Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2-28-2022


COVID-19 forced many programs to face drastic changes to the structure of the medical school clerkship curriculum. For The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine, a school along the United States Mexico border, this meant transitioning the Internal Medicine clerkship from a 6-week inpatient 2-week outpatient structure to an 8-week inpatient experience. Unintentionally this led to a change in the number of protected weekends during the Internal Medicine Clerkship leading from 2 to 0. After students voiced their concerns about the impact that the loss of these protected weekends had on their academic-wellness balance, the Academic Golden Weekend Initiative was implemented. This poster looks at the impact that this initiative had on student satisfaction and performance by analyzing survey s completed by pre-intervention and post-intervention cohorts.

The goal of the Academic Golden Weekend Initiative is to promote work-life balance or in this case academic- wellness balance in the medical student population. During post-clerkship feedback sessions, students voiced concerns about the difficulty of balancing a 6-day work week for 8 consecutive weeks with the responsibilities that come with being a medical student, such as preparing for the NBME subject examination and self-care. By modifying the structure of the fully inpatient experience to accommodate for Academic Golden Weekends, the aim was to maximize the student experience during the clerkship by providing enough time to balance all the necessary components of the student experience.

Results showed that there was an increase in satisfaction with time to self-study from -0.26 (neither to somewhat dissatisfied) to +1.0 (somewhat satisfied) and improvement of +1.26. Satisfaction with time for clerkship requirements increased from +0.37 (neither to somewhat satisfied) to +1.57 (somewhat satisfied to very satisfied) and increase of +1.2. Satisfaction with time for self-care increased from -0.89 (in the range of neither to somewhat dissatisfied) to +.36 (neither to somewhat satisfied) and increase of +1.25. 85.71% of students in this cohort reported feeling that Academic Golden Weekends had a positive impact when it came to both academic performance and self-care.

Academic Level

medical student

Mentor/PI Department

Internal Medicine

Available for download on Thursday, February 27, 2025