A little while back I put together an article on side hustle ideas that anyone can start at home and with little investment. Since then I have been inundated with requests for industry-specific side hustle ideas. I have already covered side hustles for graphic designers as this is a topic I am particularly familiar with. However, one of the most popular requests has been Side Hustles for Doctors. While this isn’t an area I have had specific experience in, I am fortunate to have several friends who are doctors.
For this article, I have called upon their experience and knowledge to ensure I provide as correct advice as possible. Because of the nature of many medically inclined side hustles, before I get into them fully, I will remind you, that all of these are for trained and qualified professionals only. Any legal ramifications are yours and yours alone and I suggest that you make your best efforts to understand each of these from a commercial and legal standpoint before you embark on any new venture.
With that said, if you’re ready, let’s get into my article on side hustles for doctors.
What is a side hustle?
A side hustle refers to any type of work or job that someone takes on in addition to their primary source of income, typically to earn extra money or pursue a passion. Side hustles can be temporary or ongoing and for doctors, they can include many different forms.
Why would a doctor need a side hustle?
This was one of the first questions I asked myself. Generally speaking a career as a doctor is pretty high paying in comparison to the UK average salary (£32,292). According to the NHS, the pay scale for a salaried General Practitioner in England is £65,070 to £98,194, over double the national average of salaries. Doctors in training, speciality doctors and consultants work to differing payscales and there are regional differences across Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Doctors are of course paid a relatively high salary. However high this seems though, in my opinion, it is only a fraction of their total earning potential. As an individual, I urge you to consider your financial ambition. Do you want to earn more money? Or do you want to retire early? You may even want to achieve financial independence. Whatever you decide your financial goals to be, adding to your wealth through side hustles is an intelligent way to achieve this.
Burnout is real
Being a doctor is tough and burnout is a common issue, particularly due to the high levels of stress and pressure they face in their day-to-day work. It is often caused by a combination of factors, including heavy workloads, long hours, and a lack of support or resources. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated burnout in doctors, with many facing increased demands and stress.
Because of this many doctors are choosing to prioritise their well-being by reducing their hours in practice and are looking to supplement their loss of income through side hustles. These are often more lucrative and conducted away from patient care.
What is financial independence?
Financial independence is a relatively new idea in the UK. Loosely, it is achieved when the income from your assets and investments meets your annual expenditure. Being financially independent means that work becomes optional. You no longer need to work for income to sustain your life, but if you choose to, this is of course fine.
Many of those on the path to financial independence also consider the thought that they may want to retire before the traditional retirement age. Most people consider retirement to be the age at which they can draw their pension and this replaces their income. If you think about it, retirement shouldn’t, therefore, be an age, but an amount, that when achieved means you can afford to stop working.
In this article, I outline how to calculate your retirement number, so I’ll not go in-depth here. If you’re just starting your career or looking to plan for your retirement, I highly encourage you to read it fully. And if you have any questions, I am always happy to discuss these further.
Can a doctor retire early?
Many of you reading this article will have established medical careers. The thought of retiring early may have only come because you have read an article online or a colleague has retired early. It may also be because of stress or burnout that many doctors unfortunately face. This search may have been a result of necessity.
Each of the doctors I spoke to, which was 3 in case you were wondering, asked me if I was going to suggest that they sell their house, stop buying items or give up their golf club membership. Before many of you click off this article, I am not. You guys work hard and you can spend your income as you like.
My role here is not to challenge your spending, but to prompt you to think and give you an alternative perspective to consider. To urge you to think about the future and how this spending now affects this. If you spend everything you earn, you will never be able to retire, but I appreciate that you work hard and you are fully expected to enjoy the fruits of your labour.
I come from a slightly different approach to achieving early retirement. While I fully believe that the most efficient way to achieve financial independence and retire early is to significantly outearn our spending.
And that is why I am writing this article on side hustles for doctors. To help you break the ceiling that is an NHS salary and to give you the confidence to explore earning money through side hustles.
But all doctors are rich
Being well-paid doesn’t necessarily mean that anyone is rich. I know people earning hundreds of thousands of pounds per year with absolutely no savings. The person earning much less but saving a higher percentage of their income is from a purely monetary view, doing better.
Many doctors fall into the trap of lifestyle inflation. After many years of education and training, once their income begins to grow, they use start to spend this income with relatively little thought for the future.
