To be a neurologist, do you need to get into a medical school that specializes in neurology?

Oct 10, 2014
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I looked up Google for answers, and I'm still confused. All doctors are specialized in one area (i.e., pediatrics, gynecology, etc.).

Do you need to be accepted into a medical school that specializes into your area of interest? Or do you just need to study at any medical school and worry about specialization during your residency?
 
Sep 7, 2012
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Medical Student
I looked up Google for answers, and I'm still confused. All doctors are specialized in one area (i.e., pediatrics, gynecology, etc.).

Do you need to be accepted into a medical school that specializes into your area of interest? Or do you just need to study at any medical school and worry about specialization during your residency?
Hi Cascara!

Anyone who attains an MD or a DO (different medical degrees) can become any form of specialist, although some specialties are harder to gain entry to as a DO. In the united states, you must first attain a bachelors degree before attending medical school.

Here is a list of specialties for medical doctors. I didn't spend a lot of time on the page, but it seems to be fairly inclusive (some specialties and specialty combinations, like EM/IM, do not appear to be listed).
http://www.mclaren.org/healthadvantage/alistofdefinitionsofmedicalspecialtiesadv.aspx

Welcome to SDN!
You should also probably know that this website has multiple sets of forums: the one you posted this to is meant for allopathic (MD) students. These are students who are already in medical school. Based on your question, I am assuming you are somewhat earlier in your career, so this question may be moved to a different board by one of the moderators.

Good luck with your career, whatever you choose!

Edit: some of the "specialties" listed on that site are actually sub-specialties, which are attained in a fellowship after a residency. For an example, we'll use a cardiologist. A person fresh out of college would complete 4 years of college, 4 years of medical school, 3 years of internal medicine, and then a 3+ year fellowship for cardiology. All cardiologists are internists (who completed an IM residency), but not all internists are cardiologists. Some internists will remain general internists, and some may sub-specialize in other fields like allergy or endocrinology.
 
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JP2740

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I looked up Google for answers, and I'm still confused. All doctors are specialized in one area (i.e., pediatrics, gynecology, etc.).

Do you need to be accepted into a medical school that specializes into your area of interest? Or do you just need to study at any medical school and worry about specialization during your residency?
Med schools specialize in one field?

I guess an important thing if you want to look at something is if the medical school has the department of your interested field. It's a plus if your medical school has a neurology department. This is especially important for competitive fields as it helps you get the letters of recommendation you need. However, this should not be your only thing you look at because your field of choice might change. Neurology is one of those things I bet most med schools has a department in though.

Otherwise, you will learn neurology during your first 2 years. You will likely have a neuro rotation in your 3rd year to get LOR and perform well in. And you will take 1-2 neuro rotations your 4th year to secure more letters of recs and/or visit other programs.

1st year med school - basic science driven- physiology, anatomy, biochem, neuroanatomy etc
2nd year med school - clinical basic science - pathophysiology, pharmacology, etc
3rd year med school - clinical rotations in many fields - internal medicine, family medicine, pedes, neurology, psychiatry, surgery, ob/gyn, etc
4th year med school - maybe 1-2 required rotations, otherwise you take electives of your personal interest: neuro if you wanna do neuro + other ****, interviews for residency

Residency: Training directed to your field of interest. Neuro residency, ENT residency, IM residency, general surgery, etc.
 
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gladlyfocused

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Or do you just need to study at any medical school and worry about specialization during your residency?
That is correct.

You apply to a residency in the field of your interest after you graduate from a medical school (MD or DO). In your case, a neurology residency. Hope this helps!
 

altblue

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i'm a just pre-med so correct me if I'm wrong, but neurology isn't terribly competitive. maybe it's not as easy as fm or psych, but it shouldn't be too hard to get into (unlike plastics or derm). :)

This is good for me as well since I'm interested in neuro, IM, and family medicine. :)
 

DubVille

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That is correct.

You apply to a residency in the field of your interest after you graduate from a medical school (MD or DO). In your case, a neurology residency. Hope this helps!
Minor correction, you apply at the beginning of your 4th year.
 
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DermViser

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No.