From Scrubs to Side Hustles: 13 Best Physician Side Gigs

From Scrubs to Side Hustles: 13 Best Physician Side Gigs

[Editor’s Note: Today’s article is a guest post from Justin Nabity, CFP of Physician Thrive. Justin founded Physician Thrive to help doctors avoid business and legal pitfalls along with helping them build their financial education.]

There are a lot of factors physicians consider when starting their careers or changing jobs. One of the most important factors that influence this decision is money. For someone working in the healthcare field, especially as a physician, time is the most valuable resource. Time also happens to be the most limited resource which can make it hard to earn extra money passively

With the world entering a recession in the coming years and inflation at an all-time high, everyone is looking for smart ways to earn extra money, even doctors.

Here is a list of our top 13 best side hustles that show how doctors can earn additional income with the skills they already have.

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Why Do Physicians Need to Supplement Their Income?

There are a lot of different reasons healthcare professionals will want to earn extra money. For some, it may be as simple as wanting to put more money away in savings, while for others, the reason may be to pay off student loan debt.

Most doctors make a living from their day job, but making extra money in a passive or active way can actually make them happier with their work. 

Most doctors will either ask for a pay raise or pick up extra hours to supplement their earnings. Pay raise requests are not always guaranteed, and working too many hours can lead to burnout. Thankfully, many options will allow physicians to generate more money with relative ease. 

13 Ways to Make Extra Money as a Physician

#1. Write For Medical Journals

There are plenty of jokes about handwriting in the physician community, however, the medical knowledge a doctor can offer can generate an income (and I’m a huge fan of passive income). Consider writing comprehensive papers or guides for academic journals and classes.

This can be done during a doctor’s free time and not only will it bring in more money, but it will also increase the physician’s name recognition.

#2. Offer Workshops & Lectures

Many physicians are able to join the lecture circuit to help generate an additional source of income. There are many schools, clinics, and conventions that will be all too happy to have medical experts share their insights about their field. Physicians are able to charge per lecture, or they can sign up for a circuit of lectures. 

For a more low-pressure option, workshops are another great way to generate extra cash as a healthcare provider. Physicians can teach juniors in their field about innovative techniques or advances and get paid for them at the same time.

#3. Medical Investment

For physicians who are looking to generate passive income, a medical investment is always a smart option. There are advances constantly being made in every medical field, so consider investing in a tool (a medical device), study, or medication that relates to a specialty of interest.

Not only will passive income be generated, but the physician will also be among the first to know about advancements in the field.

#4. Become a Healthcare Consultant

One of the easiest ways for physicians to pad their bank accounts without burning out is to become a medical consultant. They’re able to provide their expert knowledge to other clinics, doctors, hospitals, and even academics for a fee.

Surgical and medical consulting are some of the most common, a quick internet search can tell you exactly which surgeons make the most money, but all doctors can use this strategy. This will allow others in need to get the specialized advice they need while also giving the physician a generous supplement source of income.

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#5. Provide Online Medical Consultations

Telemedicine has been around for a while, but it really took off during the pandemic. With Medicare making their telemedicine coverage permanent, physicians have a great opportunity to expand their income.

For those who have their own practice or are allowed to moonlight, online consultations providing medical advice are a goldmine. A lot of people want to skip the trip to the doctor’s office, so offering discounted services for online visits is an excellent opportunity for everyone.

#6. Teach an Online Course

Speaking of being online, physicians can earn extra cash flow in their spare time by offering online classes to others in the medical field.

They can offer weekly or monthly classes for medical students, or they can consider offering extended education modules for their peers.

There are a lot of platforms to choose from, which makes setting one’s own teaching schedule an easy way to get started.

Create a whole course and upload it behind a paywall, or take live classes on a weekly basis. Whatever option is chosen, physicians will be able to earn more depending on how much they teach.

#7. Medical Moonlighting

Not every hospital or clinic will allow their doctors to moonlight, but for those that have the ability, it presents a great opportunity. Instead of taking extra shifts within the same facility, physicians can offer their expertise at a premium. Often, moonlighting can turn into a regular side job that will pay as much, if not more, than their current job. 

