Should Doctors Aspire to Become IAS Officers?

“I believe we can achieve anything if we really want it.” – Roman Saini

Every year many doctors (MBBS graduates) take the UPSC exams hoping to become civil servants. Why do doctors aspire to become IAS officers in India? Is it worthwhile for doctors to put in this kind of laborious effort to crack the IAS exam after studying immensely hard for more than 5 years to get their MBBS degree? Also, many of them spend a lot of money too to bag MBBS seats. This article tries to throw some light on this phenomenon of doctors aspiring to become IAS officers.

First of all, let us take a look at a few successful IAS candidates who were also doctors:

Dr. Shena Aggarwal – AIR 1, 2011

Dr. Arpit Jain – AIR 194, 2013

Dr. Roman Saini – AIR 18, 2013

Dr. R. Vaithinathan – AIR 37, 2015

Dr. Vineeth Sukumaran Pillai – AIR 56, 2012

There are more examples of doctors achieving success in the UPSC exam.

A common question asked by people is why do they want to take the UPSC exam after toiling hard for years to get the MBBS degree. We have compiled a list of possible reasons for this:

  • These days even in the medical field, a PG degree is highly rated. An MBBS is not deemed enough. This PG entrance exam is also extremely difficult.
  • A doctor’s life, especially in the beginning of his/her career can be very demanding. You may need to go almost sleepless for days at a stretch on a regular basis.
  • Today, even after PG, super-specialization is required of medicos. So, even in your thirties, you are basically a student.
  • Some people might genuinely want to serve the country by becoming civil servants and using their medical knowledge for the benefit of the people.

At the end of the day, every individual must decide for himself the path he must choose in his life. Both the medical and the civil services professions have their ups and downs. Analyze your personality, dreams, aptitude and decide on your career. Before jumping on to the IAS bandwagon, understand the roles and responsibilities of an IAS officer.

You must understand that you cannot pursue your medical career the way a doctor would normally if you become an IAS officer. Of course, you may use your knowledge and expertise for the benefit of the people in your capacity as a civil servant.

You could take inspiration from the words of Dr. Syed Sehrish Asgar, who was the first woman from Jammu & Kashmir to top the Jammu & Kashmir state civil services (2011). She had said of her decision to become a civil servant – “Being a civil servant, I can be a ‘doctor’ for the whole society.”

For more such articles and strategy on clearing the IAS exam, visit the BYJU’S free IAS prep website.

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