While most doctors make a good living plying their trade, it’s no secret that salaries have been declining throughout the industry for years now. If you want to make serious dough as a physician, you’ll need to branch out a bit and consider a few sidelines to pad your income. Here are just a few great ideas for side businesses that can make you a mint without impacting your regular schedule.
Create a Medical Podcast
Nowadays, starting a podcast is pretty easy. All you need is a laptop, a decent microphone and an iTunes account. Getting guests is a little harder if you want your podcast to be a hot ticket. Regardless, the technological hurdles to starting a podcast are practically nothing at this point. Familiarize yourself with editing programs like Audacity so that your final product sounds professional.
Invent a Medical Product
If you have an interest in engineering or CAD, you can easily create a prototype for a simple medical product with a cheap CNC machine. Whether it’s an ergonomic walking cane, a prosthetic or a pen clip for medical professionals, your invention could make you a bundle. All you need is an original idea and the dedication to see your concept through to the end.
Coordinate Health Fairs
Great health fairs really need great physicians to give the events an increased air of respectability. Doctors can help the promoters by bringing in solid speakers to make the event a topnotch draw. If there’s a healthcare-related fair in your area, you can make it even more reputable by vouching for it. You can make even more money by speaking at the event for a fee.
Run an Educational Clinic
As a physician, you can probably teach the general public a thing or two about healthcare and make some decent money in the process. For instance, running a CPR class for corporate offices, small businesses and local fire departments is a great place to start. If you’re an OB/GYN, you could operate a Lamaze clinic and give expectant mothers tips on managing their pregnancies.
Practice Telemedicine from Home
Thanks to the widespread availability of inexpensive web cameras and video chat programs like Skype, more doctors than ever are providing care remotely. Patients get cheap medical advice from qualified professionals and doctors avoid spending a lot on administrative overhead. Top telemedicine contractors include iSelectMD, NowClinic, Ringadoc and American Well. The American Telemedicine Association is a terrific resource for physicians interested in providing telemedicine consultations.
Develop a Mobile App for Physicians
Thanks to user-friendly mobile app creators like BuildFire, iBuildApp and Adobe PhoneGap, crafting your own custom apps has never been easier. The key to developing an app that will sell like hotcakes is finding an unexploited niche and filling it. Research the competition on iTunes and Google Play for similar apps before you get started to avoid wasting time and effort breaking into a saturated market.
Make Old-Fashioned House Calls
Once upon a time, doctors paying visits to patients at their homes was fairly commonplace. Nowadays, house calls are seen as a novelty. You can earn a decent side income by taking your show on the road and practicing medicine outside of the office. Contact the American Academy of Home Care Physicians for more information on getting started in this growing sector of the medical field.
Publish a Medical Newsletter
For most physicians, staying on top of the latest developments in the medical industry is a critical concern. You can help your fellow doctors keep up on the news by putting out a weekly or monthly newsletter. Include a mix of current events and advice columns to appeal to a broad range of readers. Use a desktop publishing app like Microsoft Publisher to produce the final product.
Become a Headhunter
More and more medical technologists, nurses and doctors are becoming hired guns that practice their craft on a short-term contract basis. Recruiters like the Aureus Medical Group are always looking for competent professionals to fill staffing shortages at hospitals around the country. The National Association of Physician Recruiters can help you get started in the medical headhunting game if you’d like to make decent money on the side.
Start a Medical Equipment Business
According to the most recent statistics, the medical device industry is worth roughly $155 billion in the United States. You can easily snag a piece of that pie by working as a sales representative for major suppliers. If you want to go all the way, you could become a middleman and bid on supply contracts for smaller hospitals in your immediate area.
Prepare Students for the MCAT
Every year, at least 80,000 college students take the MCAT in the hopes of getting into the medical school of their dreams. You can help them achieve their goals and make some decent scratch at the same time by showing them how to do their best on the test. An MCAT preparation business is a great option for busy doctors due to the low barrier to entry and the profit potential.
Become an Expert Legal Witness
Personal injury lawyers and district attorneys are always looking for respected physicians to give testimony during trials. A physician can make several thousand dollars per case depending on their area of expertise. While you won’t be able to make a career out of serving as a medical expert, you can bank a healthy side income if you get to know the right attorneys.
Partner with a Spa
While most spas are focused on simple relaxation, a growing number of spa operators are branching out into providing medical consultation and care. If you’re an OB/GYN, you could offer medical advice and care to pregnant women on vacation. If you’re an osteopath, you can easily find work at a spa that specializes in rehabilitation for customers with back or leg pain.
Review Health Insurance Claims
Many major insurance companies cut down on costs by outsourcing the review of claims to independent review organizations. All you need to get started is a computer and enough scheduling flexibility to review claims within a relatively short time frame. The National Association of Independent Review Organizations is a terrific resource if you’d like to supplement your income by reviewing claims.
Work for Big Pharma
Easily the best way for doctors to rake in cash on the side is to work with major pharmaceutical manufacturers like Eli Lilly and Pfizer. You don’t necessarily need to push new medications on your regular patients to capitalize on pharmaceuticals. These companies always need physicians to assist them in conducting clinical trials and devising marketing campaigns for new products.
Making the Most of Your Options
Any physician with a few years of experience under their belt can easily boost their income if they’re willing to sacrifice a little free time. Maximizing revenue comes down to zeroing in on a mix of extracurricular activities that will be the most profitable for you at the moment. Play around with a few of the ideas mentioned above and you’ll no doubt identify a winning formula in short order.