Dr Rajendra Bharud, 24, will soon wear a khaki police uniform instead of his doctor's white coat and trade his stethoscope for a gun.
On May 4, Dr Bharud, a medical intern at the KEM hospital, Parel, secured rank 709 in the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examination - rank 20 in the reserved category - qualifying for the Indian Police Services (IPS), that too without any coaching. Dr Bharud also topped the medical science category with 361 marks out of 600.
Until six months ago, Bharud, a Dhule resident, had not even considered giving the civil services exams a shot. It was a suggestion from the Dr Sanjay Oak, dean, Seth G S Medical College (attached to KEM hospital) that prompted Bharud to start preparing for the UPSC exams.
"Civil services was never on my agenda. But five years of medical studies changed me. Although medicine is considered a noble profession, there is no gratitude from patients who we relentlessly serve," said Dr Bharud, who will join the foundation training course for IPS at Mussorie in August.
For six months during his internship, Bharud juggled studies with his 12-hour duty at the Parel hospital. "I would complete six hours of duty and my friends helped me with the remaining hours so I could study. I borrowed books from other aspirants since I could not afford the books or a coaching class," said Dr Bharud who has won the best student award at his graduation ceremony.
"Civil service is a highly respected job and though many of our students have an inclination, not all pursue it. Earlier, he (Bharud) was planning to pursue a master's degree in medicine, but decided to opt for civil services, a good decision," said Dr Shubhangi Parkar, academic dean, Seth G S Medical College.
Dr Bharud was raised by his widowed mother Kamal, 46. Battling all odds, Dr Rajendra Bharud, 24, completed his schooling in a small village in Dhule. Bharud's father died of malaria before he was born. His mother worked as a labourer on farms to fund his studies. "It's only when people started pouring in at home to congratulate me did she realise that I have achieved something big. My mother always wanted me to become a doctor or a police officer. Now, I am both," said Dr Bharud.