Division of Neurology

Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons:
Definition and General Objectives

Approved by Education Committee, 2001
(Please also see Policies and Procedures for Certification and Fellowship)


Neurology is that branch of medicine concerned with the study of the nervous system
in health and disease.

General Objectives

Residents must demonstrate the knowledge, skills and attitudes relating to gender, culture and ethnicity pertinent to neurology. In addition, all residents must demonstrate an ability to incorporate gender, cultural and ethnic perspectives in research methodology, data presentation and analysis.

On completion of the educational program, the graduate physician will be competent to function as a consultant neurologist. This requires the physician to:

  1. Provide scientifically based, comprehensive and effective diagnosis and management for patients with neurologic disorders.
  2. Communicate effectively with patients, their families and medical colleagues (particularly referring physicians), and other health care professionals.
  3. Counsel patients and others on aspects of prevention of neurological disorders, including risk factors, and genetic and environmental concerns.
  4. Maintain complete and accurate medical records.
  5. Effectively coordinate the work of the health care team.
  6. Be an effective teacher of other physicians (including medical students and house officers), other health care personnel and patients.
  7. Be proficient in professional and technical skills related to the specialty.
  8. Demonstrate personal and professional attitudes consistent with a consultant physician role.
  9. Be willing and able to appraise accurately his or her own professional performance.
  10. Be willing and able to keep his or her practice current through reading and other modes of continuing medical education.
  11. Be able to critically assess the neurological literature as it relates to patient diagnosis, investigation and management.
  12. Be able to participate in clinical or basic science studies as a member of a research team.

These elements of competence are expanded as detailed objectives, for greater clarity, in the following pages. The terms "effective" and "appropriate" are used frequently in these statements. "Effective" is defined for the purpose of this document as "adequate to the efficient solution of the problem". "Appropriate" is defined as "appropriate to the presenting problem(s) and patient attitudes and activity". Throughout this document, the term "nervous system" is understood to refer to the central nervous system, the peripheral nervous system, the neuromuscular junction and skeletal muscle.

The detailed objectives describe minimal standards and in no way exclude the necessity for mastery of additional knowledge, skills or attitudes necessary for the most effective management of patients with nervous system disorders.