Marios Politis is a Professor of Neurology, Consultant Neurologist, the Director of Neurodegeneration Imaging Group and the Director of Mireille Gillings Neuroimaging Centre at the University of Exeter.

Pursuing a Career in Neurology

Educating the neurologists of the future is of fundamental importance to Marios Politis, who has spent many years teaching at a university level. For Marios, passing on his expertise and knowledge in this field to the new generation is crucial.

A career in neurology offers opportunities like no other. Neurologists are doctors who specialize in treating the brain and the conditions that affect the central and peripheral nervous systems. These conditions include epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, stroke and brain tumours.

How to Start a Career in Neurology in the UK

For those wishing to become a neurologist in the UK, the route usually begins with a five to six year university course that leads to the student graduating with a degree in medicine (recognised by the General Medical Council, or GMC), followed by a two-year foundation programme. After this comes paid specialty training to become a neurologist, which takes a minimum of five years.

Take a look at the embedded PDF for information about how to become a neurologist in the US.

The Work of a Neurologist

Neurologists can diagnose complex conditions by considering the history of the patient and carrying out tests and physical examinations. Mental status, vision, strength, speech, sensation, coordination, reflexes and gait are examples of some of the things a neurologist will look at as part of diagnosing.  Common neurological tests include computed tomography (CT) scans, computer-assisted tomography (CAT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), electroencephalography (EEG), and lumbar punctures.

Neurologists are different from neurosurgeons: the former do not perform brain or spinal cord surgery. General neurologists, however, do perform procedures including lumbar punctures and nerve conduction studies; neurologists that are subspecialty-trained may also perform procedures including angiograms, intraoperative brain and spine monitoring, and skin and muscle biopsies.

How Do Neurologists Make a Difference?

As well as treating diseases of the nervous system using groundbreaking therapies, neurologists train, educate and volunteer with a focus on helping people to lead healthier lives.

Neurologists can interact with many different fields, including those of medicine, sports, fine art, law, business, global health and politics. Neurologists can improve and fundamentally change the lives of many people throughout their careers.