Spend less than you make
If you spend everything you earn, you will never be able to retire with the standard of life that you have now. I am not advocating that you cancel your Netflix accounts or gym membership, but while earning more is one of the pillars of achieving your financial goals, saving is another. Spending money on the things you truly value and cutting out the rest will help you reach your goals much more quickly. If you want to save money or create a budget, I cover each of those in the linked articles in considerable detail.
Is an NHS pension enough?
As a doctor, you will of course be applicable to put a proportion of your salary towards your NHS pension. I wholeheartedly agree that this is a sensible option and you should contribute to this from the start of your medical career. However, many doctors, especially those maturing in years or those advancing their careers, will find that they are maxing out and exceeding their pension allowance through contributions earlier and earlier during the year. They may also be close to or have already reached the lifetime allowance and this causes a different set of considerations altogether.
Update 16th March 2023 – In the most recent budget, the Lifetime Allowance has been scrapped. You can now save as much as you want in your pension without further taxation. However, it is prudent to note that this can change. Labour has stated they would reform this again if they were in power. We can only work on the basis of the current rules. So fill yer boots!
Being in the upper echelons of earners does mean there are some considerations to be made about taxation and pensions for doctors. Being an employee of the NHS means that tax is covered in their pay packet through PAYE. Their NHS pension is also accounted for. This does often give rise to the thought that, they’re doing enough. But are they?
The BMA have a handy NHS Pension calculator available to view and plug in your details.
Are there any drawbacks to the NHS pension scheme for doctors?
In my discussion with doctors, it was apparent that some are relatively unaware of their pension and what their financial position is likely to be at their normal pension age. Others were more attuned to this and understood that even a maxed-out NHS pension was likely to amount to a significant pay cut in retirement.
Let me say that again. Based on your income, a fully maxed-out NHS pension will result in a significant reduction in your income in retirement. The earlier you understand this in your career, the better you can make the changes needed to create the income you want in retirement or to bridge the gap between early retirement and the receipt of your NHS pension.
Key information on the NHS Pension for Doctors
- For members of the NHS Pension Scheme 2015, you cannot receive the NHS pension until your scheme’s normal pension age, which is currently between 66 and 67 depending on your date of birth.
- For members of the NHS Pension Scheme 2008, the normal pension age is 65, or earlier if you have special class status.
- For members of the NHS Pension Scheme 1995, the normal pension age is 60, or earlier if you have special class status.
- However, you may be able to retire and receive a reduced pension before reaching your normal pension age if you are at least age 55 and meet the scheme’s early retirement criteria.
The maximum amount you can have in your pension is £1,073,100 (for the 2022/23 tax year) and this is in line with the lifetime allowance for pensions across the UK. Any excess over the lifetime allowance can be taken as a lump sum (a lifetime allowance excess lump sum) and the charge is 55%.
- As of March 2023, the Lifetime Allowance has been scrapped and there is no limit to the amount you can have in your pension.
- Many doctors will automatically over-subscribe to their NHS pension each year and may need to consider the tax implications of this as their career progresses.
Alternatives to the NHS pension
I had never considered that a doctor would need to look outside their NHS pension, but when it was explained to me that many doctors will max out their pension well before the year’s end, and are likely to have exceeded the previous lifetime allowance of just over £1.07million, early in their career, this made sense. Because many doctors do not consider what the NHS pension may look like as an income in retirement until too late, they are forced to reduce their expenditure or take a big tax hit.
As the rules of pensions are always subject to change, it is always a prudent move to give thought how you can diversify your income and investments to mitigate all challenges.
If any of this sounds familiar or indeed wholly new to you, consider this your prompt to look at creating alternative income streams outside of the NHS. I believe that this is now and in the future, side hustles for doctors will become increasingly considered and applied for this specific purpose.
The alternative to an NHS pension is for you, a doctor to consider self-employment and earn an income outside of the NHS. This is often considered private work, or more in this instance, a side hustle. Any income outside of your NHS employment would fall into “self-employment” and therefore subject to different rules for taxation and how you use the taxed income. While a side hustle could be any income such as rental properties, in this article I’ll solely discuss those side hustles directly applicable to medical professionals.
Paying tax and funding your ISA
I also would encourage younger doctors to maximise their ISA allowance from the start of their careers.
“Investing early in life is not something we think of. I wish I had done it.” This advice came from one of my interviewees.
Most people consider an ISA after they’ve fully contributed to their pension and find themselves with additional income beyond this. However, by focusing on investing within an ISA from an early stage in your career, you can effectively bridge the gap between early retirement and receipt of your NHS pension.
