Moonlighting questions

WnderWmn10

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    I'm a third year resident. As part of my residency we have a moonlighting gig where we reside at a outpatient MRI center and basically our sole responsibility is to monitor for and manage contrast reactions. Pretty sweet gig considering this hardly ever happens and essentially I get my charting done, emails, etc. This was an internal moonlighting gig. As such, we were covered under the same liability insurance under the health system affiliated with our residency. Also, I signed a contract with this same health system to practice as an attending soon. So I've never had to worry about getting my own liability coverage or tail (I'm pretty sure though, that if I leave at some point, I will have tail coverage provided by this employer).

    The down side is, that now that I am graduating in a few weeks, I no longer get to moonlight here (boo...).

    So turns out, I found about another MRI center in the area that is looking for moonlighters to cover some shifts. The pay is similar, however, seeing as this is an external moonlighting gig, I will get paid as an independent contractor (which potentially means a much higher tax rate, which I am not sure I am thrilled about). Also, I have to look into this more, but I think the liability insurance they are providing me is claims made as opposed to occurance, so I think I would have to get tail coverage when I stop moonlighting.

    I was planning on doing a 4 to 8 hour shift one day a week at this job at around $60/ hour. This would be on my day off from my primary employment as an attending.

    My argument for this job, would be "easy way to make money while doing charting, emails, etc." My argument against this job is the cost of tail coverage once I leave, the high tax rate as an independent contractor, and having to work on my day off (although probably getting caught up on all my paperwork/ charting, etc.)

    Questions I have: anyone out there have a similar situation? Can anyone tail me what I could expect tail coverage to cost in my situation or how I would find that out? For those doing external moonlighting... is it as an independent contractor or is it as a casual employee or something to that extent? What about possible tax benefits as an independent contractor?

    Appreciate all your thoughts on this matter!
     

    jplkl

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      OP - you might try and call the insurance company providing occurrence coverage and ask them for quotes on tail insurance. I believe the cost of tail insurance increases with the length of time you work.
       

      colbgw02

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        I'm not sure where you're getting the idea that money made as a contractor is automatically taxed at a higher rate. You'll pay more, obviously, but that's because you're making more. Contractors are responsible for paying both the employee and employer components of payroll taxes, so maybe that's what you're saying, but the tax rate doesn't change. A contractor's pay is supposed to be higher, reflecting the 'burdened rate', to account for this.

        There are several tax benefits to having a home business, depending on how meticulous you are and how far you want to stretch things. An accountant and/or financial advisor is probably worthwhile. If you can set up an S-corporation/LLC (state dependent) and have them hire your company (rather than you directly), then the tax benefits improve. Most imaging centers aren't going to oblige you, however.
         
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        gutonc

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          If you're not a resident anymore, why would you moonlight at a job for $60/hour that doesn't include malpractice with tail?

          This was my main question as well. Is your new gig so bad that the $240-480 you'll make/week (before taxes and tail) is worth it? I mean, after all that is said and done, you're looking at something like $100-250/wk (depending on state) take-home pay. If you can do it while sitting on your couch drinking a beer, then I say go for it. Otherwise, it's not in any way worth the trouble.
           

          Winged Scapula

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            I was planning on doing a 4 to 8 hour shift one day a week at this job at around $60/ hour. This would be on my day off from my primary employment as an attending.

            My argument for this job, would be "easy way to make money while doing charting, emails, etc." My argument against this job is the cost of tail coverage once I leave, the high tax rate as an independent contractor, and having to work on my day off (although probably getting caught up on all my paperwork/ charting, etc.)

            My argument against this job:

            1) its hardly worth the small amount of money once you deduct taxes, expenses getting there, etc.

            2) it takes away what little free time you have to spend with your family, to find someone to start a family with, go the gym, see movies, travel, lie on the couch and watch Duck Dynasty, etc.
             

            DukeNukem

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              I have similar moonlighting opportunities as a resident. Babysit some radiation treatment machines, take care of any acute problems only, little work expected, and collect similar pay. I plan to read, write papers, and/or run statistics while doing it to keep up my academics.

              My biggest question is: how important is it to have occurrence based or tail malpractice coverage for such an endeavor? The opportunities do not seem to provide this level of coverage. Some faculty tell me it's no big deal, and that my odds of being named in a suit are very slim. Other faculty tell me it's a really big deal and I absolutely should not do it. I'd like to get more opinions before I decide.
               

              gutonc

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                My biggest question is: how important is it to have occurrence based or tail malpractice coverage for such an endeavor? The opportunities do not seem to provide this level of coverage. Some faculty tell me it's no big deal, and that my odds of being named in a suit are very slim. Other faculty tell me it's a really big deal and I absolutely should not do it. I'd like to get more opinions before I decide.

                This is probably true. However the odds of having your ass handed to you if you DO get named in a suit is extraordinarily high (remember...you're a rich doctor, you can afford it). That's kind of the whole point of insurance in general.
                 

                Jordaniandoc

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                  I have a question for those of you who did moonlight...how much money can be got from moonlighting?
                  I am still a PGY1 EM resident but I want to know early about the expected financial outcome of moonlighting in the future.....does it increase your income significantly as a resident?
                   

                  VA Hopeful Dr

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                    I have a question for those of you who did moonlight...how much money can be got from moonlighting?
                    I am still a PGY1 EM resident but I want to know early about the expected financial outcome of moonlighting in the future.....does it increase your income significantly as a resident?

                    Most of the folks in my old program did between $55-$70/hr, loosely correlated with how hard you worked.

                    It can add a decent bit to income if you do it a lot.
                     

                    Bacchus

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                      My argument against this job:

                      1) its hardly worth the small amount of money once you deduct taxes, expenses getting there, etc.

                      2) it takes away what little free time you have to spend with your family, to find someone to start a family with, go the gym, see movies, travel, lie on the couch and watch Duck Dynasty, etc.

                      I know you had training in "rural" PA, but that hardly qualifies you to watch Duck Dynasty.
                       

                      TexasPhysician

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                        I average $100-150/hr depending on the job and how much work is involved.

                        You really need to learn and utilize tax breaks to make it worth the effort in my opinion. If you don't focus on the many tax breaks, residents could find themselves in > 40% tax bracket. Those residents end up regretting it. Utilizing the tax breaks and additional retirement vehicles, it is possible to pay less in taxes than you did pre-moonlighting. This requires a good amount of effort and reading.
                         
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