Introduction It is important that we attract high-calibre medics to neurology. There are few studies of what motivated neurologists to choose their speciality, when they chose, or what else they might have become.
Methods All UK neurology trainees were invited to complete an online survey.
Results 160 trainees responded (53% female; 17% less-than-fulltime). 54% decided on neurology before graduating (6% before medical school), whilst 29% decided after foundation training. Common reasons to choose neurology included: academically interesting (72%); clinical exposure as a student or junior (67%); personality fit (53%); influential role-model (37%). Less common motivations included lifestyle, family friendliness, prestige, and family members with neurological conditions. Two trainees chose neurology because they personally have a neurological condition. When asked what their second choice of medical career would have been the answers were diverse and 31 different specialties were named, but only one might have been a neurosurgeon.
Conclusions Careers advice should begin early in medical school and continue through medical training with direct exposure to clinical neurology. Traditional neurology values such as the intellectual challenge should be emphasised. Neurologists have a broad interest in medical and psychiatric specialties underlining the importance of core medical training to developing neurologists of the future.
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