Neurological Physician Job Definition
Most of their patients are referred to Neurological Physicians by other doctors. They may be called to confirm a diagnosis or perform further testing. The Neurorologist then goes through patient history and conducts exams.
Their examination includes physical examinations of the neck and head, balance tests, checking reflexes, range of movement and muscle strength. They can also conduct examinations to check the patient’s sensory response, memory, speech, and other cognitive abilities. The results of these exams show if the problem is really within their field of expertise (meaning, it is a problem with the nervous system). It also helps determine the clinical localization, meaning where in the nervous system does it lie.
Certain clinic responsibilities are solely in the field of the neurologist. Some countries require that a neurologist investigate and determine brain death. Lumbar punctures are often done by Neurologists. This is a delicate procedure wherein spinal fluid must be collected from a patient. It requires that a needle be inserted in the gaps in the spinal column to collect the fluid without damaging the spinal cord. Neurologists are often required to administer people who suffer from hereditary disorders as well.
While the Neurologist is the one who would handle diagnosis, management and treatment of conditions in their field, there are times when they would refer the patient to another doctor for certain procedures. If surgery is necessary, they can require the help of a neurosurgeon. Acute head trauma is chiefly attended by Neurosurgeons but Neurologists would be the ones in charge of rehabilitation after surgery.
The recent popularity of vascular neurology and interventional neurologists means that there is now a high demand for neurologists who specialize in stroke, an illness previously in the area of internists.