Question for residents/attendings.....sorry I'm a noob.

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Are resident or attending physicians allowed to moonlight at hospitals other than where they are receiving training/practicing full-time? Or is this not allowed/frowned upon by the medical community because of ethical/economic/social etc. reasons?


Full Member
15+ Year Member
Oct 2, 2006
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For residents, it depends on your program. Ours allowed us to as long as we scored a certain percentile on the in-service exam and didn't have other "issues."

For attendings, it depends on your contract. For me, I'm a solo practitioner so I can moonlight whenever I want. But for me that's just working harder so I can just see more patients in a week.

Winged Scapula

Moderator Emeritus
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Apr 9, 2000
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Everyone is a newbie at some point in time, so don't apologize for it.

As rsxn noted, moonlighting during residency is up to your program. Mine did not allow it under any circumstances - it didn't matter whether you were on vacation or under 80 hrs even with the moonlighting. Of course, they had been on probation for hours violations more than once so were a little touchy about the subject, Your hospital may have different rules and allow it during vacations, only in-house, or have no policy against it.

Attendings don't regularly moonlight unless they're having some financial difficulties or work in a specialty where they don't have restrictive covenants and have lots of time off (ie, EM). Otherwise, most people stick to the job they have either because they're already working enough hours or because their contract (if a hospital employee or in a group practice) prevents them from seeking work elsewhere.


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May 26, 2002
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yup, i echo what the others have said here. as a resident you can moonlight depending on your residency program rules. there are even more restrictions if you are:
a) an intern - most places won't let you the first year
b) surgery - b/c you are working long hours anyway
c) an FMG - they may let you work as a third year resident or only after you pass Step 3 or not at all

i'm a hospitalist with a lot of time off (similar to ER schedule). so even though my colleagues are making good money, they get bored and are therefore moonlighting. plus, the extra money doesn't hurt. i'm thinking about doing the same since we just bought a new house.


Moonlighting rules for residents will vary from program to program. Most programs won't allow you to moonlight within their own healthcare system because of residency work hours restrictions. You'll have to make sure that your malpractice is covered, and that you can use your residency DEA license. This usually means that the residency will have to approve any moonlighting opportunities, otherwise you could find yourself in trouble.