What’s the Difference between a Neurosurgeon and Neurologist?

Posted on: January 15, 2019

neurosurgeon Lutz, FL

If a person is considering consulting with a professional about their nervous system, then they have two different types of doctors they can visit. Because there are so many medical specialties that exist today, knowing who does what can get confusing. Today, we’ll go over the difference between a neurosurgeon and a neurologist. They are both highly trained professional doctors who specialize in the central nervous system of the body.

To some, neurosurgeons and neurologists might be an interchangeable term, but they are both very different in that of what they do for a patient. While they both treat medical problems that affect the brain, spine, and nerves, how treatment is executed is often different.


Typically a neurologist will work hand in hand with the neurosurgeon. When a patient experiences pain or concern for any part of their nervous system, they are seen by a neurologist. The neurologist will do their best to diagnose the problem, and if surgery is required they will refer the patient to a neurosurgeon who will complete the treatment process. However, there are disorders or problems that don’t require the attention of a neurosurgeon, in which, the neurologist would then treat the patient.

Neurologists do more continuous studying and researching of the central nervous system, as opposed to neurosurgeons who are typically doing operations. A neurologist and neurosurgeon can both diagnose conditions that are affecting the nervous system, but a neurologist tends to treat those conditions that are less life-threatening.


Neurosurgeons undergo special training to not only learn and memorize every part of the central nervous system, but to also execute treatment towards the nervous system. As you can imagine from the name of the specialist, these doctors are primarily surgeons. A neurosurgeon is trained to complete surgical procedures on their patients because this typically acts as the primary source of treatment.

Aside from their skills, neurosurgeons also undergo a lot more training before they can actually be a neurosurgeon. They have the longest training times of any specialist in the medical field because the brain and nervous system is so delicate. It’s important that patients only be given the best care, and neurosurgeons aim to provide that. Extensive training is important to achieve that.

Both neurologists and neurosurgeons often work together to provide the best care and treatment to the patient. A plan of treatment is typically decided upon by both specialists to ensure that maximum care is given. So, while they are different, both neurologists and neurosurgeons are extremely qualified to ensure that their patient’s health is addressed.

Are you still wondering which specialist to see? A neurosurgeon and neurologist can both help in the diagnosis of your condition, and the treatment process too. Knowing what kind of specialist is best for you to see is an important part of maintaining your health. Call us today and we can walk you through questions you may have.

Request an appointment here: http://www.brainandspineni.com or call Brain and Spine Neuroscience Institute at (813) 751-2029 for an appointment in our Lutz office.

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