Every year many MBBS graduates take the UPSC exams hoping to become Civil Servants. The coursework for MBBS is as rigorous as the syllabus of IAS. Many of them also spend a lot of money to bag seats in medical colleges. This does not deter doctors from taking up the challenge of mastering the IAS syllabus.

Why do many people choose IAS after MBBS in India?

This article tries to throw some light on this phenomenon of doctors aspiring to crack the UPSC exam.

MBBS IAS Toppers

First of all, let us take a look at a few successful candidates who chose IAS after MBBS:

  • 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 many more examples of doctors achieving success in the UPSC exam.

A common question asked by people is ‘what is the benefit of clearing the IAS exam conducted by the UPSC for MBBS graduates?’ We have compiled a list of possible reasons for this:

  • In the medical field, a postgraduate(PG) degree is highly rated. An MBBS is not deemed enough. The PG entrance exam is also challenging. The limited number of seats for MD and MCH also serves as a deterrent.
  • A doctors’ life, especially at the beginning of their career is very demanding. One may need to forego sleep for days at a stretch regularly. The stipend for most junior doctors is also lower than in many other professions.
  • Today, even after PG, super-specialization is required of medicos. So, even a postgraduate doctor may be studying till their late thirties.
  • Some people develop an interest in the administration of the country after observing many hardships faced by common citizens. They want to serve the people by becoming Civil Servants and using their knowledge for the benefit of the people.
  • Doctors appearing for IAS after MBBS have more chances of success compared to many others. This is because the UPSC Medical Science syllabus has a lot in common with the syllabi of the UPSC CMS(Central Medical Services) exam as well as PG entrance exams which most doctors prepare for during their residency.

At the end of the day, every individual must decide for themselves the path they choose in their life. Both the medical and the Civil Service professions have their ups and downs. Analyze your personality, dreams, aptitude and decide on your career. Before appearing for the UPSC exam, understand the roles and responsibilities of an IAS officer.

One cannot pursue a medical career the way a doctor normally would if they become an IAS officer. Of course, they may use their knowledge and expertise for the benefit of the people in the capacity of 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 exam 2011. She had said of her decision to become a bureaucrat – “Being a Civil Servant, I can be a ‘doctor’ for the whole society.”

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  1. Hello, Byjus . I just completed my NEET exam. Now I’m thinking of starting my UPSC preparation. I’m in the zero level. Is coaching needed? or selfstudy(byjus app) ? what is CMS exam actually? what is the syllabus? how to start? I’m with a load of questions:(

    1. Hi Sandhiya
      You can get a detailed overview of the IAS Exam at the linked article. CMS stands for Combined Medical Services.
      Coaching and Self-Study go hand in hand. But, it all rests with an aspirants’ interests and comfort. You can get the UPSC syllabus here. Start with NCERT reading along with a daily newspaper.

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