12 Ways to Earn Extra Income From Medical Activities

Leigh Page


December 17, 2013

In This Article


Many physicians are looking for ways to earn extra income without adding space, hiring new staff, or incurring substantial overhead. A way to accomplish this goal is to look beyond your practice to find part-time jobs that involve your clinical skills.

Outside jobs are a welcome change for many physicians, says Michael McLaughlin, MD, founder of Physician Renaissance Network, a consultancy in Pennington, New Jersey, which helps physicians with their careers.

"Doctors looking for extra money may not want to expand their practice and work longer hours doing the same thing," he says. "There are a wide variety of jobs to choose from. Some outside jobs pay quite well -- for example, supervising NPs and PAs or working for attorneys -- whereas other jobs are more fun than high-paying, such as serving as a cruise physician or staffing a medical tent at an outdoor event."

Making money is important, but Dr. McLaughlin says it may not be the chief reason that physicians are looking for an outside job. "They may be feeling burned out or in need of more varied intellectual challenges," he says. "Having a new challenge can restore enthusiasm for your career."

What an Extra-Income Job Can Mean for You

Some physicians take on quite a few outside jobs. In addition to his internal medicine practice in Highland Park, Illinois, Jordan Grumet, MD, works in a nursing home and a hospice, serves as an expert witness in legal cases, and writes a blog for an online physician community.

"Having other jobs is a great way to balance your work life," he says. In a typical week, he spends 20 hours seeing patients in his office, 15-20 hours visiting the nursing home, 5 hours visiting the hospice, and 3-5 hours working on his blog or writing articles. And he occasionally takes on work as an expert witness. Dr. Grumet says these jobs provide new insights into clinical medicine, making him a better physician, and can also make him more efficient. When appointments slow down at his practice, he has other work to turn to.

Even though Dr. Grumet's blog-writing brings in only a few thousand dollars a year, he wouldn't give it up for the world. "Writing, in particular, helps you avoid burnout," he says. The blog he writes for, Freelance MD, focuses on physicians looking for extra work. "In your practice, you can get to a point where you want to try new things," he says. "You need to find something new and refreshing."

To find the jobs he wanted, Dr. Grumet developed a wide network of potential employers and constantly reached out to the community. "I see myself as a serial entrepreneur," he says. "I'm always looking for new opportunities." This means "getting outside of your comfort zone," he says. Physicians who can't do this on their own and need help looking for outside jobs can turn to consultants for help.

Before you jump at a part-time job opportunity, however, Dr. McLaughlin suggests taking some time to consider what sort of work would fit your needs. "People have very different wants," he says. "Some think that sitting at a desk and reviewing charts is the last thing they want to do. Others say, 'I've been seeing 80 patients a day, and I want some peace and quiet.'"

On the basis of your own search, you may come up with different choices, but here are some options to consider.


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