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Non Clinical Opportunities for Extra Income [part 2]

Updated: September 6, 2023
By Jordan P. Roberts, PA-C
Nonclinical Side Jobs For MD PA NP PharmD Part 2 Modern MedEd

How Physicians, PAs, & NPs Earn Additional Income in 2023

Many clinicians have learned that finding a non-clinical side hustle* that pays enough to be financially viable is challenging. If you are a healthcare professional looking to supplement your income with part-time work, then this post is for you.

Unless you are doing something out of the pure joy of it, it's normal to have to find a way to get paid for it. Consider this very website, in fact. We love our business and writing articles like this, but it is free to read in part because some of you go on to buy stuff (like CME) from certain partners (ahem). Anyways, my point is stop feeling bad or awkward about wanting to get paid for your work.

You probably already know that your clinical job is one of the highest paying out there. And if it's not, you need a new job. A good non clinical side hustle provides a solid monetary return to make up for either a reduction in clinical or personal time. 

The options we’ll cover here not only fit this criteria, but can also be catalysts for further personal and career growth. We'll cover more emerging opportunities, like telemedicine and medical technology in future posts, so stay tuned.

This is the second post in our ongoing series about non-clinical side hustles suitable for almost any healthcare professional. In the first in the series, we explored lucrative and creative ways teaching and medical writing can be a stay-at-home, pants-optional side gig.

*Side hustle, passion project, part-time job, or whatever else you want to call it – it’s all the same thing.

Today's article will explore two more options for generating additional non-clinical income.

The first idea is joining a medical survey panel to participate in market research for industry. We've discussed which expert panels for medical market research surveys are worth joining, and which are not.

The second option could just be your highest-paying phobia. Public speaking.

Lastly, I'll do my best to convince you to at least consider the benefits of industry consulting. My plan is to show you why you are uniquely qualified for this kind of thing, and deserve to be compensated fairly for your expertise.

Medical Market Research Survey Panels

Online paid medical market research surveys. are easy, quick ways to boost your income, gain potential insights into the clinical future, and keep your mind thinking critically and clinically in your free time.

Pharmaceutical (also biotech, device, etc) companies have been doing this since the dawn of time to learn how to make their product and message most effectively resonate with their target audience. 

Let's get things straight up front: you likely will not qualify for enough surveys to make a sizable dent in your student loan payment.

However, participating every so often might buy you and your significant other the occasional steak dinner. No pretending to listen to drug reps while you eat this time! (Sorry drug reps.)

Unlike most consumer market research surveys, medical market research firms pay actual cash, and generally at decent rates. Rates ranging from a minimum of $60 to a healthy $200 to $300 or more per hour are not uncommon.

Some paid medical market research panels we've joined and recommend are All Global Circle, InCrowd, M3 Global Research, and MDForLives.

Most will even pay you just for registering (provided you can substantiate your healthcare professional status).

Public Speaking for Healthcare Professionals

Who doesn’t love the sound of their own voice? Most of us, it turns out. But trust me, you sound fine, and your colleagues want to hear what you have to say. Not to mention that speaking can also be a financially rewarding endeavor.

A even greater benefit is the ability to share your knowledge with your colleagues. You are also positioning yourself as an expert in your field. At a certain level, speaking fees for so-called “thought leaders” become quite substantial.

If you are a new clinician or have limited experience speaking publicly, start small. This helps keep the nerves under control while you build credibility. Maybe even take an online public speaking course.

Then, find out when your (or other) departments in your institution hold their in-services and volunteer to speak there. Look into giving a grand rounds presentation at your hospital. Consider applying to be a speaker at a local medical conference. 

Oh, and you probably won't get paid much (aside from reasonable expense reimbursement) or at all for the first few talks you give. If this is your career goal, you can do well financially, but it takes patience and consistency.

How to Become a Well-Paid Clinician Speaker

So how do you get into speaking, professionally speaking? One way is to search online for upcoming medical conferences, paying special attention to their call for submissions or speakers.

These usually occur on a rolling cycle, and open shortly after the current year's event, so do this often. Options include speaking to those within your specialty or educating clinicians in other fields the relevance of your work. 

Before social distancing was a thing, conference speaking involved stressful travel followed by big, scary crowds. And that's not for everyone.

If you'd rather give a talk to your webcam than get up in front of real-life people, you might be the next great clinician speaker.

Not only has the rise of medically-themed podcasts catalyzed an explosion of options for speakers, but so has the pandemic. Think how many CME conferences now have virtual or hybrid options, increasing access for speakers and learners around the world.

Any speech patterns causing self-consciousness can be edited out in post production. But I'm here to tell you that you sound great and nobody else registered any of that internal criticism.

Educate Peers on Trusted Medical Industry Products or Pharmaceuticals

One of the most well-known ways clinicians become speakers is through industry. Pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers need to educate the folks in clinical practice to sell their products. Clinicians need to learn about critical updates and possible upcoming changes in the way patients are treated.

Key Opinion Leader (KOL) can be a conduit for this relationship. Traditionally, the KOL role was exclusively for physicians. However, as more types of clinician gained influence over product sales, industry took notice.  

Note that this is not a zero-sum game where yesterday's KOLs are getting a smaller slice of the pie. If anything, the pie itself is larger. As roles expand and medicine becomes more complex, we sometimes need to hear from folks who have the exact same job that we do. We all need the same medical information, but we may require different product education. 

That means PAs, NPs, pharmacists, and other experts are getting their shot to teach others about the medical products they love. You could be one.

Think about the products and medications you use every day. Which do patients the most good? Which do you already find yourself championing over its competitors? 

These are the companies with whom to start building relationships if you are passionate about the way they help you help patients. Speaking for the products you believe in helps your colleagues and their patients. And of course, there is no reason you should not be compensated fairly for this work. 

To learn more about the inner workings of the companies on which we depend (and depend on us) consider this in-depth guide.

Build Your Non Clinical Side Hustle

We’ve only covered the tip of the iceberg when it comes to non-clinical side hustles. Teaching a class here and there, landing well-paying medical writing projects, delivering killer presentations, and performing medical market research surveys are some to consider.

None are likely to change your financial (or clinical) life right away. However, if you find something that clicks (no pun intended), it could turn into something bigger and better before you know it.

For now, the right combination can comfortably pad your income, keep your medical knowledge up-to-date, and increase the variety in your professional life.

The first part of this series covers interesting ways clinicians are uniquely positioned to teach their colleagues and influence all of healthcare with medical writing.

Still can’t get enough? Tired of reading all these words? Then skip on over to part III of our series on non-clinical careers. You'll get tons of great ideas for starting your own non-clinical business.

Subscribe to Modern MedEd

First Published: January 16, 2018

Further Reading

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