ISAs can only be funded from taxed income. You will pay the tax on the income, however, once you put this into an ISA, the growth and withdrawals are completely free of taxation.
fortunate wise enough to fully subscribe to your ISA each year, then it is a consideration to also open a general investment account. Any growth and withdrawals in a general investment account are subject to capital gains tax (CGT).
Why should a doctor consider a side hustle?
If you take the time to read other articles on this site, I am pro-business and this applies to all professions. Being an employee is a disadvantage for high earners. The government pension allowance while generous in comparison to other nations stifles the amount you can save for the future. When it makes no sense to save for retirement many of your peers will forgo saving outside their pension and blindly follow a path that may leave them underprepared for retirement.
It has the second challenge that when we aren’t saving our money, we’re often spending it. As income increases and our savings remain static, we automatically create lifestyle creep as our careers mature.
A side hustle allows us to earn a greater income and it allows us to avail of the tax advantages that come with self-employment. Both of these benefits will aid us in achieving our financial goals more quickly and efficiently.
Side hustles for doctors
While a number of the doctors I spoke to acknowledged that pensions were a reason to look outside of their NHS employment contracts, others took a more entrepreneurial approach and wanted to maximise their earning potential. I fully support each of these endeavours and am delighted to see doctors become much more business minded.
What I did find across the board, was that the skill set required to become a successful doctor doesn’t automatically align with entrepreneurship. Patient care is one thing, but the process of starting and building a business is another altogether.
Make no mistake, a side hustle is a business and as a profession, doctors rarely have to consider this side of the practice. Doctors aren’t necessarily known for their entrepreneurial spirit and a doctor is rarely by their nature a business person. Exams, training and patient care are one thing, sales, marketing and advertising procedures is another altogether.
While these are not necessarily skills that most doctors possess, they are skills that can be learned. And even though you don’t need to have a robust understanding of each of the activities, enough knowledge to instruct others is a definite requirement.
I questioned my doctor friends as to what side hustles are most commonly seen in the profession. I had a periphery knowledge of many of these but some were also completely new. Many of these side hustles for doctors revolve around completing tasks for 3rd party businesses, but I have also included some side hustles that have full opportunity to become a business in their own right.
In the interconnected world, we live in, telemedicine is becoming an increasingly popular way to provide remote medical diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring of patients.
Using various communication technologies, such as video conferencing, text messaging, telephone and mobile apps, a doctor’s physical presence is no longer needed for certain types of medical care.
As a side hustle, not being physically present allows doctors to communicate with patients outside of their geographical area, or at a time convenient to them and their clients. It also means that certain services can be conducted more efficiently and cost-effectively. One of the core benefits of telemedicine is that you can serve clients who are unable to visit your office in person, either due to location, time constraints, or mobility issues
Benefits of telemedicine as a side hustle for doctors
- Flexibility: As telemedicine can be done on a flexible schedule, this is a great option for doctors who cannot commit to traditional 9-5 working. By its very nature, telemedicine attracts customers who may need evening or weekend assistance.
- Improved work-life balance: Telemedicine can be done from anywhere, so you can work from home or wherever you choose, which can lead to a better work-life balance.
- Low start-up costs: To get started with telemedicine, you’ll need to have a reliable internet connection and a computer or smartphone. Many of us have these devices and services already without the need to buy dedicated or new equipment.
How to start a telemedicine side hustle
For those doctors looking to increase their income via telemedicine, there are many ways to start this side hustle. Many practices are bringing in additional support to meet their ever-increasing demands. Speaking to colleagues that might need this support will open up many opportunities not just in telemedicine. In addition, many private healthcare providers or insurance companies are offering telemedicine as part of their contracts. These services need to be resourced during the day and evening.
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2. Insurance Work / Reports
As a doctor, a potential side hustle could be providing insurance companies with medical reports to help them make informed decisions about the coverage they offer or claims made by their clients. You would typically receive a request for a report from the insurance company, review the patient’s medical records, and provide a detailed report outlining your findings.
Benefits of insurance work as a side hustle for doctors
Report writing for insurance companies can be completed fully remotely and on a flexible timeline. It is ideal for those doctors looking for a side hustle they can complete in the evenings. Timeframes for report writing are often short and it can be challenging to stay up-to-date on the latest guidelines and regulations, but if you are completing reports regularly, you will become more efficient in writing these.
Report writing is very much an in-demand service and the area is growing.
How to start insurance work as a side hustle
Networking is the key to starting this side hustle. Attending events or speaking with colleagues you know already providing this service is a perfect way to build out your knowledge and contacts. Once you start to make connections within the industry and complete projects successfully, ask for referrals to other departments or teams within each company you work with.
