Relying on a single source of income can lead to financial and professional difficulties.
But a doctor’s cramped schedule rarely allows for additional work. Between medical practice, continuing education, and personal life, there’s often little time left to pick up side work.
So, as it seems, you may have no other option but to build your finances on a single income stream. This, however, may increase your risk of feeling forced to work, which can strip the joy out of your profession. Moreover, it may also add to your financial pressure as you may not have a cushion to fall back on if things go south.
So, is there anything you can do to salvage this situation?
Fortunately, yes. You have options.
In this article, we are sharing some top passive income ideas that, if implemented successfully, might be able to reduce your reliance on one income stream and lower your financial pressure without throwing your work-life balance (further) out of whack.
Top Passive Income Streams for Physicians
Let us clarify one thing before we begin. There’s barely any viable income stream that requires zero effort.
So, in this section, we are discussing what are considered top income streams that require minimal to moderate effort and no additional skills, so you might be able to build on them, even with a busy schedule.
Passive Income Idea 1: Paid Medical Surveys
Medical surveys are research tools that help improve patient care, treatments, and practice methods.
Many government agencies, medical and healthcare companies, and research groups want your professional opinion as they develop new ways to enhance patient care.
You may be able to sign up for paid medical surveys and utilize your existing medical knowledge to gain some extra cash and possibly contribute to the betterment of healthcare.
The compensation you receive for filling out a survey form depends upon how long and thorough the survey is.
The payment may also vary based on the medical survey company you choose to work with. But in general, a physician can earn anywhere between $3 to $500 per survey, depending on who you choose to work with and how.
These medical surveys are usually conducted online, and you can participate in them whenever you have some time to spare. However, you may have to prove your qualification by verifying your license, providing your NPI, or any other proof of your expertise .
Finding these surveys is simple.
You can go online, find platforms that arrange medical surveys, and signup.
Passive Income Idea 2: Telehealth and Online Consultation
Before you cast this idea aside, hear us out.
While providing online consultation may not exactly be passive, the flexibility it offers makes it a viable option for making some extra money while using your existing skill and knowledge.
This income idea can be especially attractive for physicians who are particularly passionate about their profession and don’t want to stray too far from it to potentially make more money.
Telehealth allows you to provide online consultations via computers, the internet, and mobile phones.
Telehealth consultants can provide emergency medical assistance, perform diagnoses, offer assessments, patient education sessions, and more. But to be a successful online consultant, you should be able to assess a patient and offer help without physical examination.
As far as income is concerned, a job site estimates that the average annual payment of telehealth consultants in the US is around $1,188 per week . But how much you make out of this income stream can vary.
In general, telehealth consultants can earn from $15 to $50 per hour . You can also choose a different method for calculating your payment and charge per consultation or according to the number of emails or texts you have sent to the patient .
But telehealth reimbursement can be a difficult to maneuver  because of the state laws, third-party payers, etc. So, be sure to discuss this idea with someone who knows the ins and outs of telehealth and online consultations.
Passive Income Idea 3: Investing in Dividend Stocks
Investing in stocks can be a great way to help ensure that your money makes more money instead of just laying around and losing its value.
Buying a stock makes you a shareholder in the company. And depending on the stocks you have purchased, you can be entitled to a portion of the company’s profit.
There are two types of stocks, the ones that pay dividends and the ones that don’t.
Dividends are little payments that you can get regularly. These payments can be in terms of cash, called cash dividends, or in terms of more stocks in the same company.
Investing in a company that pays cash dividends can provide you with regular payments, without much direct involvement.
But buying stocks is not as straightforward as it may appear to be.
First, if you want regular payments in cash, you have to look for a company that offers cash dividends.
Next, the return on your stock investment depends on how well the company performs. If the company fails to perform well, you may not receive much or any money.
So, talk to a financial professional before deciding on which company to invest in. They might be able to help you choose wisely.
Passive Income Idea 4: Real Estate Investments
Yes, buying real estate costs a fortune. And if you have managed to save up enough to buy any property, it may be a good option to invest your money in real estate.
Once you become a property owner, you can rent the real estate out and potentially earn yourself an income stream that brings money regularly.
The passivity of this income stream depends on how you choose to approach it. You can either manage your property yourself, which will require more of your time, or outsource this task to a property manager, for a cost.
However, if you are yet to save enough to buy your own property, don’t worry.
You could consider renting a portion of your home on Airbnb.
However, listing your home on Airbnb has its own risks . Consider them before going ahead.
A Few Considerations
Now that you know what passive income streams you can possibly build, we want you to take a moment and think about a few things.
First, the goal of a passive income is to help you make potentially more money without compromising your time. And if the income stream keeps you busy and risks burning you out, then it may not be as viable as it appears.
Secondly, the passive income stream is meant to reduce your stress. But if it ends up adding to it, please reconsider.
Finally, every passive income stream or investment opportunity has pros, cons, and risks. Therefore, it is always better to consult with a financial professional before choosing where to invest your resources.
Our financial strategists are experienced in providing personalized financial assistance to physicians and healthcare professionals. Schedule a free consultation with one of our strategists today to get a financial plan tailored to your current financial situation and goals.
This information has been obtained from outside sources and is provided for general informational purposes only. Please be advised that this document is not intended as legal or tax advice. Equitable Advisors, its affiliates and financial professionals do not provide tax and/or legal advice and you should seek advice based on your particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor.
1 “Paid Medical Surveys, the best side gig for a physician”, Anonymous, My Medical Panel, September 16, 2021.
2 “5 Best Paid Medical Survey Sites: Lucrative Side Gig For Physicians”, Anonymous, Look for Zebras.
3 “How Much Do Work From Home Telehealth Consultant Jobs Pay per Week?”, Zip Recruiter.
4 “How Much Do Telemedicine Physicians Make?”, PracticeBloom.
5 “Telehealth Physician Salary Craig Sorkin”, Anonymous, September 15, 2020, Wheel.
6 “Telemedicine Reimbursement Guide”, eVisit.
7 “The Risks and Rewards of Making Money with Airbnb”, Amy Fontinelle, September 11, 2021, Investopedia.