Top 5 Non-Clinical Ways Doctors Supplement their Income in 2017
(Dr Abyena Jones) (Gloria Onwuneme)
Perpetual locuming to raise extra cash is now a thing of the past - doctors are now successfully exploring other creative ways to supplement their income beyond conventional clinical practice. They find it’s an excellent way to develop new skills and interests whilst opening a gateway to a fascinating world of alternative careers.
Could any of these options work for you?
- Network marketing
A surprising option, which has been secretly popular amongst medics for many years is joining a company which only sells products online through referrals. As you only really need is internet access, you can do this anytime, anywhere. If successful, this job can be extremely lucrative over a matter of months. We know of several doctors in senior positions who have eventually left their jobs due to the fact that their income earned through network marketing surpassed their clinical income. You can read about Dr Laura Millard's experience of being a GP and working with Arbonne as a network marketer here.
- Property Investment
If done right, property investment can be a brilliant source of extra income. Well-developed property will continually appreciate in value, providing you with ever increasing inflows. There are several ways to maximise your return on investment: you can sell for more than you buy; you could rent out flats; you could lease houses, refurbish it and rent out each room separately - sky's the limit!
Forget the myth that you need a lot of cash to invest in property - there are ways to invest without any of your own money! Paediatrician and entrepreneur Dr Lafina Diamandis has achieved great success in the field; click here for her advice:
- Coaching and mentoring
Doctors of today, who've moved away from the paternalistic patient-doctor relationship to a partnership-building framework, are especially well-suited to be coaches. The coach's role is not to tell you what to do; it is, rather, to pose questions which move you in the right direction in addressing personal and professional challenges. It requires the kind of keen observation skills, openness of mind, and inquisitiveness which doctors use every day to encourage self-reflection and change in their patients' lives. Coaching can be done face to face, or increasingly through video teleconferencing, giving you unparalleled access to a global market. More information can be found here.
- Consultancy work (e.g. Management consultancy or Advisory for companies like health tech)
Earning potential in this field is very high, especially in the city. As a management consultant, you function as an outside observer who then helps companies devise self-improvement strategies in all from product development, to marketing, to expansion.
There are an increasing number of industries who are vying for the expertise and transferrable skills of a clinician on a retainer, project or part time basis which can be performed in person or remotely. Dr Mark Jenkins, who started his career in management consultancy at McKinsey, tells more here.
- Medical Writing
The aspiring medical storyteller can look to several doctors who've become world-renowned physician writers - Atul Gawande, Siddharta Mukherjee and the British neurosurgeon Henry Marsh come to mind. As a medical writer, you could also find yourself writing for publishing houses, academic institutions, journals, magazines or medical communications agencies. It's a great way to turn your familiarity with statistics and specialist terminology into a secondary stream of income. Any past or current involvement with research is especially advantageous in a medical communications agency environment. For those that want to pursue this career, the European Medical Writers Association (EMWA) hosts courses and conferences year-round.
Bonus 6 - setting up own biz in anything
Set up a business in any of the fields above, or forge a completely new path! The Medic Footprints website has several resources for the budding medical entrepreneur.
To find out more about how these opportunities could work for you, why not attend Europe's largest Alternative Careers & Wellbeing Event for Doctors on 27/8 October 2017, London. Pegged to be a 'life-changing event' for thousands of doctors over the years, and featuring My Locum Manager, don't miss out.
Dr Abeyna Jones is an Occupational Medicine Registrar and Founder of Medic Footprints, drawing from her vast experience of diversifying within her medical career which included working in South Africa as a Trauma Surgeon and currently a Fellow on the NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme
Gloria N. Onwuneme is a 3rd-year graduate entry medical student, media partnerships officer at Medic Footprints, and a writer for the US-based Student Doctor Network.