The idea of a “side hustle” used to be reserved for freelancers, seasonal workers, or other professionals looking to supplement their income. But recently, more individuals with advanced degrees, including doctors, lawyers, and other professionals, are looking into side hustle opportunities for additional revenue stream. The changing landscape of the healthcare industry, along with the increasing burden of student loan debt and the high risk of burnout experienced in the medical field, has been pushing many physicians to find alternative solutions to supplement their income.
Should You Consider a Side Hustle?
For most physicians, the reasoning behind finding a side gig is a deeply personal one. Some are looking to pad their bottom line and get out from under their student debt, others are just looking to expand outside of the clinical medical field, and many are just using their passions and hobbies to avoid burnout while earning a little extra on the side.
Ultimately, the decision is yours, but there are a few things to consider.
- Is the additional income worth your time and effort?
- How much can you realistically earn?
- Do you have a passion and interest for it?
Physicians are some of the most motivated, dedicated, and passionate people in the professional community, so there’s no doubt that the right attitude will make you successful at your chosen side hustle. It’s all about what you put into it.
Here is a list of physician side hustles for you to consider:
There are many side jobs that require a medical degree but don’t require you to meet with patients. For many, these jobs are a great way to keep work varied and avoid burnout, while also expanding medical knowledge and becoming a better physician in the process.
- Medical Consulting: McKinsey
- Physician Advisor: R1
- Telemedicine: American Telemedicine Association, Doctor On Demand, HealthTap, MDlive
- Pharmaceutical Work/Clinical Trials
- Review and Consult on Medical Cases: Best Doctors
- Insurance Claims Review: NAIRO
- Medical Surveys: Medical Advisory Board, MD for Lives, Curizon, ZoomRX
- Chart/Utilization Review: Dane Street, Advanced Medical Reviews, SEAK
- Act as an Expert Witness: SEAK, American Medical Experts
- Disability Insurance Evaluation: ABIME, IAIME
- Retail Consulting for Cosmetics Companies
Alternative Clinical Work
Physicians looking to change up their routine and supplement their income with clinical work have many options available, beyond simply working extra hours in their current position. Much of this work promotes work/life balance, takes a lot of administrative stress away, and is a significant benefit to the community.
- Locum Tenens: National Association of Locum Tenens Org., Equal Access Health
- On-Demand Doctor Visits: Pager, Heal
- Concierge Doctor Services
- Military Physicals: MEPS
- Medical Review Officer for Drug and Alcohol Testing: AAMRO
- Clinical Lab Director
- Medical Director: home health or hospice care, infusion centers, IV hydration clinics
- Urgent Care: pick up shifts or start your own center
A natural side position for many physicians is in education. Beyond teaching at a university or being a guest lecturer and tutoring, there are many ways to earn passive income with your medical knowledge.
- Write a Print Book: Many physicians supplement their income with book sales, both nonfiction and fiction.
- Write an eBook: Self-publish an eBook, which continues to provide income after its initial production.
- Create an online or digital course: Udemy, Teachable
- Create student exam guides, like this one: First Aid for the USMLE
- Lecturing for the pharmaceutical industry
- Guest lecturer at medical conferences
- Create online quizzes
Like many others, physicians can start just about any type of business to earn some additional income or transition out of medicine. While medical knowledge could be beneficial for certain businesses, such as beginning a Locum Tenens company or a blog, there’s no limit to the type of business you can begin.
- Purchase a franchise
- Start a multi-level marketing business
- Start a Locum Tenens company
- Start a blog
- Affiliate marketing
- Sell items on Etsy or eBay
- Start a dropshipping business
- Direct-to-consumer products
Several physicians have used their medical training to patent ideas and invent medical devices, but any invention idea could provide substantial royalties if it’s successful.
- Create an invention and patent it: Now is the time to apply your on-the-job experience. Work with a team or independently to advance the medical field.
- Build an app: No one has better insight than you to create something truely useful.
- Invent a medical device: Design the necessary tweaks to improve the tools you use daily.
Another way for professionals to earn extra income is through investing in stocks or in companies.
- Angel investing for start-ups: AngelList, Microventures
- Venture capitalist: Work for a venture capital firm that funds medical innovations, such as Artiman Ventures
- Trade on the stock market
- Day trade
Aside from writing a book or a digital course, there’s high demand for medical knowledge and expertise for print media and online content.
- Medical Writing: SEAK
- Continuing Medical Education Content Writing: Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education
- Medical Journal Editing and Writing
There are many opportunities for physicians to contribute their medical expertise to traditional, online and social media. Many physicians use these outlets to stay up-to-date on healthcare news and increase their visibility, but establishing yourself as a subject matter expert can be a lucrative position, as well as educating the community and providing a public health benefit.
- Radio or Television Medical Expert: Dr. Sanjay Gupta
- Social Media Influencer: Dr. Mike
- Consultant for Film, Television, or Other Media: ReelMD
- Podcasting: Docs Outside the Box
- YouTube and Video-Blogging: ZDoggMD
With a little additional training, physicians can expand their knowledge base and find work in aesthetic and cosmetic dermatology. This growing field isn’t as demanding as traditional medicine, and it offers plenty of flexibility for a practicing physician.
- Aesthetics Clinics
- Medical Spas
- Start a skincare or cosmetics line
Professionals and side hustlers alike find additional revenue through transportation. These jobs have incredible flexibility for a working physician and tend to pay well.
Like consulting, coaching is another area that allows physicians to use their medical knowledge and experience to earn extra money. While this is suitable for side work, it’s not uncommon for physicians to eventually expand their coaching business to replace their clinical work.
- Athletic Training and Nutrition: AthletesRX
- Weight Loss
- Health and Wellness
- Business and Career
- Getting into Medical School: Medical School Headquarters
Most of these are related to medical knowledge and rely on the practical experience of getting into med school and building a successful practice or career, but physicians can coach on any other area of expertise that they choose.
Like investing, lending is an excellent source of passive income. Compared to investing in stock, lending as an investment has less volatility and offers higher returns.
- Invest in peer-to-peer lending: This type of lending is debt financing that allows people to borrow and lend money outside of a financial institution. Ex. Lending Club, Prosper
- Become a Hard Money Lender
Freelancing and Other Work
These ideas should give you a good starting point for finding additional revenue streams, but it all comes down to the work you put in.
If you’re serious about starting a side hustle, decide which of these is the right choice for you, and make a plan to get started. Before long, you’ll find that you have lucrative and rewarding side work that gives you more financial security and helps you stay motivated and happy.
Attend the National Physicians Conference for an in-depth look at options to improve your bottom line, increase personal wealth, and enhance your lifestyle. Learn more at www.NPCmd.org