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Side Gigs for Hospitalists (and Other Physicians With Weekly on and off Schedules)

Over the years, we’ve seen requests for side hustle ideas for hospitalists in our Physician Side Gigs Facebook group. We continue our series of unique side gigs by specialty with side gigs for hospitalists. While some non-medical side gigs are accessible to all, career-adjacent side hustles can be a smoother transition for many, as they allow you to take advantage of your existing skill sets as a doctor.

The nature of work schedules of hospitalists, typically consisting of a period of work followed by a period of being fully off, opens the door to unique opportunities from many of the other specialties we’ve featured so far. Of course, we want to mention that physician burnout is real, and that the time off between weeks worked is critical to recharge, so make sure that you spend this time between weeks in the hospital intentionally and pick a side gig that will still allow you to get the rest, time to yourself, and time with loved ones that you need to enjoy your life, both personally and professionally.

If you're not a hospitalist and want to learn more about side gigs for your specific specialty, check out our page of side gig ideas for different specialties. If your specialty hasn’t been featured yet, follow the series on Instagram, where we’ve featured more specialties.

Unique side gigs for hospitalists and doctors with weekly on/off schedules

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Side Gigs for Hospitalists (and Other Physicians With Weekly on and off Schedules)

Telehospitalist and Telemedicine Positions

There are actually telemedicine jobs specific to hospitalists, where you can use your hospitalist skills to help hospitals or care facilities across the country with acute care issues that arise. This can be incredibly helpful to smaller facilities who don’t have the access to in house hospitalists 24/7, but would like to prevent transfers to other settings. You would function much as you do in your job as a hospitalist, from answering questions from the floor to helping coordinate care and writing H &Ps, and can even remotely assist in more acute situations such as rapid responses and codes. There are many remote tools that would assist you in getting the information you need to do your job, but this is obviously a shift from a conventional position and you should gauge your comfort level with not having a physical presence. 


If that’s not for you, you also have the skillset to engage in less acute telemedicine through a telemedicine company. Several large, national telemedicine companies exist that hire physicians as contractors. They provide the platform on which you see patients, coordinate payments, and many even offer malpractice insurance (though confirm the actual coverage, including tail insurance, if any). 

While the pay will generally be lower per patient encounter than if you had set up your own telemedicine practice, as a hospitalist without your own patient base, this could offer you the opportunity to use your medical knowledge in a relatively flexible way. More niche telemedicine services tend to offer better pay.

Some will allow you to log in and see any patients that are in a queue waiting to be seen whenever you want, while others will ask that you commit to certain shifts or hours. As platforms get bigger, they will generally want more fixed commitments, or will offer more steady volume to the physicians who take on fixed commitments, so you’ll have to decide how much flexibility during your hard-earned weeks off matters to you versus having more volume/compensation.

Telemedicine companies vary widely in compensation and requirements, so explore several options to find the best fit.

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Chart Review

Chart review side gigs come in many different forms, depending on your particular interests and specialty. Opportunities include:

  • Utilization review or utilization management

  • Assessing morbidity for life insurance policies

  • Assessing medical necessity for health insurance claims

  • Expert witness work

As a hospitalist, you are very accustomed to navigating appropriateness of treatment approaches and are familiar with common algorithms and referral patterns. You also have a wide breath of knowledge about a wide variety of medical conditions, and therefore offer a valuable skillset in these arenas. 

Again, these positions will vary in time commitment, pay, and flexibility, so with some research, you should hopefully be able to find one that fits the hours you’d like to fill.

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Consulting and Physician Advisor Roles

Consulting is a way to help influence patient care indirectly and to help shape policy and reform within specific healthcare organizations, which can be a rewarding way to use your clinical skills in a non-clinical role.

While there are several different consulting opportunities for physicians, consider consulting for an industry you’re intimately familiar with: hospitals. Large healthcare organizations such as hospital systems face unique struggles smaller organizations never have to worry about, and the scale at which they run allows issues within their organization to compound quickly when not properly addressed. Increasingly, they are hiring hospitalists for these physician advisor roles.

As a consultant, you’ll be able to help large healthcare systems from your unique perspective to the clinical aspect as a physician. In this type of consulting role, you also get to act as an advocate for your fellow physicians working clinically in the system.

While some of the larger organizations have in-house full time physician advisors, opportunities exist for part time consultants, offering flexibility and making it a perfect physician side hustle for a hospitalist. Use your connections within your current organization and with your colleagues at other large healthcare systems in your local area to explore what opportunities exist.

