This page contains information on the specialty of neurology, one of the 18 specialties participating in RCP-SRO-coordinated ST3 recruitment.
It is currently an excellent time to consider a career in neurology.
The specialty is extremely varied and a growth area, given the increasing demand for neurologists both acutely (liaison neurology, acute stroke) and in the management of chronic neurological disorders.
Neurology - trainee characteristics
Neurology will particularly suit trainees who:
- are innovative
- have good clinical skills (that combine a good knowledge of anatomy to good listening skills)
- are able to work with a measure of independence.
Working/training in an ST3 neurology post
The specialty of neurology is changing rapidly.
Traditionally, neurology had been thought of as an intellectual pursuit, concerned with the diagnosis of rare conditions of the nervous system.
However, the advent of accessible imaging, and the increasing emergence of potential therapies, has led to neurologists' involvement with the treatment and on-going care of disorders which are in fact very common; such as stroke, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease.
A good clinical neurologist must have a good general medical background - and so full MRCP is an essential requirement to start at ST3 level.
There are plenty of opportunities for research, and many trainees will undertake a period of research towards a higher degree as part of their neurological training (as an out-of-programme experience).
East of England deanery have further information on neurology training and fellowships which can be downloaded from the toolbar on the left of this page.
Neurology in demand
There has recently been a rapid increase in numbers of consultant neurologists and it is likely that new posts will continue to be developed (even in spite of the current NHS financial climate, such is the demand for specialist neurological care).
Most district general hospitals will require at least two neurologists, responsible for GP referrals and seeing inpatient referrals from other specialists.
Furthermore, the National Stroke Strategy has increased the need for specialists, including neurologists, with expertise in the care of patients with neurovascular disease.
Competition has also been strong within neurology ST3 recruitment: in 2012 round 1, 111 applications were submitted with 34 NTN posts available; a ratio of 3.3 applications per NTN post.
In 2013 round 1, this ratio was again 3.3 applications per NTN (117 applicants, 35 NTNs available).
View from a consultant neurologist
Dr David Nicholl is a consultant neurologist in Birmingham; he tells us why he was attracted to neurology, and why he thinks it's 'the best job in the world!'
- NHS medical careers
- JRCPTB specialty page
- RCP (London), My specialty
- 2010 curriculum
- 2013 person specification
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