Exam Date: 28 Jan, 2021
Neurology is the study of nerves. The science of medicine behind the functioning and treatment of disorders related to the nervous system comes under neurology. Physiological functions of the human body like sleeping, consciousness, sensitivity, waking up, behaviour, etc. are all controlled by the nerves. The nervous system is a complex system and neurology revolves all-around this sophisticated system.
Doctor of Medicine (Neurology) is a specialization in the field of medicine and one can go for it after completing the pre-medical education. It is a post-doctorate speciality degree in which one goes through rigorous training. A doctor who completes the D.M. (Neurology) course is called a neurologist. A neurologist is a doctor who is specialized in treating the illnesses of the nervous system.
Neurologists are experts in neurology and hence they can identify the symptoms which imply a neurological disorder and then treat the cause of those symptoms. The alarming symptoms include:
Frequent and persistent headaches or heavy-headedness
Numbness or muscle weakness
Reduced alertness or coordination
Pain in nerves
Difficulty in sleeping, reading, writing
Loss of sensation (partial or complete; eyesight, touch, smell etc.)
Paralysis (partial or complete)
Neurologists treat patients with neurological diseases. There are several neurological disorders which are discussed later in this article under the section ‘Course Subjects’.
To become or practice as a neurologist, the following is required:
MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) degree from a reputed college or university
M.D. (Medicine or Pediatrics) or equivalent DNB course of 2 years with 50% marks in MBBS at least and good entrance exam score
Doctor of Medicine (Neurology) specialization of 3 years
Speciality training (neurology) in a residency program
Further specialization under neurology (optional)
To become a neurosurgeon, all the above-mentioned requirements are valid with and additional training of surgery.
The entrance exams for UG programs (MBBS) are as follows:
National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET)- NEET is a common entrance exam for 12th pass students to be eligible for admissions in the undergraduate medical course, i.e. MBBS. The exams consist of questions from Physics, Chemistry and Biology in MCQ form. All India Ranks, scores, and cut-offs are released based on which different universities decide the eligibility for admissions of candidates.
AIIMS MBBS Exam- This exam is separately conducted for admissions only in the 13 premier All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) all over India.
Similarly, the entrance exams for PG programs (M.D.) and Post-doctorate programs (D.M.) are as follows:
DNB PDCET- Diplomate of National Board (DNB) is a PG course and PDCET is the entrance exam for getting admission into the course by National Board of Examinations (NBE).
AIIMS PG, SS- It is conducted by AIIMS for admission in any of the 13 AIIMS in India.
JIPMER PG- Conducted by Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research for PG medical courses.
PGIMER- Conducted by Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh for PG Programs. For PG and above programs, group discussions and interviews are also conducted.
There are other university-specific or college-specific entrance exams conducted by medical colleges about which you will be informed through their websites and social media handles.
As the number of patients goes up each year, the scope of neurology is also increasing. With more and more new hospitals being built (both private and government) and advanced technologies coming in, the neurologists are in high demand. Research is also being carried out on a larger scale now, as compared to earlier times.
As a result, there are many opportunities out there. Today, people’s lifestyle is such that they are becoming more prone to neurological illnesses and hence, people need neurologists more than ever now.
Even abroad, there are options for building a career. Research centres, hospitals, healthcare centres – all require neurosurgeons and neurologists. Countries like the US, UK, etc. are great contributors in the field of neurology. Thus, they have plenty of opportunities to offer from time to time.
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Few of the subjects under D.M. (Neurology) include the following:
The focus of the course is on educating the doctors about types of neurological disorders and how to identify them. After that, neurological procedures and technologies used are practised by the budding neurologists.
In neurology, we encounter a wide variety of disorders. The common neurological disorders are:
Alzheimer’s Disease- It is the most common form of dementia. Alzheimer’s disease affects brain function and as a consequence, neurotransmitters are attacked. It also affects the memory to a great extent.