If you’re interested in escaping from the hospital setting and clinical medicine related consulting during your off days, other consulting opportunities exist for hospitalists as well, such as consulting roles in health tech and startups.

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Locums, Moonlighting, and Urgent Care

If you love clinical work and are looking to bring in additional income, moonlighting or locum tenens is an obvious way to substantially increase your income, as it pays you a rate commensurate with your training as a physician as well as offers significant hours (which can be the limitation when doing things like consulting or expert witness work, where you may only get a certain number of hours). While some locums contracts can last months, short-term options are also available that fit well with the 7-on-7-off and similar schedules.

The caveat here is obviously that you need time to recharge from your day job, and the temptation to pick up more shifts and earn more money should be balanced with your need to have a life outside of medicine. Set goals for how much you want to earn and why before just grabbing as many opportunities as you can. 

These opportunities can vary in intensity and commitment. You don’t have to commit to doing locums every week you’re off. You can pick up short-term contracts as desired through connections with local healthcare systems or through a recruiting company, or pick up a regular gig doing one day a week of urgent care during your weeks off.

Make sure you check your malpractice insurance coverage for your locums or moonlighting work, especially if you pick up shifts as a location other than your regular employer. 

If you pick up many additional shifts, also make sure your estimated taxes are properly accounted for if you’re being paid as a 1099 contractor instead of an addition to your W-2 income, as locums pay can add up quickly and lead to a nasty surprise tax bill.

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Expert Witness Work

As a hospitalist, you’ve seen many of the most acute cases that have come through hospital systems, as well as complications. Unfortunately, these areas are often areas that can lead to litigation, and therefore where expert witnesses are sought out to weigh in on standard of care and specific medical situations. 

Expert witness work is a flexible side gig that you can engage in on your own terms, as you can take on more work when you have more time and decline work when you’re using your weeks off to travel or do other things you want to recharge. 

As an expert witness, you will work with attorneys to provide your professional medical opinion and testimony in reviewing and interpreting the case documentation as it is presented for the lawsuit. Using your medical knowledge and experience, you can not only generate an additional income stream, but can help ensure the accuracy and fairness of legal proceedings. As an expert witness, you can advocate for physicians and patients alike while setting yourself up to become a trusted authority, which can open other potential side gig possibilities further on.

While expert witness work can involve travel for depositions, having a blocked schedule can make travel arrangement planning easier for hospitalists than other specialties.

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Medical Surveys

Paid medical surveys for physicians are a member favorite among our physician community members as they offer maximum flexibility compared to other medical side gigs. If you enjoy doing these surveys, you can make some extra bonus spending money. Note that as a hospitalist, you likely won’t get a ton of surveys with any particular company, as these opportunities tend to be more often for specialities where there is lots of active drug or medical device development or marketing, but there are still opportunities available. The more paid medical survey companies you sign up for, the more you increase the likelihood of getting regular opportunities.

Surveys typically range from a few minutes in time up to around 45 minutes. Compensation varies according to a number of factors, including the amount of time projected, the specialty, and other market forces. If you see something offering a rate that you’re not happy with, just ignore it. It’s important to know your worth, and occasionally the same survey will be offered to you at an increased incentive later. 

We do like to warn interested physicians about the screening process–it is our most common complaint about medical surveys. While companies may offer a small honorarium if you’re screened out, you typically don’t get paid for your time doing the screener if this happens.

Medical Writing (or Non-Medical Writing!)

One of the greatest things about having large chunks of time off is that you may have a window of time where you can actually sit down and write for a few hours. For many physicians, finding regular blocks of free time that aren’t occupied by family or work responsibilities can be much harder. As such, you may have time for opportunities that require more time and dedicated mental energy, such as writing. 

Particularly as the need for more content online increases, there are more and more opportunities for physicians to get involved in content creation. This could be by being a physician influencer, or by more conventional writing gigs.

Medical writing allows you to utilize your clinical experience while letting you do something completely different from patient care. There are several opportunities here, including: 

  • Regulatory writing services for pharmaceutical companies

  • CME and board review questions

  • Creating or contributing to a health blog

  • Medical journalism or media

  • Screenwriting for TV shows or movies

The length of each writing assignment varies, as does the pay, depending on the opportunity. This allows flexibility to let you work as much or as little as you want to make additional cash. Guest spots on health blogs can be as short as 500 - 2,500 words, which can easily be accomplished in a day or two, while writing a fictionalized medical novel can obviously take years.

