Becoming a Neurologist isn’t easy
Becoming a Neurologist isn’t easy, there’s a huge sacrifice that must be done in order to be successful. In life, it is very important to look ahead to universities, especially in the very field of neurology. This is a career that is in high demand and I look forward to studying in this field.
What is Pediatric Neurology?
Pediatric Neurology is basically a study which specializes in diagnosing and treating disorders of the nervous system as well including diseases of the brain, spinal cord, nerves, and muscles. Some examples of these disorders and diseases are strokes, epilepsy, headaches, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, and various forms of pain.
The pediatric neurologist in order to diagnose a patient is required to look at both sides of the story so in cases of disorders he or she has to see the positive and negative signs of the patient. The positive signs the Neurologist may observe are sensory deficiencies, pain, tremors, bizarre behavior or confusion, weak muscles, and difficulty controlling movement. The negative signs that they may as well observe include paralysis, loss of feeling, not being able to speak, and/or loss of consciousness.
A skill that is very important in the medical field that Neurologists use quite often is being very observant, this is highly needed because they need to pick up all the warning signs like I discussed.
Before the neurologist proceeds to go further into learning about the patient, he or she must check the child’s history, which helps determine if there was an incident or a factor that caused a disorder. The neurologist may also choose to do a history of both parents as part of their information needed to come up with a diagnosis since some disorders and diseases are hereditary. A neurological examination will include an evaluation of a person’s mental status, a visual examination of the cranium and spine, cranial nerve testing, sensory testing, an evaluation of the muscular system, an assessment of coordination, and autonomic function testing. The neurologist must look at all possible explanations for a child’s illness or disability. As mentioned before being astute and observant is a huge must in the neurological field.
In my opinion, Pediatric neurology is a good career for me because I am interested in the complex puzzles within the brain and the many disorders there is to the brain, not that it’s a good thing but learning about them is very intriguing. Someday I hope to help contribute to this field and help find a solution to one of these disorders. I as a person as well enjoy working with children. In the future, I want to be able to give children a chance to have a better life without the suffering and giving their parents a ray of light. My interest in the complexities of the brain and the nervous system started when I was at Med High and competed in the Brain Bee at UT Health San Antonio, everything started to piece together and with time I came to have a very passionate connection with Neurology.
In order to become a pediatric neurologist, you must first complete a four-year undergraduate program in order to get a bachelor’s degree and then continue to four years of medical school. Depending on what school you may attend, some offer the opportunity to do undergraduate and medical school at the same time in which you could finish in 6 years.
In undergraduate work, you must complete credits in physics, biology, math, English, inorganic and organic chemistry, humanities, and social sciences. To get accepted to the medical school you must have a Grade Point Average (GPA) of about 3.5 and you must earn a good score on the MCAT’s which plays a huge role in your acceptance. After completing college and medical school you must do your residency which may be done in many different ways, I will be demonstrating the different routes you may take for your residency. The first route you can go is a three-year training in neurology and a two-year general pediatric training. You could also choose to do one year of internal medicine, one year of general pediatrics, and three years of neurology training. The final choice is to do one year of pediatrics, one year of basic neuroscience research, and three years of neurology training. After you are done with all the necessary things I have told you about becoming a neurologist you must do you must pass the National Board Exams and in some states, you must take the State Board Exams. Finally, after all that studying for the board exam, you apply for a license in your state and just wait for it to arrive.
Now that we know on how to become a pediatric neurologist I have to decide where the best place to go to begin my studies is. My first option is Baylor College of Medicine and it has many attributes that make it the best for me. Baylor College of Medicine is located in Houston, TX which is very convenient since it’s close to home. The yearly tuition for medical school is $29,900. Baylor College of Medicine offers a great anatomy and neurobiology program. There are other options for medical school but this is my number one priority, although either of these schools would be the first step to making my dream come true.
The salaries for a pediatric neurologist are all depending on what work you do, your seniority, and where exactly you work. The salaries for residents depend on how long you have worked at the hospital. In fact, the first year the resident is paid approximately $48,006 while a second year resident sees an increase to about $50,003. However, the third year resident makes $52,000 and the fourth year resident will receive $53,997. The salaries for practicing doctors can range from $190,000 to around $220,000. As in for Pediatric Neurologists there is a very small amount of them since the schooling and subject is a bit more rigorous, the demand is higher for them.
As a matter of fact, pediatric neurologists have higher chances to get a promotion while they are working at the hospital. If you gain seniority in the hospital you can get to the point where you are head chief or even better head of the hospital. A pediatric neurologist tends to work 60 hours a week, which is an incredibly enormous amount of time but in the end, all that time is going to be worth it when a child will be able to participate in normal activities other children do.
As I said earlier it is very important to look for universities that have good programs, especially for pediatric neurology. Through my research, I have come to the conclusion pediatric neurology is the career I have a passion for, this is for me. The preparation to become a practicing pediatric neurologist takes many rigorous years of just pure hard work, but in the end, it is worth it to see a child smile another day. I know that this is the job for me.