Bhasha Mukherjee, who won Miss England in 2019, has decided to swap her crown for a stethoscope to help those in need during the coronavirus outbreak.
The 24-year-old pageant winner told CNN on Monday that she came home to the United Kingdom last week after doing humanitarian work as Miss England abroad. She’s returning to the job she had before she won her title, which was a junior doctor at Pilgrim Hospital in Boston, eastern England, specializing in respiratory medicine.
“I felt a sense of this is what I’d got this degree for and what better time to be part of this particular sector than now,” she told the media outlet.
The U.K. had reported nearly 56,200 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Tuesday, according to the latest Johns Hopkins University data.
Mukherjee explained to CNN that she initially had plans to act as an ambassador for various charities in places such as Turkey, India, Pakistan. But once the spread of COVID-19 became a pandemic, she started receiving messages from her former colleagues telling her how dire the situation had become. She said that it caused her to set her crown aside.
“When you are doing all this humanitarian work abroad, you’re still expected to put the crown on, get ready … look pretty,” she said.
In December, Mukherjee, who holds two medical degrees and is fluent in five languages, told U.K. news channel TRT World’s “One on One” that she decided to get into medicine because she felt it was a good marriage between all her interests and skills.
“I was into everything under the moon in terms of arts, sciences, English, math, everything,” she said. “I realized that medicine was the best route forward in terms of being a science and an art.”
She added that it’s important to be creative as a doctor in terms of speaking to patients and “trying to convince them of taking their medication or doing a certain treatment.”
“That’s where the art comes in, you see,” she said. “That’s where the humanities and all the communication skills come in. And that was very exciting for me.”
And although Mukherjee had been busy as Miss England, her support for the medical profession seemingly still rang true. She appeared in an ad for the U.K.’s National Health Service last month:
“Health care staff are risking their lives for us, so let’s risk our mere leisure for a little while to say thank you to them,” Mukherjee wrote in the caption of a post about the ad.
Mukherjee told CNN she will be placing herself under self-quarantine for up to two weeks before returning to work, but she seems game for the professional challenges ahead of her.
“There’s no better time for me to be Miss England and helping England at a time of need.”