Can Doctors Have Two Jobs?

Dietitian doctor

The 21st century and the coronavirus pandemic have ushered in a time when having more than one source of income is not to be frowned upon. This includes doctors who contemplate quitting the profession at a time of great medical and financial peril, especially since recent medical school graduates encounter challenges in getting a job.

Fortunately, using a medical degree is not limited to saving lives and treating people. Doctors find themselves with more options to generate passive income and to have an added way of helping others live well, with well-paying physician surveys as an example.

Doctors: Not Just One, But Two (Or More) Jobs

Wearing a medical coat, doing the rounds, and giving diagnoses for patients is not the only thing doctors can do nowadays. Doctors can have two jobs and even more.

That MD is just as useful for reviewing insurance policies, providing consultations with the pharmaceutical industry, and conducting telehealth visits. Others engage in paid medical surveys, med-legal work, and medical research and publications.

Detailed below are some of these side hustle options and additional tasks doctors can take on throughout their careers. 

1. Pharmaceutical Work

An additional job doctors can consider is being part of pharmaceutical advisory boards. Beyond providing insight regarding up-and-coming drugs, doctors can be guest speakers for lectures and conferences sponsored by this industry.

Working with pharmaceutical companies can also be a threshold for medical writing. Some companies ask doctors to write summaries for new medicine, after all.

Highly specialized doctors also get tapped to write a copy for pharmaceutical companies’ marketing brochures. This helps ensure that the writing is suited for the target market.

A caveat, however, is that networking is sometimes needed to land this additional job. There are times when this is a “by invite only” side gig, but once this is secured, it can rake in up to about $500 per hour.

2. Telemedicine Consultations

A recent technology that has gained more popularity, especially during the pandemic, is telemedicine. It has allowed doctors of different specialties to work with patients remotely.

Doctors with off-days in their regular schedules may opt to use that off-day, and even the hours in between surgeries and physical consults, for a quick Zoom or Google Meet call. Telemedicine allows flexibility in scheduling, so patients would follow the doctor’s stated time of availability.

Sometimes, it can be challenging for doctors to arrive at a proper diagnosis with only one call. Thus, a doctor and the patient need to schedule a follow-up online consultation after prescriptions and lab test requests are given, and the results are out.


3. Insurance Reviews

The insurance industry provides a lot of opportunities as well. Doctors can help through case analysis, insurance underwriting, and chart reviews.

Medical training, for one, can help insurance applicants estimate their life expectancy, a crucial element in evaluating insurance policies. It also entails the review of medical records and charts, which leads to sound advice regarding added benefits one may want to include in one’s policy.

Other companies also seek the professional opinion of doctors when it comes to insurance claims and medical procedures that stakeholders wish to avail themselves. After all, a doctor decides whether a procedure is medically necessary.

Moreover, doctors can evaluate insurance policy holders’ appeals for disability claims. Simply put, insurance companies can bill doctors as expert witnesses for specific cases.

4. Medical Surveys

Similar to the need for their expertise in insurance companies, a physician’s insight is needed in medical surveys conducted by research companies. Extensive surveys can help doctors earn several hundred dollars at a time.

The work for medical surveys can vary. It can still involve insurance-related questions, while others tackle new devices, treatments, and medications in the field.

While this seems to be an easy way to get money, it pays to note that a doctor’s opinion is being valued. One’s training and expertise reflected through survey answers can help influence the creation of new medical equipment or life-saving drugs.

5. Medical and Health-Related Content Creation

 A current trend that doctors might also want to consider is to create content for a wider audience, including podcasts, vlogs, and blogs, where they can offer their professional opinion on related topics. These media can be monetized, and the regular publication of content may even attract online followers and actual patients. For example, writing companies like Trust My Paper occasionally look for freelance doctors with a knack for writing to create useful medical content.

Having More Than One Job Is Possible!

Needless to say, there is a lot to being a doctor beyond clinical work, and these jobs can be just as rewarding. It may not entail being in an operating room or ER or writing prescriptions, but it only shows that the insight of a physician can still save lives and make lives better, even when done remotely or in other ways.

Whether a doctor is looking into an alternative source of income to secure one’s retirement, help with an upcoming big purchase, achieve various financial goals, or just augment income, it pays to know that one is not simply relegated to a single line of work. Building a reputation and developing skills through many jobs would also pay off in the long run.