3. Private GP Services
Private GP services involve offering medical consultations, advice, and treatments to individuals or families on a private, fee-for-service basis. Many private practices across the UK provide this service and demand is increasing year after year.
As a private GP, you’ll typically provide services such as general health check-ups, minor illness diagnosis and treatment, preventative health advice, and referrals to specialists when necessary. You may also offer home visits and online consultations to meet the specific needs of your clients.
Benefits of private GP services as a side hustle for doctors
Private GP services are often charged at a premium and because of this, the potential earning per consultation is often greater than you would expect in an NHS setting. Many private GPs set their own fees and schedule which also allows for much greater control over your work-life balance.
As waiting times for many public healthcare services including GP consultations are growing and availability is often required outside of normal working hours, private GP services are growing in demand.
How to start a private GP side hustle
The quickest and easiest way to get started as a private GP is to contact private clinics that are already offering this service and ask them if they have any requirements for your services. While the practice may have a full complement of doctors currently, situations always change. Being willing to help on short notice if required will help you get a positive reputation when starting out in private work.
You may choose to market private GP services on your own and this definitely ventures into the realm of entrepreneurship. Owning a private practice is a great way to build your wealth and increase your income, but to do this successfully you need to consider more than just providing a great health service. You’ll also need to be able to market your services effectively to potential clients, which may involve advertising, word-of-mouth referrals, or partnerships with local businesses. You will be in control of HR, scheduling appointments, billing clients, and maintaining medical records. You’ll also need to make sure you are complying with all relevant laws and regulations, including data protection and privacy laws.
The rewards from starting a private GP clinic are great if you are willing to learn new skills and put the effort in. Additionally, you could partner with someone who knows the business side and lets you manage patient care.
4. Locum Doctor Contracts
A GP Locum is a fully qualified GP that works in a hospital or doctor’s surgery in another GP’s absence. Locum work is a type of temporary medical work that is done on a short-term, freelance basis. As a side hustle for doctors in the UK, locum work can be a flexible and lucrative option. It is also popular across medical professions including optometry, pharmacy and nursing.
Being a locum can involve working at a hospital, clinic, or other medical practice for a set time, ranging from a day or two to several weeks or months.
Benefits of locum work as a side hustle
The primary benefit of being a locum doctor is that it is highly lucrative and the rate of pay is often much higher than full-time doctors. As a locum doctor, you will be able to select a schedule, workload and location that suits you. This can be appealing for many doctors who only want to work part-time or on an ad hoc basis or for those looking to boost their income outside of their current working hours.
How to get started as a locum doctor
To get started as a locum doctor in the UK you can sign up with a locum recruitment agency or you can speak to GP practitioners you already know or in your wider network and offer them your services as a locum. Either way, you need to be known about those practices that might need temporary staff, so they can contact you if they need
Aesthetics is a growing field in the UK that involves offering cosmetic treatments to clients to enhance their appearance. As a side hustle for doctors, aesthetics can be very profitable and afford a high level of flexibility. Providing aesthetics involves offering a range of cosmetic treatments, such as Botox injections, dermal fillers, and chemical peels, to clients. Often these treatments are non-surgical, minimally invasive, and can be done in a short period.
Benefits of providing aesthetic treatments as a side hustle
Many doctors are choosing to open private aesthetic clinics to meet the growing demand for these treatments. With only 50 clients paying £250 every 3 months, you could earn an additional £50,000 per year.
Clinics and services can be set up to take up minimal time while maximising output and income. As a doctor, the provision of these services should come at a premium rate. The experience and knowledge you have put you in a much higher position than others conducting the same treatments.
How to get started in aesthetics
To get started with offering aesthetics treatments as a side hustle in the UK, you’ll need to have the appropriate training and certifications. This typically involves attending courses and gaining hands-on experience in the specific treatments you want to offer. Marketing your services often starts with those family members and friends who have expressed interest in such treatments and then you can use these customers as testimonials. Asking for referrals is a great way to widen your customer base quickly but in a controlled manner.
When starting to provide aesthetic treatments be mindful that you need to comply with all relevant laws and regulations, including data protection and privacy laws, advertising standards, and medical ethics.
Let’s pause for a second – Doctors’ orders from one of the interviewees
It’s important to think about your career now and what it might look like in the future. The “traditional” path in medicine is to progress your career through professional exams. Many younger doctors don’t start upskilling themselves in lieu of doing exams. Doing so, they will of course increase their earnings, but at what cost? One of the doctors I interviewed asked me to include the following quote.
