Identical Twins Train in Internal Medicine Residency at The Wright Center

Members News

From beginning kindergarten to completing medical school, and moving thousands of miles away from home to begin graduate medical education training in Scranton, Pennsylvania, twins Lavleen and Ravleen Kaur, ‘25, M.D.s, have always leaned on each other.

The sisters, 29, are both in the second year of their Internal Medicine residency with The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education. The Mohali district of Punjab, India, natives decided to become doctors because of their parents’ deep commitment to improving their own communities. As a teacher, Mandeep Kaur focuses on educating children in disadvantaged and rural areas of India, while their father, Col. Arvinder Singh, recently retired after 37 years in the Indian Army.

“The Indian Army’s motto, and my father’s motto, is service before self,” says Lavleen Kaur, who is 20 minutes older than Ravleen. “I think that could be the motto for doctors as well. As doctors, it’s important to give back to the communities.”

After graduating from Sri Guru Ram Das Institute of Medical Sciences and Research in Amritsar, Punjab, the Kaur sisters worked briefly as medical officers in India, where they went door to door in communities to administer polio vaccines, hosted health camps where children could get up to date on medical screenings, and participated in other community health activities. The experience prepared them for their work in their residencies, since The Wright Center focuses on improving community health, especially for underserved populations.

“The mission of The Wright Center – to be privileged to serve – resonated with us,” Ravleen acknowledges.

The odds of matching into the same graduate medical education program are slim. Thousands of medical students worldwide interview with medical education programs. The candidates rank the list of programs where they would like to train, and programs rank the candidates they want to admit. Every year, candidates learn where they matched on the third Friday in March, known as Match Day.

Lavleen and Ravleen, who had never been to the United States before starting their residencies, knew there was little chance of matching into the same residency program. They pursued other residency opportunities separately and were thrilled to learn they matched with The Wright Center in 2022.

“Our parents were happier about it than we were if that is possible,” Ravleen says. “It’s just us two, no other siblings, so they were glad we’d be going together.”

After learning they would be heading to The Wright Center, the twins had much to do in a short amount of time.

“We get the match results in March, and then by April, they send us all the documents, the contracts and everything,” Lavleen says. “We had to find an apartment and we had to do it all online since we were in India.”

Although it was their first journey to America, the sisters say they acclimated quickly to life in the Electric City and at The Wright Center.

“The food took some getting used to,” Ravleen says, causing her sister to laugh and shake her head.

“What,” Ravleen responds, laughing. “We didn’t really cook at home.”

Lavleen says any small difficulties in adjusting – from beginning their residencies to getting a car and drivers’ licenses – were alleviated by the fact that they remain together.

“Sister love is unconditional,” Lavleen says. “I think it’s nice to have someone who just understands me. We study together, we help each other along. We’ve just always done everything together.”

In addition to relying on each other, they also spotlight each other’s accomplishments. Ravleen, who served as a resident leader in her first year, bragged about Lavleen’s recent selection as chief resident – a role she was chosen for by her fellow Internal Medicine residents and the program faculty.

“I really want to solve any issues that our residents might be having,” Lavleen says about her new role, adding that it will also build her resume and confidence as a doctor and leader.

The sisters have also dove into the world of scholarly research, a realm both said they had little exposure to before joining the Internal Medicine Program. So far, they’ve presented scholarly research at conferences in Arizona, Hawaii, Texas, and Colorado. They plan to present at the American College of Physicians Internal Medicine Meeting in Boston in April. Ravleen said research is important for their growth as doctors in numerous ways.

“Because you’re reading a number of papers first and learning about something you might not be exposed to otherwise,” she says, explaining the benefits of scholarly research. “It’s such a big world out there. People are doing amazing things.”

However, after being together their whole lives, the twins’ paths may soon diverge. Inspired by her rotation at Hematology and Oncology Associates of Northeastern Pennsylvania, Lavleen has her sights set on finding a fellowship in that field once she graduates from her current residency. Ravleen is interested in pursuing a fellowship in endocrinology.

“Who knows what life brings,” Ravleen says, adding that she and her sister are hopeful they’ll find a program where they can stay together and pursue their diverging passions. “You can only try.”