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Side Gigs for Obstetrics and Gynecology (OBGYN) Doctors

We continue our series of unique side gigs for doctors by specialty with side gigs for obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN) physicians.


Ob/gyn doctors have unique skill sets - they have surgical and procedural skills, experience in both the inpatient and outpatient setting, and a very special relationship with their patients as journey alongside them through one of the most exciting and/or stressful periods of their lives, and navigate lots of personal issues. The unique nature of the job with lots of unpredictable hours and call can make side gigs challenging, and yet, we’ve seen so many ob gyn physicians in exciting roles.


If you're not a physician specializing in obstetrics and gynecology and want to learn more about side gigs for your specific specialty, check out our side gigs page, which lists side gig ideas for different specialties. If your specialty hasn’t been featured yet, follow the series on Instagram, where we roll out new specialties weekly.


Unique side gigs for ob-gyns


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Lactation Consultant


As you probably know, many breastfeeding mothers utilize lactation consultants, and recently, many physicians, especially pediatricians and OBGYNs, have entered the space. OBGYNs likely get these questions on a weekly basis at routine office visits, so they likely already have a large fund of knowledge and experience in this regard. 


Essentially, a lactation consultant provides both support and education to mothers who are having trouble with breastfeeding. Common issues include poor latching, soreness or bleeding, recurrent mastitis, low milk supply, and issues with pumping. The role of a lactation consultant will often involve observation of breastfeeding techniques currently being used by the mother, and then identifying challenges and areas for improvement, as well as providing education in a supportive and nonjudgmental way. 


As you can imagine, it’s so important in this role to possess a high degree of emotional intelligence. This is understandably a very sensitive and personal issue for breastfeeding mothers, and providing encouragement, understanding, and emotional support is critical. 


Many physicians who choose to pursue this route seek formal certification through professional programs that offer lactation education and clinical hours, with one of the most common certifications being through the IBLCE – (International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners). This requires an examination which is currently offered twice a year. 


You have lots of choices as to how to structure your business and clientele. If you choose to do it through your practice, you can actually bill through your insurance or offer it as a cash pay service depending on how your business is structured. Others will do this completely on the side and not involve their practices or employed positions.


Alternatively, you may choose to hire a lactation consultant and add this as an ancillary revenue stream to your private practice.



Concierge Services (such as being a personal OB/GYN physician to a celebrity or offering second opinion services) 


As this is such a special (and stressful!) time in people’s lives, there is a niche market for people that are looking for extra support beyond what most physician practices are capable of providing in their clinics given how busy practices must be to remain profitable with insurance billing. 


This opens up several unique options for concierge care, including being a private doctor for a celebrity or running cash pay services such as second opinions, coaching for parents to be, and more. We’ve seen many physicians get creative with their services depending on where they see needs in their patient populations. 


Ob/gyn physicians also tend to be pretty adept at procedures, so some will choose to get certified in aesthetics services and provide services such as Botox and fillers. 


Obviously, having appropriate malpractice is key, and making sure you stay within the standard of care is important both legally and ethically. Higher maintenance personalities or people paying out of pocket can feel that the rules don’t apply to them, and may also expect your 24/7 availability. One of the challenges of being involved in these spaces is walking the fine line between trying to make medical care as convenient and personalized for your clients while still insisting that protocols are followed so that things aren’t missed or dangerous, as well as setting boundaries. 


You’ll likely have to be willing to do some brand building and learn some basic marketing and social media skills to scale these services. 


What it pays: Honestly, whatever the market will tolerate. When your clients value convenience and personalized care, they’re usually happy to pay extra to have the additional personal touch. 



Expert Witness Work


If you’re an obstetrician, you already know well how litigative your field is, as your malpractice premiums likely reflect it.


There’s likely no shortage of expert witness work if you network well. In general, expert witness work is a popular physician side gig as it pays very well, and doesn’t require additional training. Be warned that if you are going to do a lot of this, you’ll have to get comfortable with testifying for both the defense and the plaintiff. 




Content Creator or Medical Writing


We’re pretty sure some of the times people use Google the most in their lives are when they’re pregnant or have new babies. This offers lots of opportunities for content creation in whatever forms interest you, whether it is as a blog, a social media influencer, as a writer for companies that are in this space, a media consultant for TV shows or the news, or otherwise.


Which niche is right for you will depend on how much you enjoy social media in general and what your personality is in terms of getting out there. If you’re willing to get put yourself out there and make lots of videos, which may involve you dancing or sharing lots of personal stories, many physicians are able to monetize their social media presence with sponsorships and brand partnerships. 


Alternatively, you could elect to be more behind the scenes and fact check for media, TV shows, movies, etc. While many, if not almost all TV appearances on the news are not paid, they could open you up to paid opportunities such as writing a column for a newspaper or public speaking. 


For more conventional content creation roles, you could write health content for media outlets such as magazines or the online content for companies that are in the women’s health space. Really, the possibilities for this kind of work are endless.


Learn more about being a social media influencer.

Learn more about medical writing.

