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What If A Doctor Is An Administrator Too?

Aspirants who appear in the UPSC CS Examination have to go through various hardships and make many sacrifices to finally qualify for civil services. There are some journeys and success stories which make one believe in oneself and inspire one to dare to have similar dreams. 

One such journey is that of Dr. Aditya Sharma, an MBBS doctor who cracked the UPSC CSE in just one attempt with AIR 70. Not only this exam, he had also been selected as Captain for Indian Army and Assistant Commandant in CRPF. His success becomes more special as he cracked all these exams while navigating through his final years of MBBS course and internship period. 

He cracked UPSC CSE 2022 with AIR 70

Dr. Sharma, who is a 2023-batch IAS officer of Punjab cadre, is currently getting to know the ‘Real Bharat’ as part of his training. He was in Chennai when Indian Masterminds reached out to him. During a conversation, the officer opened up about his reasons for entering the civil service, and also shared some tips and tricks to crack the exam, especially the interview. 

COVID A TURNING POINT 

Inspired by his sister, Mr. Sharma first cleared NEET and got selected for Government Medical College in Chandigarh. He was focused on his studies when his sister was selected in AIIMS for her MD. It gave Mr. Sharma an opportunity to visit and closely observe the functioning of India’s best medical hospital. He saw how the government machinery in any hospital works and got familiar with long working hours of doctors and medical staff. He soon realized that being a doctor is not going to serve his purpose, which is to serve the people and the country. 

Meanwhile, the pandemic kicked in, which kind of challenged the medical system. He was doing his internship at that time and saw real examples of how the district and local administrations and medical staff worked in co-ordination. This made his belief more stronger than ever and he decided to give his best to become a civil servant. 

“Being a doctor is a noble profession. One gets a chance to serve society in the real sense, but what if the doctor is an administrator too? This is what I thought and decided to appear in the exam. I felt that, given a chance, I can make a difference on both the policy and the execution levels,” said Dr. Sharma. 

DIFFICULT PREPARATION 

The journey was a difficult one for him. He decided to prepare for the exam while continuing his vast graduation course studies. From his third year, he was able to give a dedicated time to UPSC CSE preparation. He joined a coaching institute to get an idea of the exam and created his own roadmap. From 9 to 5, he had his classes in the medical college, and from 5-8, he attended his UPSC classes. He continued this way and took a 2-3 months break before the final exam. Along with starting his medical internship, he appeared for the UPSC prelims and cracked it. Now, the major challenge was mains, as he was not fully prepared for it. 

“Luckily my internship ended in July. I had around two months to prepare for mains. I gave it my all. Solved previous questions of two years and gave few mock tests. My optional was Medical Science, so that also helped,” he said.

Dr. Aditya Sharma (IAS, Punjab Cadre)

He emphasized that everything is possible with better time management. Also, he religiously followed ‘one subject, one book’ strategy. He said, “If I chose Spectrum for History, then I stuck to that only. I didn’t go to other books for the same subject. I just read it twice.”

JUSTIFYING HIS CHOICE 

Dr. Sharma was a little apprehensive about the interview as it was his first time. He was asked questions from different topics but he wasn’t hesitant to say no when he didn’t know any answer. He also kept his calm and smiled all throughout. The board grilled him on choosing UPSC after MBBS but he was well prepared for it. 

He said, “I think almost everyone who has done MBBS or any such course are asked about why they are opting for civil services. I was asked the same. I was clear as to why I had given so much of my time for the exam, why it is important to me. I only had to convey that to them.” 

He was also asked about his hometown and about few current topics. The board also gave him a case study. They asked him if he had a fixed budged and can do only one thing, then what will he choose: road, school or hospital.

“My answer was ‘school’ and I tried to justify my choice. However, there can’t be any wrong answer for this. They just wanted to judge my thought process and decision-making abilities. Hence, I would like to advice every aspirant to be true rather than be right in the interview,” he summed up. 

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