What they do

A neurologist is a physician who specialises in the diagnosis, treatment and management of disorders of the nervous system, including diseases of the brain, spinal cord, nerves and muscles.

The scope of a neurologist is wide and can include involvement in the treatment of epilepsy, stroke, cerebral palsy, neural tube defects, muscular dystrophy, autism spectrum disorder, movement disorders, acquired brain injury, and speech, language and memory problems.

There are approximately 30 neurologists in Western Australia all of who are based in Perth.

Working conditions

Neurologists work in hospitals, private practice or a combination of both. Some neurologists work 60+ hours a week which can include shift, weekend and on-call responsibilities.

A typical day involves seeing patients and time spent doing paperwork. Although the job can be emotionally demanding it can also be emotionally rewarding.

Tools and technologies

Neurologists use specialised equipment including computerised axial tomography (CAT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and electronencephalography (EEG). Others tools include molecular biology, electrophysiology and neuroimaging.

How do I become one?

Education and training

To become a neurologist, you must first become a qualified medical practitioner and then specialise in neurology.

To become a medical practitioner, you need to study a degree in medicine. Alternatively, you can study a degree in any discipline followed by a postgraduate degree in medicine.

Some universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.

To specialise in neurology, doctors can apply to the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) to undertake further training and ultimately receive fellowship.

To be eligible for this specialist training, on completion of your medical degree, you must work in the public hospital system for a minimum of two years (internship and residency).

Required registration and licensing

To work as a neurologist in Western Australia, you will need to obtain registration from the Medical Board of Australia.