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6 Ways to Earn Extra Cash as a Medical Resident



After years in school, taking exams and spending countless hours studying, your residency is when you can put all the knowledge and skills you’ve accumulated to the test. A medical residency offers an amazing learning opportunity for a young doctor.

There are countless TV shows that detail the day-to-day life of a medical resident. While these aren’t the most realistic portrayals, one thing they do generally get right is the long hours and hard work that being a successful medical resident requires.

Do you get paid during residency? After all, being a medical resident isn’t cheap. You’re about to start paying back your medical school loans, and you may also have to account for relocation fees if you move to a new city for your residency.

The bills can add up quickly, and while residents often get paid during their residency, the salary prospects for a resident aren’t always lucrative. The average medical resident salary in 2018 was $59,300. After all your bills, that sum can dwindle faster than anticipated, especially in high cost-of-living areas.

If you’re looking to improve your bottom line to cover living expenses or accelerate your student loan repayment, one option is to find a side hustle to make some extra cash while you are completing your residency. Here are six ideas to help get you started:

1. Try Medical Moonlighting

At its most basic, medical moonlighting is taking on extra work as an independent physician. Residents often take on moonlighting jobs to supplement their salaries, pay down student loan debt, and to gain experience and practice in addition to their responsibilities in their residency program.

If you are moonlighting, you substitute for other medical professionals that are out on leave or help provide additional coverage at hospitals that are temporarily short-staffed. Rates for medical moonlighting vary but could add up to a substantial amount.

While medical moonlighting may seem like the perfect solution to your cash problems, be sure to check with your residency program’s policies. While licensed physicians are legally allowed to take on jobs to provide medical care, some residencies have specific policies and rules determining if and when a resident is able to moonlight.

2. Become a Tutor

You made it through med school, so it’s a safe bet that studying is one of your strengths. One way to make some extra cash is to share your passion for learning with other students through tutoring. Several online companies hire residents to tutor for shelf exams, United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE), and other specialty exams.

$100 an hour . The hours are generally flexible, and you can earn up to . If you’ve already made thorough and helpful study guides for exams like the USMLE and MCAT, consider selling them online.

3. Participate in the Sharing Economy

Thanks to a variety of online websites and services, there is a new frontier of side hustles. If you have a spare room, consider renting it out to short-term guests and vacationers for some extra cash. This could be particularly lucrative if you live in a popular destination.

If you happen to find yourself with a few spare hours, you could also try driving for a ridesharing service for some extra income.

4. Sell Belongings You’re No Longer Using

If you’ve acquired a small library of medical textbooks, consider reselling them for a little extra cash. If you don’t plan on using the textbooks for reference down the line, there is no need to hang onto them. It’s also worth taking stock of your other possessions to see what you are willing to part with and what could possibly be resold.

If you’ve got a closet full of almost-new garments you haven’t worn in ages, it may be worth selling them online. Some thrift shops will even buy or let you trade your clothes for other pieces in the store. Do you have any old electronics or other appliances lying around? Consider reselling those online to recoup some money.

5. Become a Transcriptionist

Working as a transcriptionist is a flexible, work from home, side hustle that could perfectly supplement your income as a medical resident. Transcription jobs are usually categorized as general, medical, or legal. The Penny Hoarder reports that you can make anywhere from $15 to $25 per hour, or even more if you are working on a project that requires a medical degree.

The Penny Hoarder also found that medical or legal transcriptions will require someone with a related degree—so as a medical resident, you might be a desirable candidate for medical transcription jobs. Some companies require specific training on software or equipment, but others are willing to work with beginners who have a computer and internet access.

Working as a transcriptionist can sometimes be tedious. You’ll have to listen to the same audio file quite a few times to ensure it has been transcribed correctly.

The files you are working with might also be low quality or difficult to hear, which could make a particular project more challenging. But working as a transcriptionist is incredibly flexible. You’ll get to make your own hours and take on projects as you are able—making it a perfect complement to your residency.

6. Refinance Your Student Loans

If you made it through medical school, it’s pretty likely you took out student loans along the way. In fact, medical students from the class of 2018 graduated with an average student loan debt balance of $196,520 . Establishing a plan to manage and repay your medical school loans while living on an average resident salary can seriously improve your financial picture.

Depending on the type of loans you took out, you may consider putting your loan into forbearance during residency. This means you won’t have to make monthly payments while in forbearance, but interest will still accrue during that time.

If you are making extra cash during your residency and have put your student loans into forbearance, it could be worth using the money from your side hustle to make interest-only payments on your loans. This could prevent the interest from growing during forbearance.

Another option—consider refinancing your medical school loans with a company like SoFi. We offer programs specifically designed for medical school residents. Refinancing your student loans is the process of paying off loans with one brand-new loan, generally to lower your overall interest rate or to change the terms of your loan.

(Refinancing won’t be for everyone, as you will lose access to federal loan programs such as the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.) SoFi’s medical student loan refinancing offers low rates during residency, with no interest compounding while you’re a resident.

If you’re looking for a way to manage your student debt during your residency, consider refinancing with SoFi.

Learn More



The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Notice: SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE or REPAYE. In addition, federal student loans offer deferment and forbearance options that are not available for SoFi Lending Corp. Medical or Dental Resident Refinance Loan borrowers. SoFi always recommends that you consult a qualified financial advisor to discuss what is best for your unique situation.

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