Learn more about speaking.



Consulting or Startup Advising


Women’s health is a burgeoning space in the healthcare technology and digital health spaces, with lots of companies looking to innovate in this space. There are so many ideas being explored to help expand access to care, offer resources to patients who need them, improve outcomes, and more. Getting involved in this space as a physician is a much needed and highly in demand way to have a greater impact on your patient population.


A very easy way for OBGYNs to do this in a very flexible, no commitment way is to do paid medical surveys. Note that this is not one of the specialties that tends to get a lot of surveys, so this is more bonus money for OB/GYN than someone who is an oncologist for example, and can make a substantial amount doing surveys.


If you’re excited by these opportunities and want to dive deeper, you should definitely dip your toe into them further via consulting projects and see how you like them. In these roles, you may be asked to provide a one time consultation about an idea that a start up has, work on individual projects with a company that creates products in the space as an independent contractor, or try out a medical device and give feedback.


If it turns out you really enjoy them, you may want to expand past consulting and get involved in longer term opportunities such as being a physician on a company’s advisory board, becoming the CMO of a company in the space, or even founding your own start-up! We’ve seen some OBGYNs have some great success in this space.


For the larger roles, you’ll likely need to build up a brand and network extensively before opportunities start coming to you, as these positions are most often offered to known entities or key opinion leaders in a field. 


Learn more about consulting.

Learn more about startup advising.

Learn more about medical surveys.



Product or App Creation


This requires more involvement, patience, and upfront investment, but if you’ve got the motivation, there are lots of opportunities to innovate within this space, either by founding a physical product or being a start up advisor or creating an app.


As we said above, this area is ripe with the needs for solutions that provide better education, resources, and access to care, and there are lots of venture capitalists or angel investors looking to fund ideas in this space. We’ve seen some physicians come up with some great now popular products in the women’s health space, and are so excited to hear about more in the pipeline!


Learn more about product creation.

Learn more about creating an app.



Urgent Care / Moonlighting / Locums


Don’t overlook this one. With so much burnout and so many after hours needs in this profession, perhaps one of the easiest ways to make money is to use your everyday skills as an OBGYN to help others that need coverage. This could be as a locums physician, for providing after hours OB or surgical call to hospitals or private practices that need it, or picking up more call within your existing group so that a colleague who wants to do less call can do so. 


What it pays: If you’re able to provide these services in an area of need, this can be particularly lucrative. Many OBGYN physicians report making significantly more on an hourly basis by doing locums. There is quite a need, so the more flexible you’re willing to be and the more willing you are to travel, the more you’ll make. 




Add Ancillary Income Streams Via Additional Procedures or Services to Your Practice


As we alluded to above in the lactation consultant section, you are in a unique position to add value to your patients for the concerns they bring up to you or services they are looking for. Some ideas we’ve seen members do include: 

  • Lactation consulting

  • Pregnancy massage

  • Physical therapy

  • Lasers for vaginal atrophy or aesthetics

  • Ultrasound services for out of town visitors undergoing REI treatments

  • Wellness services

  • Nutrition services

  • Clinical Research


Obviously, some of these services will require contracting or hiring other professionals or making an investment into equipment, so make sure you run a proper proforma that ensures the demand is there and that the line is profitable before taking the plunge.




Telemedicine


There are lots of telemedicine companies who have honed in exclusively on the women’s health space. This could be related to contraceptive care, perimenopausal or menopausal issues including issues related to hormonal changes such as hair loss, and more. You already do a lot of this at your day job, so to the extent that you feel comfortable doing these virtually, you may find this an easy way to make some extra cash. Commitment can vary from regularly scheduled shifts to just logging on and taking what’s available. 


Compensation will depend on the depth of care provided. Generally asynchronous services such as prescribing birth control won’t pay as well, whereas more comprehensive services that more closely resemble office visits will pay better. As a word of caution, remember that a lot of these services ask you to sign off on the work done by other clinicians. Research this carefully and decide what you feel comfortable supervising. It’s not worth the liability or losing your license if someone does something under your name that you’re not comfortable with.


Learn more about telemedicine opportunities for physicians, including questions to ask and things to look out for.


Non-Clinical Opportunities for OBGYN Physicians


There are several opportunities for OBGYN physicians in the nonclinical space, including utilization management roles, research opportunities, and physician advisory services.


Learn more about chart review.

Learn more about physician advisor positions.



Advocacy


We know that in most cases, this can’t be monetized. But we couldn’t pass up this opportunity to encourage OBGYNs to use some of their (very little) free time to advocate for their patients, who often find themselves in vulnerable places with regards to things like access to care and domestic violence, amongst other issues. Without making this political, we very much appreciate what you do for your patients daily!



Other Side Gigs Ideas for Obstetrics and Gynecology (OBGYN) Doctors


If none of the unique side gig ideas above spark your interest, don’t get discouraged. Drop a line in our Facebooks groups to connect with our brilliant hive mind to ask fellow OB/GYN doctors what they’ve enjoyed.


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