“If I had one bit of advice it would be for younger doctors to start developing skills as early as possible that are able to be monetised as they gain experience such as aesthetics.”
6. Medical Politics
Medical politics is a field that involves advocacy, lobbying, and representation of healthcare professionals and their interests. As a side hustle for doctors in the UK, medical politics can be a way to have a positive impact on the healthcare system while also earning additional income.
Medical politics involves participating in activities that influence healthcare policy, regulations, and laws. This can include activities such as joining medical associations, participating in political campaigns, advocating for healthcare policies and reforms, and lobbying for better working conditions for healthcare professionals.
Benefits of medical politics as a side hustle
One of the benefits of participating in medical politics as a side hustle is the potential to make a positive impact on the healthcare system. By advocating for policies and reforms that support healthcare professionals and their patients, doctors can help to improve the quality of care and ensure that the healthcare system is working as effectively as possible.
Another benefit of participating in medical politics as a side hustle is the potential to earn additional income. Doctors can work as healthcare advisers, providing advice and guidance to healthcare organisations or government agencies. They can also offer services such as public speaking at relevant conferences or events.
How to get started in medical politics
Getting started in medical politics is relatively straightforward and can happen at any time in a doctor’s career. To start, a doctor could join a medical association and become active in any of the current or future campaigns they are advocating. Getting visibility is the first step in networking with like-minded peers and other professionals. You could also attend conferences and other events to network with other professionals in the field and learn about the latest developments in healthcare policy and regulation.
It’s important to note that participating in medical politics as a side hustle can require a significant amount of time and effort. Doctors may need to balance their medical practice with their advocacy work, and they may need to be willing to work long hours and travel frequently.
7. Sporting Event Work
Sporting events can be a great side hustle for doctors in the UK, especially for those with an interest in sports medicine. Sports events typically require a medical team to be present to provide medical assistance to athletes, coaches, and spectators. This includes responding to injuries or medical emergencies, providing first aid, and managing any medical conditions that arise during the event.
As a doctor, you can work as a member of the medical team at sporting events on a freelance or contract basis. This can include providing medical coverage for local sports teams, amateur or professional sporting events, or even international competitions.
Benefits of becoming a sporting event doctor as a side hustle
A major benefit of being a sporting event doctor is that such schedules are known months and often years in advance. Being able to plan out events that fit into your schedule, during weekends, evenings or holidays is key to maximising your side hustle income.
Another benefit is the potential for networking and building a network within the sports industry. Working at sporting events can provide opportunities to meet and work with coaches, athletes, and other professionals in the sports world, which can be beneficial for building your professional network and highly lucrative.
How to get started as a sporting event doctor
Many doctors who choose sporting events as their side hustle do so because they have an acute interest in sports or this particular sport in general. Often they come from teams or clubs and have built up a network of contacts. However, you can always reach out to sporting bodies, organisations or clubs and enquire who manages this aspect of the event with a view of introducing yourself and your service.
It’s important to note that working at sporting events can be physically demanding and may require long hours on your feet. You will also need to be comfortable working in fast-paced, high-pressure environments. Many events require little interaction with medical professionals, but you must also be prepared to handle medical emergencies if they arise.
8. Appeals & Expert Witness
Being an Appeals and expert witness testimony can be a viable side hustle for doctors in the UK, particularly for those with specialised knowledge and experience in their field. In legal cases, expert witnesses are often called upon to provide their professional opinion and analysis on a particular issue. As a doctor, you can work as an expert witness, providing testimony and analysis in medical cases.
For example, you may be called upon to provide expert testimony in cases involving medical malpractice, personal injury, or insurance claims. This can involve reviewing medical records, providing written reports, and providing testimony in court.
You can also work on appeals cases, where you can review previous court cases and provide expert testimony on the medical aspects of the case. This can involve working with lawyers and other experts to analyse the case and provide recommendations on how to proceed.
Benefits of being an expert witness as a side hustle
Working as an expert witness or on appeals cases can provide doctors with an opportunity to use their medical expertise in a legal setting, while also earning additional income. It can also be a great way to expand your professional network and build relationships with lawyers and other professionals in the legal field.
How to get started as an expert witness
To get started as an expert witness or in appeals work, doctors will need to be an expert in the specific areas of medicine they will be a witness in. Reaching out to legal firms that specialise in these areas is the first step to making yourself available for such work.
