Magicians can trick our brains with a sleight of hand and we are delighted. But what happens when our brain tricks itself? An individual is often left confused, scared, and anxious – that’s when the expertise of a neurologist is needed. Neurology is endlessly fascinating because the brain defines the essence of who we are.
As a medical speciality, neurology focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and disorders of the brain and nervous system. Some of the most common neurological diseases today are Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Epilepsy and Parkinson’s. These diseases usually require a lot of our health care resources, often over long periods of time. As a result, there is a large focus on research to help find better treatment options and even cures.
Currently there are about 110 neurologists in BC, but that’s not enough. Roughly 20 vacancies sit empty speaking to the specialty’s number one issue – recruitment and retention especially in rural areas. Dr John Falconer, Chair of the Society of Neurology says, “creating livable and workable call schedules in areas that are inadequately staffed with neurologists is the biggest challenge of all.” Fortunately, while UBC may only have five residency spots, unlike other specialties, almost all graduating residents stay and practice in BC.
Funding from the Specialist Services Committee (SSC) has helped though. With it, the specialty created complex fee codes, enabling neurologists to provide more comprehensive care for patients.