Bell’s Palsy- It refers to the paralysis or weakening of one side of the face. This is seen suddenly due to inflammation or destruction of facial tissues. Other symptoms may include headaches, pain, difficulty eating or drinking, etc. However, it is mostly temporary. Oral steroids or antiviral medicine is prescribed for this disorder.
Cerebral Palsy- Damage of the nervous system during pregnancy or after birth causes this disorder. The control over muscles is lost and hence, the movements, postures and vision are affected by Cerebral Palsy.
Headaches – Cluster Headaches and Migraines- Migraine is the most common disorder seen in people nowadays. Increasing levels of stress and screen time lead to severe headaches which turn into conditions like migraines and cluster headaches. Cluster headaches are shorter in duration, least common headache found in people, but are periodic. Migraine is a condition of severe pain in the head which feels like throbbing.
Parkinson’s Disease- It is caused by the damage of the neurons which are responsible for creating dopamine, also known as the happiness hormone. Dopamine is responsible for maintaining the smooth movement of muscles.
The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include a problem in balancing, tremors, rigidity, etc. This disorder also causes depression (because of lack of dopamine), pain, sleep issues and memory issues.
Motor Neuron Disease (MND)- This disorder affects motor neurons, i.e. the nerves responsible for movement. Eventually, the muscles get weaker and weaker, day by day. The result is paralysis. Initially, patients experience weakness in body parts like shoulders, legs, hands, etc. After some time, the movement is restricted to a great extent.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)- Multiple Sclerosis destroys myelin which keeps the nervous system together. As a result, scars are visible and the body becomes incapable of sending signals properly. It is an autoimmune disease. Symptoms include tiredness, sensitivity to heat, concentration problems, balancing problems, and others.
Epilepsy- Epilepsy symptoms include repetitive seizures. It is a range of conditions affecting the brain for long-term and causing seizures back to back. Unusual behaviours, loss of consciousness are few symptoms.
Neurofibromatosis- The growth of benign (non-cancerous) tumours leads to the disorder called Neurofibromatosis. In this disease, brown-coloured skin patches and blurred vision are experienced and it is generally diagnosed in childhood itself. However, it is not curable but is certainly manageable.
Sciatica- Sciatica includes pain in the sciatic nerve, a nerve starting from the lower spine extending to the foot through the backside of the leg. The pain is experienced in the back and legs.
All the neurological disorders are diagnosed with the help of a range of tests. According to the examination of these tests, a neurologist determines the course of treatment. In the specialization degree, you will be trained as to how to determine the selection of tests for the symptoms followed by the treatment or medication prescribed.
There are several procedures involved in the treatment of neurological disorders, which are observed and practised by aspiring neurologists during the specialization course. Some of them are listed below:
Lumbar puncture- A lumbar puncture is used by neurologists to collect a sample of spinal fluid. This procedure helps diagnose leukaemia, dementia, meningitis, autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS), etc. Lumbar punctures are used for treating neurological cancer, spinal cord related problems, and injecting antibiotics and anaesthetics as well.
Tests- To diagnose a neurological disorder, some tests which prove helpful are:
Imaging tests like MRI, CT Scan, PET Scan, Ultrasound
Lab tests (collecting blood and urine samples)
Tensilon Test: It is a blood test used to diagnose myasthenia gravis which is a rare neuromuscular disease.
Electroencephalogram- Electroencephalograms (EEG) are used to monitor brain activity. The electrical activity of the brain is measured and recorded; along with that, the electrical impulses by neurons are detected by EEG. In this procedure, electrodes are placed on a person’s head and the electrical signals from the brain are converted into patterns which the technician examines. Unusual brain activity tells about the kind of neurological disorder. The disorders which can be identified using EEG are epilepsy, brain tumours, etc.
Deep brain stimulation- Deep brain stimulation is used for treating movement disorders like essential tremor, Parkinson's disease, psychiatric disorders like obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), etc. It is similar to EEG.
