News Blog

Match Day 2019: The Snowfall That Made Everything Clear

Vidya Viswanathan Credit: Peggy Peterson photography

Each year, soon-to-be graduating medical students count down to the third Friday in March, also known as Match Day, when they find out where they will continue their medical training. 

Vidya Viswanathan, a fourth-year medical student at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and founder of Doctors Who Create, shares her thoughts as she prepares for the next step in her career.

Almost exactly a year ago, there was a blizzard in the forecast and I had to go to work.

The junior medical students had the day off, since the snow was predicted to be intense. This told me that I had taken another step up in the medical hierarchy. But I also felt a tug of annoyance — I had to go in on a snow day!

When I entered the hospital, its usual noise was muffled. I visited the room of my patient: a toddler who had been on my floor for weeks after leaving the intensive care unit. Every day I saw him, he barely left his bed, where he glumly played with a few toy cars. He rarely smiled.

When I rounded that day, I mentioned the snow to his mother. Her eyes widened in surprise. She didn’t know it was snowing because she hadn’t left the hospital in days, and the blinds remained closed.

This is the reality of being hospitalized. Hours blend into days and sometimes months, making the outside world less important.

I walked over to the blinds and opened them, letting in light and the perfect image of snow coating the roof of the neighboring building, with snowflakes continuing to fall softly. Then I heard a sound I had never heard from my patient, over the many days I saw him in the hospital.

He was laughing. He began to clap as he laughed, and repeatedly kissed his mother’s face, refusing to let her go.

Read the rest of Vidya’s blog post on and keep an eye out for more stories from PSOM students Ivy Maina and Mallika Marar in the Philadelphia Inquirer this week. You can join the Match Day excitement by following #PSOMMatch.

You Might Also Be Interested In...

About this Blog

This blog is written and produced by Penn Medicine’s Department of Communications. Subscribe to our mailing list to receive an e-mail notification when new content goes live!

Views expressed are those of the author or other attributed individual and do not necessarily represent the official opinion of the related Department(s), University of Pennsylvania Health System (Penn Medicine), or the University of Pennsylvania, unless explicitly stated with the authority to do so.

Health information is provided for educational purposes and should not be used as a source of personal medical advice.

Blog Archives


Author Archives

Share This Page: