There is a term coined by medical residents known as the Golden Weekend. It refers to a weekend when a resident is not on call and where you are not expected to be working. A weekend where you get Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday off.
In other words, a Golden weekend is just a regular weekend, one which most people experience four to five times a month whereas for a resident it happens maybe once a month. Medschoolhell.com has an nice short post on the Golden Weekend. Only in medicine is something as mundane as a normal weekend considered a prized possession.
I’m currently having a golden weekend and enjoying it. Granted as a medical student I’m not working nearly as many hours as a typical resident. Looking back at my call schedule in clerkship, I was on call for Obsgyn (3/6) weekends, for Internal Medicine (6/8) weekends (brutal!), and for Surgery (4/6) weekends. In Psychiatry I was only on call 1 weekend out of 6, Pediatrics 2 out of 6 and for Family Medicine I was never on call on the weekends. My Emergency rotation always had a shift on the weekend too but I was not working weekday hours either.
After awhile, you begin to expect to work on the weekends. It can really suck at times, especially when you’re working during holidays, special events or in between rotations. People look forward to these Golden weekends so much that they will often take two shifts on the same weekend, typically a Friday and Sunday, so that they won’t have to take another weekend shift later in the month. I haven’t heard a term used for those weekends yet, but I suppose it would be a Black / Unhappy / Rusty / Hell / weekend.
So if you’re having a “golden weekend” this week or just a “normal” weekend, go out, have fun and I hope you’re enjoying it!
Additional thoughts – Which weekend day is best for being on call?
- Friday – having call on Friday is like having a normal weekday + roughly 12 or more hours on top. Your Saturday morning/afternoons are usually wasted catching up on sleep, but at least you have Saturday evening and Sunday to relax.
- Sunday – nobody wants to be in the hospital in the early morning on Sunday, at least you get Monday off to be post-call.
- Saturday – you finish work on Friday and roughly 12 hours later you’re expected to be in the hospital for another 24+ hours. Your Sunday is wasted recuperating and by the time you wake up, you just want to rest because Monday is just around the corner.
- Friday + Sunday – an absolutely tiring weekend, You finish your Friday call, sleep and then wake up just to feel miserable because you’re on call the next day. The worst part is you would not have gotten any rest before your next week of work. By the time the next Friday rolls around, you would have worked roughly 12 days in a row. Gross.