Mumbai: City girl Shefali Parikh has done it again. The former Andheri resident, who topped the state medical entrance exam in 2008 and came second in the country in the 2006 ICSE exam, created a new Maharashtra record on Saturday by bagging 12 gold medals at the convocation for medical students in the state.
Shefali completed her MBBS from G S Medical College (KEM Hospital) in Parel in 2013. The 24-year-old was not present at the ceremony held by the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS) in Nashik on Saturday. Her parents collected the prizes. Of the 68 gold medals given away at the event, Shefali got 12, apart from a cash reward of Rs 10,000 from a healthcare company.
Among her peers in the state, she had the highest score in nearly all subjects, including general medicine, paediatrics, general surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, and pathology. She was also the overall topper and the female topper.
Speaking from the UK where she lives after marriage, Shefali, who is planning to pursue paediatrics, said she was expecting a few gold medals but had not imagined that she would get 12.
"I would have loved to have been there, but I am equally happy that my parents received it on my behalf," she said. About coming back to India, she said, "Right now my focus is on completing my higher studies. In the long run, both of us (my husband and me) would love to come back to the country and set up a small hospital. But we have not made such long-term plans. I am taking one step at a time." She said that she has chosen to do her specialisation in paediatrics, as the field offers plenty of variety academically and is also challenging with lot of new research happening. Her parents were the first ones to call her on Saturday evening to inform her about the convocation.
"Since her name was announced many times, the audience was spellbound. It was a proud moment for us. She is the first doctor in our family," her elated father Pradeep Parikh said.
Before Shefali, a girl who finished MBBS from Pune's Armed Forces Medical College in 2012 held the state record of 10 gold medals.
Dr Chandrahas Deshmukh, who taught Shefali at G S Medical College, described her as an "extraordinary" student. "She published papers at undergraduate level, which even many postgraduate candidates do not do. She was heavily into research and also attended an international medical conference," said Deshmukh. Furthermore, she was the youngest person to present a paper at the European Academy of Paediatric Societies in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2010.
MUHS spokesperson Swapnil Torne confirmed Shefali is the first student to have got 12 gold medals in the university's last 13 convocations. "Last year's record was 10 gold medals. In case of a female student, the number of medals goes up by two or three because there are more categories for female toppers. Some students get two medals in the same category or subject," he explained.
Shefali is now married and has moved to the UK. "She is preparing for the local entrance examination there for post-graduation. She interned at two institutes for a month each in the US. After working in all the college departments, she decided to pursue higher studies in paediatrics since she enjoys working with children,"said Pradeep. (source-toi)