Cash-strapped physicians moonlight with side jobs

29% of surveyed docs took on outside work in 2012
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With a quarter of small medical practices currently eyeing closure, doctors are increasingly looking for ways to boost finances to get through tough times. According to a recent survey from Physicians Practice, respondents took the following steps last year to raise revenue at their practices:

  • 22 percent added ancillary services
  • 4 percent started an in-house dispensary
  • 3 percent started making fee-based house calls
  • 29 percent took on work outside the practice

While many practices seek to make more money from their practice alone, going with the latter option has several advantages, according to a recent article from Medscape Today. For example, engaging in side jobs that use physicians' clinical skills not only offers the potential for significant hourly earnings during physicians' discretionary time, but it could also stave off burnout.

"Having another job can restore enthusiasm for your career," Michael McLaughlin, founder of career consultancy Physician Renaissance Network in Parsippany, N.J., told Medscape.

Possibilities for outside work include options, such as supervising nonphysician providers, providing telehealth consults, serving as expert witnesses in court cases, working for insurance and pharmaceutical companies and "nontraditional locum tenens" jobs at special events.

It's important, however, that physicians make sure any outside work they take on does not violate contracts they have with an employer, as illustrated by a recent dispute, reported by HR.BLR.com, over a doctor's on-call pay while he "double-scheduled" himself at two hospitals at once.

 To learn more:
- read the report from Medscape Today
- see the survey from Physicians Practice
- check out the post from HR.BLR.com

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