Due to the nature of legal cases, expert witnesses or appeals cases can be demanding and time-consuming. They may also require you to work outside of your usual schedule or during your normal working schedule. You may also need to be comfortable working in a legal setting and be prepared to handle cross-examination and tough questioning.
9. Private procedures
Waiting lists for many procedures within the NHS are growing considerably. Many people are choosing to use private services for minor procedures. In addition to this, there are often initiatives within health and social care boards to reduce waiting lists and upskill GPs in such procedures.
Many doctors are therefore beginning to offer specialised services in any number of private procedures. Examples include:
- Cosmetic procedures: Doctors can perform cosmetic procedures, such as Botox injections, dermal fillers, chemical peels, and laser treatments, in private practice.
- Minor surgeries: Doctors can perform minor surgical procedures in a private clinic or as a visiting consultant in a hospital. Examples include vasectomies, mole removal, cyst removal, and joint injections.
- Health screenings: Doctors can offer private health screenings, such as blood tests, body scans, and health check-ups, to patients in private practice.
- Travel medicine: Doctors can provide travel medicine services, such as vaccinations and travel advice, to patients who are planning to travel abroad.
- Occupational health assessments: Doctors can offer occupational health assessments to employees, including pre-employment health checks, health surveillance, and advice on workplace adjustments.
- Sexual health services: Doctors can offer private sexual health services, such as testing for sexually transmitted infections, contraception advice, and treatment for sexual health problems.
- Allergy testing and immunotherapy: Doctors can provide allergy testing and immunotherapy to patients who suffer from allergies.
Benefits of doctors offering private procedures as a side hustle
Waiting lists for many procedures are growing by the day and the number of clients choosing to look for private alternatives is following this same trajectory. Because of this, there is a huge opportunity to provide these services in a private setting and for a premium rate.
A number of the outlined procedures and services take minimal time to complete and the expectation of private care comes with a defined procedure with minimal post-op care if any at all.
How to start offering private procedures as a side hustle
In my business experience, it is better to specialise or focus on one area than many. This way you can establish credibility and a customer base relatively quickly. With more experience, you can increase the cost of your services. Specialising in a very small area also makes targeting your customers through marketing, much more efficient.
You will need to ensure that you have the specific training and certifications needed to complete these procedures. Once you have this, you can begin to market your private procedures to those who may require them.
The first step in attracting customers is to set up a website. Working with an agency will allow you to concentrate your focus on the medical side of the business. However, a huge part of building a website is the content you put on it. Due to the medical nature of this content, it is best written by a medical professional and then given the once over by a copywriter.
It is also prudent to consider keywords that your clients might type into Google for a service similar to that you are offering. In my past career, I had worked directly with a specialist gynaecologist who offered private procedures. We were able to include keywords of the treatments and procedures he offered in his content and this helped us rank in the search engines for those terms.
Your website should answer as many of the relevant questions your clients may ask so that when they make an initial enquiry they have already made an informed decision on choosing you for a treatment or procedure.
Note that you should begin building your website the moment you plan to move into this side hustle. It can take months for it to be built and then for your site to start showing in google. During this period many private practices also make use of social media to begin building their brand awareness and gaining enquiries.
Business coaching for Doctors
Other considerations when starting a side hustle as a doctor
I’ve covered quite a lot in this article on side hustles for doctors, but I’d also like to leave you with a few final thoughts to consider before you embark on this journey.
- Personal Brand Development – Being a doctor is a relatively private profession. However, moving into a commercial setting, you may need to develop your brand. For many this is not an issue, however, some doctors may find this a little off-putting.
- Time and hassle of starting versus maximising NHS earning potential – There are many reasons to start your side hustle right now, diversification of earnings, bridging the gap before retirement and your NHS pension are two of them. However, your efforts may be better spent maximising your earning potential within the NHS first, before exploring other options.
- Consider reducing your spending as a way to speed up early retirement – Getting rid of your fancy car or not keeping up with the Joneses, may mean that your current income is more than enough to retire on. With a few changes to where you invest your money, you may not need a side hustle.
- Moral obligation – It was explained to me that some believe that charging for medicine is wrong. I would counter that many doctors do more than their fair share within a public setting and are entitled to maximise their earning potential. Just like everyone else.
- Make sure your side hustle doesn’t interfere with contractual duties – I don’t need to say anything further
- Customer service – When people are paying, they expect a different level of service. Or better put, they are more demanding of the doctor. This can be quite off-putting, especially when a private client has a differing view from you, the medical professional.