A former student of the Calcutta Medical College, he completed both his F.R.C.S. and M.R.C.P. degrees in a little over two years, in England. On his return to India, he joined as a faculty member of Calcutta Medical College. He went on to establish several prominent medical institutions in Calcutta.
He was a leader in the Civil disobedience movement in Bengal and was later elected as Mayor of Calcutta Corporation. He played a prominent role in the selection of the National Anthem. On Gandhi's insistence, he accepted the Chief Minister position of West Bengal and took office in 1948. Within three years, he restored law and order in chaotic Bengal. National Doctor's Day is celebrated every year on 1st July on his birthday (July 1, 1882 - July 1, 1952 - he died on the same month date he was born)