March 31, 2023
2 min read
Aldasouqi is professor of medicine and chief of the endocrinology division at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine in East Lansing.
Disclosures: Aldasouqi reports serving as a consultant to Abbott Diagnostics.
We have heard a lot about identical twins having the same things happening to them in parallel.
This is an amazing example.
We have a 29-year-old man with Graves’ disease in the hospital with severe hyperthyroidism just short of thyroid storm. Yesterday, during hospital rounds, in his room was his identical twin brother, who would stay with him at all times. They seem to be very much connected.
The brother, who is 3 minutes older, told us he thinks he also has Graves’ disease. We unofficially evaluated him — he is not a patient — and confirmed it: His hyperthyroidism is probably moderately severe. We unofficially recommended that he see an endocrinologist soon. We were willing to see him, but he doesn’t have a primary care physician for referral. He signed up with a new primary care physician, but only after 2 weeks. We would see him without referral unless our management refuses. Anyway, we told him if he becomes more symptomatic to go to urgent care.
Today, after we saw the brother who is our patient on rounding, we got paged to the emergency department to see the twin brother. He walked into the ED last night — a nice short cut.
Other similarities between the two brothers are these:
They look alike, of course. but only one is bearded.
They played the same professional sport since childhood.
They both got injuries and quit sports.
They both then joined their father in the family construction business.
I am sure there are more similarities if we dig deeper.
Most of us have heard similar stories about identical twins. But what is as intriguing, if not more intriguing, are the hilarious identical twins stories, stemming from their practically exact physical appearance. We’ve heard about identical twins even taking exams for each other.
I remember the identical Oslen twins, Mary-Kate and Ashley, sharing the role of Michelle Tanner on the late ‘80s to early ‘90s sitcom in the Full House. Starting when they were babies, they shared the role to comply with strict labor laws for child actors.
I wish to share another intriguing story. During internship, I was once in the ED seeing a patient. I then presented the case to my senior resident. She then said to me that I could go for lunch break and that she would cover for me in the patient’s management.
When I returned from lunch, I went directly to the senior resident to ask her how my patient was doing. Clearly, I didn’t notice that she was sitting at the ED counter.
I asked: “How is our patient doing?”
She said: “Which patient?”
I said: “The patient with so-and-so, a medical condition.” I forgot what case it was.
She then laughed and said, “It seems you thought I was Dr. So-and-so.” She left the ER and went back upstairs.
The doctor I had staffed the patient with was the identical twin internal medicine senior resident. The other twin was a senior resident in a different specialty.