Oftentimes, you’ll start out by contributing your writing for free to build a portfolio of sample writing to showcase your ability. It helps to come up with a niche or particular area in which you focus, then network and reach out to others working in that space.

Or, if you’re feeling creative, write a novel that’s completely unrelated to medicine. There’s absolutely nothing saying that your side gig needs to be related to your job as a physician! Check out some of our physician authored books for inspiration!

Non-Medical Business

As previously stated, given the blocks of time you are able to carve out if you have a schedule that allows you for regular weeks off, you may have many more opportunities to dive deeper into a whole side career (again, of course with the caveat that we want to make sure we’re not encouraging you to not enjoy your time off, get some rest, and live life outside of medicine!). 

If you love your career as a hospitalist but also want to use a different part of your brain or plan for an eventual transition outside of medicine for a different phase in your life, starting, running, or partnering with a non-medical business can be a great way to accomplish this. It can also be an avenue to accelerate your pathway towards financial independence

Our member side gigs page highlights some of the creative businesses the doctors in our physician online communities have successfully run as entrepreneurs. A few examples include:

You could also buy a business or partner in a business, either as a silent investor or somebody that’s more hands on.

Learn more about our different side gig ideas on our blog, such as buying a franchise.

Real Estate

Real estate investing can be a great way to make a sizable side income, while building up equity and a steady stream of income for later in retirement. There are many reasons why physicians choose to invest in real estate, as it offers advantages that other side gigs may not. Several different types of real estate investing exist, depending on how much time you want to spend on this side gig. If you have more time off, you can also engage in more active forms of real estate and take advantage of more significant tax advantages.

Passive real estate investing options include:

  • REITs (private and public)

  • Syndications (crowding platforms and private syndications)

Active real estate investing options include:

  • Short-term rentals like vacation or Airbnb properties

  • Mid-term rentals (such as properties rented out to locums doctors or other clinical staff for their contracts)

  • Traditional long-term rentals with tenants

If you’re handy with a hammer or skilled with managing multiple contractors, flipping houses can also be a great real estate side hustle for hospitalists. You could also use your skills as a hospitalist to mix real estate and your medical skills by investing in residential assisted facilities. We’ve done several events about this topic on our real estate educational series events.

With a 7-on-7-off schedule, you may even be able to qualify for Real Estate Professional Status (REPS), which can come with even more tax deductions and incentives than just owning and managing rental properties.

REPS requirements for a real estate side gig for hospitalists
Rules for REPS status for a real estate side gig for hospitalists

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With regular blocks of time off comes the ability to dive deeper into a side gig where you can form longitudinal relationships and schedule regular meetings, an important part of physician coaching, which is an increasingly popular side hustle amongst doctors. Given widespread burnout, we have more and more physicians asking for coaching resources on our communities, and while there are lots of executive coaches out there, getting coaching from a colleague who’s been there has the advantage of someone that understands many things without having to explain them. There are also other forms of coaching, including: 

  • Transition to practice coaching

  • Career development coaching

  • Leadership coaching

  • Sleep coaching

  • Lactation coaching

There are several specialized certifications that you can pursue related to these. Although they are not necessary for physician to physician coaching, formal training adds to your credentials and gives you more credibility, as well as develops a skillset and mindset that is helpful for your effectiveness as a coach. 

When coming up with your coaching niche, consider what you have more experience in than most people, including other doctors in your speciality. What unique perspective and advice do you have to offer? Where do people tend to ask you for advice (and what do you enjoy talking about)?

Coaching is highly flexible, and you can set your rates according to your opportunity costs. We see a wide range of rates ranging from $150/hour to even $1000/hour, again depending on how unique your skillset is and how experienced you are. You can set your own hours and how many different coaching clients you want to see, as well as how long your individual sessions last. You can even offer group coaching versus one-on-one to maximize your ability to help others, depending on how much time you have to dedicate to your side hustle.

As you get more experience coaching, you can even take your more popular advice and turn it into an online course you can provide openly to generate a passive income stream.

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Additional Resources for Hospitalists

While we’ve outlined above some common side gig ideas for hospitalists, there’s always room for creativity. If there’s something you’re passionate about and good at, look for ways to monetize it!

Dive deeper into some of the side gigs featured above, including:

You can also explore the following to learn more about our:

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