Roles

  • Participate in neuroscience research activities.
  • Provide training to medical students or staff members.
  • Participate in continuing education activities to maintain and expand competence.
  • Supervise medical technicians in the performance of neurological diagnostic or therapeutic activities.
  • Counsel patients or others on the background of neurological disorders including risk factors, or genetic or environmental concerns.
  • Interpret the results of neuroimaging studies such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT), and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans.
  • Refer patients to other health care practitioners as necessary.
  • Advise other physicians on the treatment of neurological problems.
  • Prescribe or administer medications, such as anti-epileptic drugs, and monitor patients for behavioral and cognitive side effects.
  • Prescribe or administer treatments such as transcranial magnetic stimulation, vagus nerve stimulation, and deep brain stimulation.
  • Prepare, maintain, or review records that include patients' histories, neurological examination findings, treatment plans, or outcomes.
  • Perform specialized treatments in areas such as sleep disorders, neuroimmunology, neuro-oncology, behavioral neurology, and neurogenetics.
  • Order or interpret results of laboratory analyses of patients' blood or cerebrospinal fluid.
  • Order supportive care services such as physical therapy, specialized nursing care, and social services.
  • Interview patients to obtain information such as complaints, symptoms, medical histories, and family histories.
  • Inform patients or families of neurological diagnoses and prognoses, or benefits, risks and costs of various treatment plans.
  • Diagnose neurological conditions based on interpretation of examination findings, histories, or test results.
  • Develop treatment plans based on diagnoses and on evaluation of factors such as age and general health, or procedural risks and costs.
  • Determine brain death using accepted tests and procedures.
  • Communicate with other health care professionals regarding patients' conditions and care.
  • Coordinate neurological services with other health care team activities.
  • Perform or interpret the outcomes of procedures or diagnostic tests such as lumbar punctures, electroencephalography, electromyography, and nerve conduction velocity tests.
  • Identify and treat major neurological system diseases and disorders such as central nervous system infection, cranio spinal trauma, dementia, and stroke.
  • Examine patients to obtain information about functional status of areas such as vision, physical strength, coordination, reflexes, sensations, language skills, cognitive abilities, and mental status.