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What qualifications do you need to become a neurologist?

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Qualifications typically required to become a neurologist include earning a bachelor’s degree, completing a medical school program, passing the medical licensing exam, and completing an internship and residency program. Neurologists are surgeons and physicians who treat problems with the spinal cord, brain, peripheral nerves and other nervous system disorders.

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A bachelor’s degree concentrating in chemistry, biological sciences and physics may increase the chances of getting accepted to medical school. An aspiring neurologist must pass the Medical College Admission Test during the junior year of her undergraduate program.

Neurologists are required to attend medical school to obtain a doctorate in medicine. Most courses last four years. Courses may include ethics, immunology, nutrition and human anatomy. Students cover medical specialization and receive clinical training during their third and fourth years.

Aspiring neurologists must then pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination to be able to practice medicine in the country. This exam is administered by the Federation of State Medical Boards and National Board of Medical Examiners. Residency programs and internships may require students to pass the test before admitting them.

Neurologists are required to complete a one-year internship program in surgery or internal medicine.

Lastly, the neurologist must complete a residency program typically lasting three years. Residents typically complete case studies, participate in patient rounds and attend lectures.

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