Aspiring neurologists must first attend college and then medical school. During their undergraduate years, the neurologists of tomorrow often major in a traditional science such as biology, chemistry or even biomedical science so that they have a foundation for moving on to medical school. Some colleges may even offer a pre-med concentration that will incorporate specific science courses that provide an even more appropriate grounding for medical school. Appropriate pre-med degree courses are sometimes offered online.
Medical schools must be accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medication Education, and admission into these schools is highly competitive with applicants needing to score highly on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). Schools also typically require applicants to attend an interview, and their personality and perceived leadership qualities can be a key factor in securing a place.
A degree from a medical school usually takes four years to earn, and towards the end of the program candidates must pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE).
Once the examination is complete, a licensed doctor can participate in an internship for two to three years and/or enter a neurology residency that can run for around three or four years and will typically feature rotations in subspecialties such as child neurology, neuro-oncology and behavioral neurology. Beyond the residency, further specialization can be achieved by undertaking a clinical fellowship program in neurology.
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