(Jamaica Observer) Your chances of encountering twins in the general population are sometimes slim, much more the oddity of meeting twins who both work in the same profession…in the same institution.
Identical twin doctors, Krystle and Kimberley Maragh, (29), presented much the confusion and intrigue for their patients in health centres across Clarendon when they first officially entered the medical profession in 2015.
“Our patients at first didn’t realise that we were twins. When we just started, patients would come up to me and start talking to me and handing me their file, and when I tell them that it wasn’t me who they saw, that it was my sister, they wouldn’t believe me,” Krystle Maragh told the Jamaica Observer as the two carried out their rounds at the emergency department of Chapelton Community Hospital, in Summerfield Clarendon last Sunday.
Both earned Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery degrees from The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, before completing their internship at May Pen Hospital in their home parish of Clarendon.
“We grew up in Hayes. Becoming doctors was a childhood dream when we were small. It is what we always wanted to do. From preparatory school to high school we were always at the top of our classes, coming first and second. We knew that was the goal so we just worked towards it,” said Krystle, the older of the pair by mere five minutes.Dr Kimberley Maragh (right) catches up her sister, Dr Krystle Maragh’s hair (Joseph Wellington)
After completing their studies at Glenmuir High School, the twins matriculated to the department of Pure and Applied Sciences at the UWI, Mona, where they spent one year, before copping spots in the medical faculty.
“Medical school was very demanding. It required dedication and commitment and a lot of sacrifice. It was a lot of studying and focusing on just that for five years. But we had each other and that made it easier, because we always had each other to study with, to practise with, to vent with,” laughed Kimberley.
“Our family was very supportive, especially our mother. She is a super woman. Both of our parents really supported us, but our mother went above and beyond. My mother is just that kind of woman. When we doubted ourselves, she was right there to motivate us,” added a teary-eyed Kimberley.
Currently, the Maragh twins are medical officers with the Clarendon Health Department, where they are responsible for all health centres across the parish.
“We don’t always go to the same places at the same time, but when we do, persons confuse us. But most of our patients know that we are twins, and they are always asking for the twin doctors, they want to see the twin doctors.”
“We do most things together; we shop together, we go out together, we even live beside each other,” said Krystle, who added that they even got married just six months apart.
“I am married with a son, but she is pretty much there with him as well, so we share that too,” said Krystle.
Now in their fourth year of practising medicine, the twins shared their experience working in the public health system.
“Yes, there is a lack of resources and the work hours are long. I don’t think most people understand what it is to be a doctor; the sacrifices that we make. We sacrifice our time, our energy, basically sacrificing everything.
“When we were at the junior level, we did the best that we could do. The system can be very challenging. However, you learn a lot, and experience is what you need as a doctor, that’s why they say you practise medicine, you don’t study medicine. It is through that practice that you become experienced and it builds you up and helps you to cope in difficult situations so that when you are faced with something difficult you don’t panic because you would have gone through it already,” said Kimberley.
On a more inspiring note, her sister Krystle explained that they derive great fulfillment from their jobs as doctors.
“There is no amount of money that can be placed on that fulfillment of being a doctor and what we do every day. And that is why we do it, to see a patient get better, when you know that your intervention made a difference in someone’s life, somebody’s mother or father or child. At the end of the day, that is what we think about. We give our 100 per cent even when it is hard,” said Krystle.