7 Side Hustles for Physicians

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  • In an industry where physicians can routinely work 60 to 80 hours a week (or more), the idea of adding more time “on the clock” may sound ludicrous. But the right side hustle can provide an outlet for a different area of your brain and possibly even stave off physician burnout.

    Here are a few of the ways you may be able to raise your profile, pursue a passion, diversify your skill set--and, of course, make a little extra money by taking on a side job.

  • 1
    Telemedicine
    Female patient having telemedicine appointment with male doctor over laptop camera

    You may already offer telemedicine options to your own patients, but many doctors find opportunities to provide online consultations for third-party companies outside of their daily work. These cases are typically minor primary care, such as upper respiratory infections or sinus infections. One big perk: schedule flexibility. Some telemedicine sites will ask you to commit to a shift, while others let you take a rideshare-like approach and pick up appointments as you’re available. Most large telemedicine sites like Amwell and Teladoc will also cover you under their own malpractice policies.

  • 2
    Freelance Writing
    African American male doctor typing on laptop at desk in office

    Your years of practice have made you a subject matter expert, and freelance writing gives you the opportunity to translate that knowledge into paid content. Start by researching online health sites or medical publications and pitch story ideas, or look for non-editorial jobs such as writing scientific manuscripts, medical marketing communications, CME content, or test prep materials. Many health websites also employ independent medical reviewers. Conversely, you can make yourself available as a medical source to journalists through sites like Help a Reporter Out (HARO), though these interviews are typically unpaid.

  • 3
    Speaking
    Late 30s Caucasian woman at lectern speaking to audience in auditorium

    Similarly, public speaking engagements provide an opportunity to make new connections both within the industry and outside of it by positioning yourself as a thought leader in your specialty. Identify a specific niche you could fill and consider how to put your personal perspective on it. Promote yourself through your LinkedIn profile and your own personal network, and pitch yourself to events and conferences you identify as good fits for your message. While on-site, make a point to network with attendees and position yourself for future speaking invitations.

  • 4
    Podcasting and Blogging
    Podcast microphone and headphones set up near laptop on desk

    The beauty of today’s digital media world is you don’t have to wait for someone to hire you to start writing or speaking. With a few Google searches, you can learn how to start a blog or launch a podcast to talk directly to patients, fellow physicians, or general health consumers. Some physicians enjoy blogging or podcasting for the opportunity to debunk common health myths or provide expert perspective on current medical headlines. Successful podcasts and blogs take work, but they can attract advertising income if they reach a large enough audience.

  • 5
    Expert Witness
    Asian American man testifying in court being questioned by African American male lawyer reviewing document

    Outside of any legal cases that may involve a doctor directly, physicians can also appear as expert witnesses in any trial involving medical evidence. Typically, a physician expert witness is called to explain medical terms or clinical evidence in a way the judge and jury can understand. As you’d expect, this type of work can be time-consuming and require some shifts to your daily schedule, but it can also be lucrative over time. Consider which types of cases and subject matter you want to focus on, then start reaching out to law firms to promote your availability. You can also find more information on training and getting started through sites like SEAK or The Expert Institute.

  • 6
    Chart Review
    Rows of medical records and charts on shelves

    Chart review is most often a component of a larger medical case review, either through an insurance company or hospital or medical peer review. Your primary role as an independent physician is to study the medical necessity of prescribed treatments, length of stay, and other factors and provide an objective determination. The frequency and financial benefit of this work will vary from project to project, but it can provide an occasional boost to your bottom line. The National Association of Independent Review Organizations is a good place to start for more information and ways to find chart review work.

  • 7
    Medical Consulting
    Middle age Caucasian female doctor addressing meeting of business professionals and administrators

    The term medical consulting is a bit of a catch-all for providing expertise and advice from a medical perspective to a variety of companies and services. This can include technology companies developing a new healthcare app, pharmaceutical companies testing new drugs, or digital startups building new electronic health record (EHR) software. Many of the side jobs listed above can dovetail into a consulting business, giving you built-in channels for marketing and promotion. Through published content, blogs, and speaking engagements, you can build your personal brand--and a client list to go with it.

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.
  1. Working a TeleMedicine Job as a Physician Side Hustle. Physician Tycoon. https://physiciantycoon.com/working-telemedicine-as-physician-side-hustle/ 
  2. The Best Freelance Medical Writing Jobs for Physicians. Look for Zebras. https://lookforzebras.com/freelance-medical-writing/
  3. Speaking. Physician Side Gigs. https://www.physiciansidegigs.com/speaking
  4. So You Want to Be a Physician-Blogger: What It’s Really Like to Write About Medicine Online. Medical Bag. https://www.medicalbag.com/home/lifestyle/so-you-want-to-be-a-physician-blogger-what-its-really-like-to-write-about-medicine-online/
  5. Expert Witness 101. Physician Side Gigs. https://www.physiciansidegigs.com/single-post/Expert-Witness-101
  6. Chart Reviews 101. Physician Side Gigs. https://www.physiciansidegigs.com/single-post/Chart-Review-101
  7. About. National Association of Independent Review Organizations. https://www.nairo.org/resources
  8. 7 Physician Side Hustles. The White Coat Investor. https://www.whitecoatinvestor.com/7-physician-side-hustles/