Neurology is the area of medicine that deals with the nervous system and its disorders. There are several ways to categorize neurology jobs. One is by the occupational title of the person working in an area of neurology. Another is by the type of work being done, and lastly, we can look at the subspecialties that make up the field.
People who hold neurology jobs typically hold one of four or so occupational titles. First, a neurologist is a physician with specialist training in diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the nervous system and nerves. Second, a neurology nurse is a licensed health professional with specialist training in neurology as well as understanding and skill in services that promote and restore health. Third, a neurology nurse practitioner is a nurse with advanced training in health assessment as it relates to neurology. Fourth, a neurology physician assistant (PA) is a health professional trained in a portion of the duties of a physician and able to assist in taking patient histories, doing physical examinations, drawing blood, and other routine procedures with the physician supervising.
Neurology jobs categorized by type of work give us a different view of the profession. First, there are clinical practice jobs, in which the primary objective is treating patients. This is often combined with teaching, either in a medical school, a neuroscience department in a college or university, or both. One could also teach neuroscience without engaging in clinical practice. Another area, which can be the sole element of the job or combine with teaching and/or clinical practice is research. In 2000, according to the American Association of Neurologists, at least 40% of neurologists were involved in both clinical practice and clinical research.
Finally, we can categorize neurology jobs by the subspecialties, using either the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) subspecialties—i.e., the specialties that are eligible for certification—are the subspecialties that appear in the field, for example, in medical colleges. In the first case, the subspecialties of neurology are Child Neurology, Clinical Neurophysiology, Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Neurodevelopmental Disabilities, Neuromuscular Medicine, Pain Medicine, Sleep Medicine, and Vascular Neurology. Subspecialties that appear in medical schools and therefore are linked to neurology jobs include Epilepsy, Neuro-oncology, Multiple Sclerosis, Dementia, Neuropsychology, Parkinson and Movement Disorders, Neuro-Opthamology, Neurogenetics, Headache Medicine, Autonomic Disorders, Behavioral Neurology, Geriatric Neurology, Neurocritcal Care, and Neuroimaging. Neurology is an evolving field, and new subspecialties—and therefore, new types of neurology jobs—are likely to continue emerging.