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Kelsey Setla
Sherrin Frances
English 212
19 April 2015
Neurology: A Career of Immense Passions
Neurology: Introduction
The brain is an insurmountably complex and difficult object to fully understand.
Psychologists, Sociologists, Neurologists, and many other socio-health professionals have spent
hundreds of years trying to decipher its complex development, structure, and function. Although
huge gains have been made in the studying and understanding of the brain, there are still
countless aspects left to explore. This mystery alone is enough to urge individuals into
neurologically-related fields. As author Nedra Reynolds asserts in her book, Geographies of
Writing: Inhabiting Places and Encountering Difference, the differences in relationships among
subjects can have huge impacts on the way people view the world. This is evident in the medical
field through the differing relationships between types of medical professions and how
professionals relate to their patients.
Of all socio-health professionals, Neurologists are some of the foremost specialists who
study the nervous system, its structure, and its function. Neurologists specialize in the study and
repair of the structure of the nervous system, specifically. Not only is this a unique career, it is
extremely rare that anyone has the time, energy, money, and passion that it takes to pursue such a
rigorous career path that is so specific. Although studying the brain has its drawbacks, there are
immense gains for those who choose to pursue a career as a Neurologist.
Neurology: Drawbacks
The drawbacks, although limited, are still crucial to the decision to become a Neurologist
—especially because it is such a demanding career that requires a large amount of dedication and
passion. These downfalls include low income (compared to other, related fields), lack of
recognition, time-intensive work days, few actual surgical procedures, tough decision making,

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and vast amounts of information to comprehend. It is important to analyze all of these factors
when making this career decision.
As per usual, the money aspect is one of the most important. In a study completed by
Medscape, Neurologists ranked 16th out of 22 different specialties relating to the brain (Wilner).
This means that although the salary of Neurologists is quite substantial—$182,410 to be exact—
there are still other brain-related specialties that have a much higher payout (“Neurologists”). In
conjunction with the amount of money Neurologists earn once they have obtained a career, many
times, the education that Neurology requires is time consuming and difficult to obtain all at once.
Quite often Neurology students are presented with large amounts of information that they are
expected to understand quickly in order to move on to their medical residencies and, usually,
Neurology residencies are extremely specific and hard to come by.
Another drawback that the field of Neurology withholds is the lack of actual surgical
procedures. Although students are expected to know much of the development, structure, and
function of the brain and other parts of the body, they are not typically tasked with the job of
actually carrying out surgical procedures in any way. Most of the time, Neurologists study the
work that other professionals have already completed on their patients to help diagnose. This
means that although Neurologists do not operate, they are tasked with making tough decisions in
light of the patients’ medical stability. For example, a patient may be concerned that there is
neurological damage taking place within; however, the Neurologist has the difficult task, on
occasion, of diagnosing patients with Psychiatric problems rather than those more Neurological.
Neurology: Benefits
Although there are drawbacks to Neurology—as there are with any career—it is quite
obvious that the benefits far outweigh the negative aspects. For every unfavorable part of
Neurology, there is an asset that is substantially more beneficial and intriguing than the last. For
example, although Neurologists have smaller salaries than other similar specialties, there is also

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higher job security and less competition for the field. Because so many people are flocking to
health care fields today, sometimes it is difficult to find a job, let alone secure one. However,
Neurologists are far and few between and it is extremely easy to find career openings in the field.
Furthermore, Neurology is not specifically focused on just one field per se. Within the
field of Neurology are many other medical backgrounds that all intertwine to help diagnose
patients quickly and effectively. One of the most prominent mixes of fields within Neurology is
with Psychiatry. Psychiatry is the treatment of mental illness—especially in regards to emotional
issues and unusual behaviors. The mixing of Neurology and Psychiatry allows medical
professionals to decipher the differences in physical versus emotional disturbances within the
brain’s of their patients. This combination of medical understandings gives Neurologists a
thorough and confident approach to their career that helps patients easily understand the ailments
they are facing.
In addition to Neurologists immense understandings of different medical practices and
procedures, their long and intensive schooling involving lots of information intake gives
Neurologists many opportunities to work with cutting-edge technology. As explained in Big
Data: A Revolution that Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think by Viktor MayerSchonberger and Kenneth Cukier, big data has transformed the way that medical professionals
can relate to and diagnose their patients by allowing these professionals to track their patient’s
health in much more profound ways. For example, big data has allowed cardiac monitors to track
thousands more data points per second than ever before. Initially, these monitors were only
useful in tracking heart rate; however, recent developments in big data have allowed doctors to
predict infections, monitor blood pressure, and much, much more.
Lastly, and most importantly, Neurology is a mysterious and rewarding field. The
ongoing and complicated research of the brain keeps the field going forward and uniquely
interesting. This mystery keeps Neurologists from becoming bored and dismissing the career’s

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importance. The incentive of helping people and feeling appreciated is also a great reward of the
field of Neurology. Not only do Neurologists get to participate in a field that is challenging and
interesting, they get to be involved in the personal lives of their patients which is emotionally
and professionally fruitful—an extremely appealing aspect of any career.
Neurology: Portrayals

Figure 1. A photograph of a Neurologist analyzing CAT scans of his patient’s brain in order to
diagnose their ailment—whether physical or emotional.
Neurology: Conclusion
In conclusion, Neurology is an extremely rewarding career. Although it has some mainly
monetary drawbacks, the benefits of making positive relationships with patients is much more
important. It is evident that with the appropriate amount of schooling and the use of confidence
and good judgement that Neurology could be an overwhelmingly prosperous career. Not only do
Neurologists specialize in the development, structure, and function of the brain, they also pursue
the never-ending mysteries that come with it. Without individuals willing to spend the money,
time, and energy that it takes to pursue a career in Neurology, there would not be the same strong
foundation between doctor and patient and we would lack the understanding that we currently
possess about the brain. Neurology is, and will continue to be, a successful and worthwhile
career for anyone who has the passion to pursue it.

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Works Cited
Mayer-Schönberger, Viktor, and Kenneth Cukier. Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform
How We Live, Work, and Think. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013. Print.
Neurologist. Digital image. Biology Reference. Biology Reference, n.d. Web. 8 Apr. 2015.
"Neurologists: Job Requirements and Description." Study. Education Portal, 2014. Web. 08 Apr.
Reynolds, Nedra. Geographies of Writing: Inhabiting Places and Encountering Difference.
Carbondale, IL, USA: Southern Illinois University Press, 2007. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 15
April 2015.
Wilner, Andrew N., M.D. "Can I Talk You Out of Neurology?" Medscape Multispecialty.
Medscape, 17 Feb. 2012. Web. 15 Apr. 2015.