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What About Moonlighting?

Discussion in 'General Residency Issues' started by swing, Nov 2, 2002.

  1. swing

    swing Member
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    Can anyone please talk about moonlighting during residency?
    When can this be done?
    How many hours do people moonlight per month typically?
    Where do people moonlight?
    Which residencies best lend themselves to various types of moonlighting?
    I don't recall seeing this topic discussed recently, and it'd be great to hear form those with some information and/or experience with this!
    Thanks!
     
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  3. Andrew_Doan

    Andrew_Doan Doc, Author, Entrepreneur
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    Can anyone please talk about moonlighting during residency?

    When can this be done?

    You can moonlight after you pass Step 3 of the USMLE and obtain your physician license. This can happen after your internship year.

    How many hours do people moonlight per month typically?
    This depends on how much you want to work and how much time you have. If you're in a busy residency and working 80 hours per week, then you won't have any time. With the new ACGME 80 hour work week, many programs are going to crack down on moonlighting.

    Where do people moonlight?
    ERs and Acute Care Clinics mostly.

    Which residencies best lend themselves to various types of moonlighting?

    If you're asking this, then you better rethink why you want to go into residency. :) Just giving you a hard time.

    Each field will have moonlighting opportunities. However, many programs prohibit residents from moonlighting. Mine does.
     
  4. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
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    Just wondering why you would even be considering it at this point in time? While salaries for residency are not luxurious, and moonlighting can pay well, the crimp it puts into your social life and sleep habits are astronomical, notwithstanding the fact that many residency programs prohibit it.
     
  5. jawurheemd

    jawurheemd xx ToXiC xx
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    Actually, I'm at a residency where I started moonlighting as a first year. We have opportunities for in-house moonlighting at my program. It was one of the appeals of the program. Basically, I just work in the express care area of our ER for 12 hour shifts. Pays $50/hr. Plus we have attending coverage, and we don't have to worry about malpractice, licensing, etc. Just working ~2 shifts a month doesn't affect my lifestyle too much, and generates an extra $1200/month. Very helpful when you have a wife, kid, and another kid on the way.

    -James
     
  6. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
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    Jawuhreemd...

    Are you in a shift-based residency? That is, I can't imagine doing a 12 hour shift somewhere unless it was on a full day on my weekend off (ie, it would be impossible to predict I can leave here at a certain time, much less do a 12 hour shift after a full day, then work another full day - ok not impossible, because before the new work hour regulations I regularly worked 40+ hours straight, but uncomfortable to say the least). Are you off on weekends, is that when you fit in the extra shifts?

    It obviously helps, but I can't imagine encouraging anyone to do it.
     
  7. jawurheemd

    jawurheemd xx ToXiC xx
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    As a matter of fact, I am in a shift-based residency -- i.e. emergency medicine. We know what our schedules are like in advance, and we have a number of days off. For instance, this month I have 14 12-hour shifts in a 28-day period. I can easily sneak in a couple of moonlighting shifts into that mix. But alas, I admit readily that people training in other areas may not have as much time to moonlight (as my wife is an internal medicine resident). She does have certain months when she has more free time than others, but giving up that precious free time would be too much of a sacrifice for her. I have no idea how a person doing a surgical residency would be able to moonlight.

    -James
     
  8. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
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    Thanks James...I was just curious. It obviously sounds much easier to moonlight in an EM residency than a surgical (or IM as the case may be) one. I do have some surgical acquaintances that DO moonlight - but usually once or twice every now and again (ie, covering the senior dinner at another facility, the local Farm Show, etc.).
     
  9. Andrew_Doan

    Andrew_Doan Doc, Author, Entrepreneur
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    Kimberli,

    Can you comment on how surgical residencies will change with the new 80 hour per week law? Also, I think moonlighting days are going to be hard to come by with this new law too.
     
  10. kenfused

    kenfused Senior Member
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    Definitely Medicine residents do a fair amount of moonlighting when allowed, Generally as 2nd/3rd years they have alot of free elective time. Working a couple hours a week in an urgent care or primary care clinic at $50+ is definitely a nice boost to your salary. Check with your program to see if it's allowed.
     
  11. ljube_02

    ljube_02 Senior Member
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    Hey if you finish an EM residensy, can you then work same way as "moonlighting". i.e. you just come into the hospital when you need money, for a few days. This is if someone wants to work in real estate investments, and medicine just so she would have the money to invest.
    Are radiology or EM best specialties for such work? And will you be paid hourly rate same way as if you worked for that hospital permanently?
     
  12. Celiac Plexus

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    If your program allows moonlighting and you plan to do a research year then you are in luck. A friend of mine is doing a research year at a program that allows moonlighting and he is banking serious cheese. He works 9-10 12 hour shifts a month and gets paid 650/shift... He is projected to earn over 70K on top of his 40K paycheck... Granted, his tax bracket goes up, but he is still basically doubling his income by working about 2 shifts per week.... Plus, the work is easy since he basically takes night-float at a sleepy community hospital. He tells me that he has 1 to 2 calls per night, and sometimes he sleeps right through the shift... or works on his research/watches movies/whatever...
     
  13. deedee2

    deedee2 Junior Member

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    ljube,
    regarding your question about moonlighting as a carreer. Yes it is done, it's called "locums tenens". I have a friend who finished his EM residency a few years ago and then couldn't decide where he wanted to settle down. So he signed himself up with a locums program (every state has it). It provides malpractice insurance but you pay for all other benefits out of your pocket. Anyway, he travelled up and down the west coast and the southwest working in ER's for a week or less a month (hotel stay would generally be paid for by the hospitals), made a lot of money, found a place he liked and then settled down a few years later. Pretty sweet deal I thought. Hope this helps.
     
  14. ljube_02

    ljube_02 Senior Member
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    Thank you.
     
  15. Quantum Sheep

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    Hey guys,
    I have a question. Some of the previous posts mention that many residency programs (e.g., surgery programs) do not allow moonlighting. Is there a pattern in which medicine residency programs allow moonlighting?

    Thanks!
     
  16. dragonfly99

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    ER would be the easiest specialty to moonlight in.
    You can also do it in IM and probably psych and maybe a few other fields. I know anesthesia upper-levels (PGY 3 and 4) sometimes do a little.

    r.e. the comment above about IM residents having "lots of elective/free time" during 2nd and 3rd year...I don't know about that. At my program we never had more than 1 elective month/year...the rest of the time you were on wards, consult months, or outpatient medicine that would require at least 7am-4 or 5pm or so work hours. If you want to moonlight all night and then work all day the next day, you could moonlight, but it would be tricky...have to be sure you get to work on time in the a.m. There were definitely people who did moonlighting...taking extra/overflow IM admissions in our teaching hospital or could moonlight in the VA ER. However, I never wanted to give up my free time, since we only got 1 day/week off. I don't know any surgical residents who moonlight, though I know there are probably a few around who do.
     
  17. SocialistMD

    SocialistMD Resident Objectivist
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    My impression is that most programs do not allow it, especially because it counts against your 80-hours and most surgery programs are pretty close to that already. I know SLUser's program does if you score >x% percentile on the ABSITE and are a PGY-3 or greater. UT-Southwestern has a similar policy, but they are the only two I know off the top of my head that allow it during clinical years.
     

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