If moonlighting is disallowed in a physician’s contract, another option is working as a locum for their current employer. Replacing another physician who is on leave will help out the hospital or clinic while also padding the doctor’s bank account.

#8. Make House Calls

Not many physicians still make house calls, but the market for such boutique services still exists. There are a lot of people who are simply too sick to visit a clinic but need essential maintenance care. 

There are also many people who are simply afraid of hospitals and are all too happy to pay a premium for one on one home service. Offering home visits and boutique medical care is a great way to generate a steady side income while providing essential care for patients in need.

#9. Sell Your Branding

Social media is here to stay and being a physician is no reason not to capitalize on it while it’s here. Being a spokesperson or the face of service as a physician can be one of the most lucrative side hustles there is. Charging per campaign, or even asking for a percentage of the sales proceeds is a creative way to earn more money as a practicing physician.

At the same time, it’s important that any brand, company, or product you endorse aligns with your values. The last thing a physician wants is to be closely tied to a problematic product or service.

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#10. Become A Research Specialist

Physicians are generally focused on healing, but there’s also money to be made in the field of research. One way to diversify a physician’s income stream is by adding research credits to one’s portfolio.

Performing research in one’s field of clinical medicine is an impressive way to stay on top of trends and also earn money from the research findings. 

At the same time, participating in research and clinical trials is another way to earn more as a practicing physician. Most clinical trials need medical oversight, even if the physician is not the one running the actual trial.

#11. Process Reviews for Insurance Claims

Often, when a person has been in an accident and files a claim, it will need to be medically reviewed. Physicians are able to work as insurance claim reviewers and add thousands of dollars to their monthly income.

For those who have a keen eye for detail and a knack for statistics and charts, reviewing insurance claims is a great medical side hustle. 

Aside from accidents, doctors can also review medical billing claims that are processed through insurance companies (chart review work). This is most often used to prove or disprove that a hospital or doctor’s charge for a service may have been elective and not essential.

#12. Provide Expert Testimony

The first thing people think about when they hear about court is a lawyer, but doctors also have their place. If there’s a medical case or evidence that requires medical review, physicians can get paid for providing their expert testimony. 

A Med-Legal expert is a doctor or healthcare provider that can offer assistance to the court, the defense, or the prosecution in an active case.

In fact, medical consultants make more per hour than most doctors make in their practice. It’s worth noting that legal schedules may clash with clinic or hospital schedules, so keep that in mind when considering this side hustle.

#13. Create A YouTube Channel

Creating a content channel takes extra work, but some doctors think the work is worth it for the benefits. Certain doctors can earn well from content, such as that produced by “Doctor Pimple Popper.”

Depending on a physician’s field of expertise, this option can not only generate a handsome income but also help bring in more clients. Dermatologists, cosmetic surgeons, dentists, and other content-rich specialties can earn well in this niche.

Make More Money as a Physician With These Side Gigs

Some doctors make dramatically less than others, even though their work is highly fulfilling. There are highly-paid doctors that still have a need for supplemental income, such as surgeons.

When you think of which surgeons make the most money, typically orthopedics, and plastic surgeons top the list, but they also happen to be the same physicians that tend to have the most expenses.

Regardless of specialty, these 13 side gigs can help bring in extra income with relatively little effort. We would love to hear your suggestions and comments down below.

Author Bio:

Justin Nabity is the founder and CEO of Physicians Thrive, now a part of Larson Financial Group where he is a Partner. Physicians Thrive is an advisory group helping physicians avoid business and legal pitfalls and build their financial education. In his free time, Justin enjoys spending time with his wife and three children. He has been involved in mentorship programs, is active in his church, and enjoys keeping up with public policy. He’s also an avid travel fan and likes spending time outdoors, including training for various Ironman triathlons. Justin has been featured in Bankrate, MSN, Carol Roth, and Insurance News. Additionally, you can listen to an interview with him on the ROI of Why Podcast.