Specialty Choice: Neurology
A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer's disease, stroke, migraine, multiple sclerosis, brain injury, Parkinson's disease, and epilepsy. (Source: American Academy of Neurology)
The following information comes from the National Resident Matching Program's Charting Outcomes in the Match 2014 (PDF) based on matched applicants in the United States.
- Step score averages:
- Mean Step 1 of U.S. Matched Applicants: 230
- Mean Step 2 CK of U.S. Matched Applicants: 241
- Average number of research experiences: 2.9
- Average number of abstracts, presentations and publications: 4.9
- Work and Volunteer:
- Average number of work experiences: 2.8
- Average number of volunteer experiences: 6.1
- Mean number of contiguous ranks of U.S. matched applicants: 11.3
Advice for MS1 and MS2 Students
Q: What particular activities should first and second year students get involved with who are interested in pursuing this specialty?
Student Interest Group in Neurology (SIGN) and shadowing in the specialty.
Q: Are research experiences important in your specialty?
Yes, but not required.
Q: If so, do these need to be specialty specific research experiences?
Preferred, but not required.
Q: Does class rank matter?
Not particularly, but doing well in the first two years of medical school is always looked on favorably during residency interviews and prepares you to do well on your Step 1 exam. 12.8 percent of U.S. matched applicants are members of AOA.
Advice for MS3 and MS4 Students
Q: When should I ask for letters of recommendation (LORs)?
Ideally you should ask for letters in May but absolutely no later than July, allowing your letter writers adequate time to upload your letter prior to the ERAS application submission date of Sept. 15. Your personal statement and CV should be ready as well as many letter writers will request this in order to write you a strong letter.
Q: How many LORs do you need?
Q: Is a letter from a chair required?
Q: Do all letters need to be written by members of this specialty?
No, but generally at least two are from neurologists.
Q: Does your Step 2 CK score matter?
A high score makes you more competitive.
Q: What electives would you recommend for someone who is interested in pursuing this specialty?
Do your neurology elective early during fourth year. Cardiology, pulmonary, infectious disease, ophthalmology are good options.
Q: Should a student interested in this specialty do away rotations?
This is an individual decision based on goals.
Q: Which month is recommended to take off to interview?
Similar Specialties to Consider
- Physical medicine & rehabilitation
- Family medicine
- Infectious disease
- Geriatric medicine
- Length of program: Four years
- Number of accredited programs: 136
- Transitional year needed: Yes, although some programs offer combined four-year tracks
- Combo programs: Medicine/neurology, psychiatry/neurology, neuroradiology
- Common variations among programs: Academic environment (curriculum, facilities, faculty-to-resident ratios, etc.), university-based vs. non-university-based, presence of subspecialty expertise, amount of resident autonomy for newly presenting undiagnosed patients, size, patient-to-resident ratios and quantity of consults
- Autonomic Disorders
- Behavioral Neurology/Neuropsychiatry
- Child Neurology
- Clinical Neurosphysiology
- Complementary Medicine
- Geriatric Neurology
- Headache Medicine
- Interventional Neuroradiology
- Movement Disorders
- Neural repair and Rehabilitation
- Neurointensive care
- Pain Medicine
- Sleep Medicine
- Vascular Neurology (stroke)
Looking into the Future/Changes in Health Care
The field of neurology has grown at an astonishing rate since the founding of the National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke in 1950. Neurology may shift its focus from being a consultation specialty to one of long-term primary care by a subspecialist.
- Career Services Focus Newsletter
- Boonshoft School of Medicine Residency Program
- Boonshoft School of Medicine Residency Program Director: Bradley Jacobs, M.D., M.S.
- Boonshoft School of Medicine Department Interim Chair: Glen D. Solomon, M.D.
- BSOM Student Interest Group in Neurology
- Search for recent Wright State graduates who matched in Neurology
- Association of American Medical Colleges Careers in Medicine: Neurology
See the Career Essentials Pilot Page regarding specialty specific advice for more detailed information and resources.
StudentDoctor.net (2005). SDN Physician Features: Neurology FAQ.