This is a guest post by Kyle
There’s no two ways about it; medical school is time consuming. With many years of expensive schooling ahead of you, it’s no wonder you’re beginning to panic about how you’re going to squeeze in the work hours you need to stay afloat and still attend to all of your studies. Indeed, most professors recommend that, due to the workload associated with a degree in medicine, students forego even part-time jobs in order to ensure the outstanding grades needed to attend the best schools (and secure the best jobs). However, even students who manage to get help with tuition (through scholarships, grants, and loans) still have to pay for books and living expenses, so it should come as no surprise that part-time work comes with the territory. But with tons of freelance jobs available for every conceivable interest, experience level, and walk of life, there is no reason medical students can’t make a little money on the side and take control of when and how much they work.
- Writing. Freelance writing is a viable part-time profession for many reasons. For starters, any student who goes into medicine must have a solid grasp of language since a large part of the job hinges on concise communication. By that standard (and because the program is so reading and writing intensive), writing is an ideal method of monetary gain for medical students. You can opt to write for websites, magazines, and even medical journals on just about any topic you’re interested in and get paid to do it. Plus, you can take on as much or as little work as you like during your tenure in college. To get started, create an account on ODesk, Elance, or Text Broker to apply for job postings and allow potential clients to view your profile and samples of your work.
- Proofreading. Like writing, it is something that almost anyone with an excellent grasp of language can do, but it doesn’t require the same creativity (and it may be significantly less stressful…although it also pays less). Familiarize yourself with the Chicago and/or MLA style before you start and you’ll be zipping through copy in red strikethrough before you can say “PayPal account”. Job opportunities can be found at the freelance sites listed above.
- Medical billing. This may be a good option for several reasons. For one thing, it’s a related field, which can only help you broaden your understanding of the profession as a whole. It can also give you an in-depth look at patient information and how it is processed. Finally, you can do just about as much or as little as you want, working for a small or large private practice (or several). If you don’t want to advertise your own services locally, consider signing on with an agency like BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) for a more traditional job situation.
- Tutoring. The standby of college students everywhere, this is just an all-around easy way to make some extra cash. You can tutor younger students either on your own or by signing on with a local service (although many require you to attend to students in their homes), or you can tutor your peers on-campus (from your dorm, the library, or other common areas). If you tutor in medical-related subjects, you can also expand or brush up on your own knowledge. For generic subjects, you can try to get a job with a tutoring service like Sylvan Learning Center, or help college hopefuls with SAT prep through The Princeton Review (they also offer tutoring for the MCAT).
- Medical sales representative. As freelance jobs go, you may stand to make the most money with this one, but it is also likely to demand more time and effort. You will almost certainly be required to cold call and visit local medical practices (public and private) in order to offer the latest advances in the medical field (your company may specialize in pharmaceuticals, software, equipment, or any number of other products). As a result, your earnings will largely be based upon your sales, so you’d better have the personality to go with your pitch if you want to succeed. To search for jobs in your area (or get advice on which ones are legit) log onto the forum at Indeed and get started. You can apply for work and get the insider lowdown on which jobs are worth it.
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