What kind of moonlighting jobs can new docs do (for extra $) while doing their residency?

Hi there,
It depends on the residency. At UVA and Cleveland Clinic, moonlighting is strictly forbidden by residents or fellows. The 80-hour work week maximum has cut into the moonlighting opportunities.
Now if you take a residency where research years are required, you may be able to get some shift work provided you have a permanent license and DEA number. Most people think that the malpractice risks are not work the money. Since you are practicing on your own, you need to carry your own malpractice insurance which is tres expensive. If you get sued, you are on your own.

My GOD - can’t you LIVE on that princely sum of $35,000 per year!!!?!?!?!? (Which, at 80 hours a week, is 8.75 an hour! LOL

Once you have a permanent license (that is, you’ve completed one year of residency and have passed Step 3), you can moonlight if your program lets you. It seems that the most common places to work are those doc-in-a-box urgent care places. Apparently you can also pick up shifts in an ER on their “fast-track” side (essentially same thing as urgent care; it’s amazing the ordinary stuff that walks into the ED each day).
But as Natalie said, lots of programs don’t let you do it anyway. You definitely can’t ever do it during your first year of residency because you’re not yet fully licensed.

I thought that possibly teaching group fitness courses at a gym 3-4 times a week (3-4 hours) might help me pay for my lattes right about then… PLUS I’d get to do my exercise… who knows.

Some of the larger institutions allow moonlighting “in house.” Ie, you can moonlight (assuming you have a medical license) in your own emergency room or in some cases in your own department. Smaller and community based programs may not have these opportunities. This is a good question to ask residents (but not the program director) when you interview for residencies.
Many programs already have the moonlighting thing worked out. Ask the senior residents about it, but not the administration. Usually, it is kept as an internal (but not secret) issue among residents. At my institution, we have established relationships with outside facilities where we moonlight, and a senior resident or a contact at the facility coordinates scheduling with priority given on a seniority basis.
You can also moonlight on your own in urgent care and industrial clinics.
Note that your moonlighting activities cannot interfere with your clinical responsibilities or violate ACGME work hour regulations (or your program will suffer the fate of MLK in Los Angeles where these rules were routinely violated). These means that most surgical and internal medicine residents will not be able to moonlight. However, many OB/Gyns (seemingly the exception among surgical specialties), psyche, FPs, peds, rads, ER, and gas residents who moonlight. Many fellows in my institution (including those in surgical specialties) moonlight.


I thought that possibly teaching group fitness courses at a gym 3-4 times a week (3-4 hours) might help me pay for my lattes right about then… PLUS I’d get to do my exercise… who knows.

Kim, the only problem is that your schedule will be unpredictable. I don’t know about other programs, but some of my rotations don’t work out their schedules very far in advance. As a resident, you do different things each month or two … say you’re a Medicine resident, you do a month of Wards, then a month in the CCU, then a month elective, then another month of Wards, then ER. The problem comes when different people are responsible for different parts of that schedule - maybe the Wards people have their act together and put the schedule up well in advance, but ER tends to be slow.
(In my own case, I got my October schedule for surgery on - October 1. However, I know my call schedule for Medicine, Pediatrics and ICU all the way to the end of the year.)
Another thing is, if you’re on a typical every-fourth-night call schedule, you never have the same evenings free two weeks in a row. A typical month for me would have call on Monday - Friday - Tuesday - Saturday - Wednesday - Sunday - Thursday. (And call means you show up for work that morning, say 6am, stay all day then stay all night, then finish up your work the next morning to leave by 12noon.) And switching schedules, while it happens, isn’t done often because it is just very complicated and always involves giving up something valuable.
So you see there will be challenges. But honestly I think it would be a great idea to be able to do that. I would love to force myself to stop at the gym on the way home from work but usually I am too hungry and too tired to contemplate it… it’s home, dinner, Jeopardy! and then to bed for me.