The comparison between psychiatry and neurology has always been an interesting discussion. The discussion about the relationship between psychiatric and neurological disease is not new. For most of the time, neurology and psychiatry were believed to be part of a single branch of medicine, often termed neuropsychiatry.
Psychiatry and neurology have a comparable level of education. A psychologist and a neurologist are medical doctors with distinctions between their careers. The difference between both fields has been discussed many times by neurologists. The basic difference is the health issues that their patients have and how that is treated.
Comparing the two:
|What do the terms mean?||Neurologists are the medical professionals who have patients with nervous system problems, and they treat patients with issues like spinal cord injuries.||The mental health professionals who work with patients with mental health issues are psychiatrists.|
|Specialty||Neurologists specialize in physiological illnesses; they address physical dysfunctions in the brain and bodily functions of the nervous system.||Psychiatrists specialize in psychological disorders. They mainly address conditions with behavioral and emotional symptoms in the brain, and the developmental challenges or life experiences.|
|What do they mainly treat?||Neurologists treat diseases related to the brain and spinal cord, peripheral nerves, and muscles. Conditions like epilepsy, stroke, multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease, Speech and language disorders||A psychiatrist diagnoses mental illnesses such as; schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), hallucinations, depression, borderline personality disorder, and bipolar disorder.
|Job responsibilities||Evaluating symptoms, completing diagnostic scans, testing nerve function, prescribing medications, and evaluating test results||Assessing mental function, developing treatment plans, collaborating with therapists, researching medications, and tracking patient progress|
|Education||If you want to become a neurologist, in India, you must complete a 5½ years MBBS degree and then a 2- 3 years MD (Medicine) / DNB course. After completing the master’s degree, you must do D.M. (Neurology) to have your specialization in the field of Neurology.||To hold a psychiatrist degree, it is a must to complete an MBBS program. Later, one can pursue higher degrees as a certificate or a master’s course. After MBBS, one must undergo a year-long internship. A mixture of didactic study and practical application is used in psychiatry.|
|Earning||Neurologists in, India, receive an annual salary in the range of ₹ 1.1 lakhs to ₹ 92.8 lakhs, with an average annual salary of ₹ 15.0 lakhs.||A psychiatrist in India earns an average annual salary of ₹ 4.5 lakhs with the annual salary ranging from ₹ 0.6 lakhs to ₹ 28.5 lakhs.|
(Both psychiatrists and neurologists work in different medical environments. They either may work in hospitals or have their private clinics)
|Neurologists, most of the time, work in a more traditional doctor’s office environment.||Psychiatrists may work at behavioral facilities or rehabilitation centers.|
A neurologist and a psychiatrist both work in the area of patient assessment; the job description and the education are somewhat different.