Concussion testing- Concussion testing is used to examine the brain’s health after head trauma or injury. The before and after images are assessed and diagnosed through either asking questions or by computer.
After the diagnosis and examination by the neurologist, the patients are prescribed medicines and treatment accordingly and surgery is suggested if required.
Further, neurologists can also specialize in a particular domain of neurology. Subspecialties in neurology include:
Headache medicine – for migraines and other headaches
Neuromuscular medicine – for muscle-related issues
Sleep medicine – for sleep disorders
Vascular – for strokes
After completing your education in the neurology field, you can either practice as a specialist, physician, surgeon, etc. based upon your qualification or choose for other options like going into research and teaching domains. A neurology lecturer or assistant professor in institutes like AIIMS is a good option to consider.
Listed below are some job profiles in neurology and their responsibilities.
A neurologist is responsible for identifying the symptoms and neurological disorder associated with them through examination using a range of tests.
Responsible for carrying out the surgeries for treating neurological injuries or disorders.
Responsible for conducting research for the development in medicine and practices of neurology.
Responsible for teaching neurology to aspirants in UG and PG courses.
A consultant is responsible for giving neurological health guidance, recommends the correct course of treatment and provides prevention measures.
Neurology Top Recruiters
The top recruiters for neurologists are:
Max Healthcare Institute Ltd
Apollo Super Specialty
Narayana Hrudayalaya Health City
Indo American Hospital
The job areas most likely to demand neurologists are:
Hospitals - Government and Private
Academics (Professors and Lecturers)
Good communication skills for building effective and healthy relationships with the colleagues, staff and patients in the medical environment.
Good knowledge of the medical subjects included in the course should be practically understood well.
Teamwork is a very important factor in a medical environment for ensuring patient care.
High emotional intelligence, good leadership skills and problem-solving skills.
The process of becoming a neurologist is quite a long one. The MBBS course is of nearly five years. The M.D. (Medicine) course is for two years. The DM (Neurology) course is of three years. Apart from this, you also need to do an internship for practical experience.
The D.M. includes residency program training wherein practical training is involved. Further surgery training is conducted for aspiring neurosurgeons.
Exam Date: 28 Jan, 2021
Here is the list of colleges in Tamil Nadu that offers D.M Neurology course.
Please click the below link for the list of colleges
BDS also known as Bachelor of Dental Science is a course where you will be studying to become a dental surgeon. This course cover carious fields of dental problems, denture and surgery . After the completion of the five year course you will be employed in either of the following places such as Private Clinics, Educational Institutions, Dental Clinics, Hospitals, Dental Products Manufactures, Pharmaceutical Companies
Whereas Neurology is a field of medicine where you will be leaning how to deal with nervous system. This field deals with diagnosis as well as treatment of kinds of conditions and diseases involving central and peripheral nervous systems. After the completion of this course you will be known as a neurologist
When it comes to choosing which field is better BDS or Neurology, it all solely depends on ones interest and drive. If dealing with various aspects of dental medicine is something that fascinates you then you should choose BDS. If the workings of the nervous system interests you then you should choose Neurology.
Biotechnology deals with the study of Biotechnology the genetic, chemical and physical attributes of cells, tissues, and organisms in order to develop new technologies, processes, and products that will improve the quality of human life.
While Neurology deals with the anatomy , functioning and measures of Nerves systems mainly in human body.
Both the courses deals with cellular genetics but in biotechnology ,it includes technology that can be applied in plant tissues like transmission of genetics. Nowadays biotechnology is even applied in neuroscience to fix problems in human brain. Thus biotechnology seems more interesting and have more scope.
But it mainly depends on your interest. If you are more curious in human nervous system and its features you should go for it. Orelse if you have an interest in applying technology to make changes in biology then biotechnology suits you better.
Both courses have a wide range of scope and it's based on your interest, how Better you can do it and the opportunities you will be offered.
Hope you find this information useful
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