How to Make Money in Medical School
In this article, I’ll be discussing some of the best ways you can make some money in medical school.
Here is a quick summary of everything I talk about in this article.
So you are in a rush and just want the meat of the burger? Well, I’ve got you covered. Here are the main points in this article.
- Start a blog/YouTube channel
- Being consistent with making content online is a great way to make money in the long-run
- Tutor for GCSEs or A-Levels (or the equivalent in your country)
- Start by charging an average fee
- Once you have enough reviews you can earn a significant amount
- Selling services on Fiverr can earn you some much-needed cash
Food for Thought
Before starting, I want to discuss some things you should think about before you start trying to look for an income in medical school.
If you are in desperate need for cash, try and talk to your universities finance department for some advice. They may be able to offer a bursary or scholarship if you are facing financial hardship or are from a low-income family.
This article should not be taken as financial advice. For that, please contact professionals or your university advisors.
Do You Need the Money?
Think about if you should be looking for a job. You don’t want to fail your medical school exams just because you are working 10+ hours a week on a side hustle.
If you are getting enough money from other sources like a scholarship, grant or loan (or even rich parents), then you need to decide if it is worth trying to earn extra cash on the side.
As a doctor, you will most likely be earning enough to get by (although if you are living in central London you might beg to differ). Because of this, there is little urgency about trying to earn as much money as possible while at university.
Of course, if you enjoy it or have a genuine reason why you want/need an income on the side, then that is a different matter. I am just advising that you think about this decision before you regret it down the line.
With that out the way, let’s get on with the article!
Playing the Long Game
Firstly, let’s talk about some of the best long term strategies of earning money that you can use. This mainly involves building a business from scratch. Don’t be scared, it’s easier than you think.
The best ways are often the hardest. That’s true when it comes to studying in medical school, and it’s true when trying to earn some cash on the side.
However, I promise you that if you start building the foundations of a business at university, you will not regret it.
Let me give you some insight into why it could be so amazing and lucrative in the future.
Why You Should Have an Online Presence
Having an online presence will set you apart from your colleagues and allow you to build something truly unique. You can choose anything your passionate about and start writing or talking about it.
It is a great feeling when people start reading what you have written and have gained value over something you have created. On top of that, it opens the door to earning a passive income.
A passive income is a way to earn money that involves you putting in a lot of effort upfront (e.g. creating a website or YouTube channel), but then eventually you can just sit on the side and let it earn cash for you while you sleep.
It’s the best job in the world.
If I still haven’t sold you then think of this: would you rather be working for hours in the hospital earning a mediocre salary with your friends and family having fun at home, or be able to work at your leisure from home and only go into hospital when you want to.
You can even just quit medicine if you feel like it.
But you don’t have to. And that’s the point. Starting a business in university will give you the flexibility to do whatever you want to in the future.
Want to work full-time, 60 hours a week as a doctor? You got it. Or part-time as a GP. Entirely possible.
So hopefully I have convinced you that starting an online business is the best long term strategy for earning money (I’ll be discussing short-term earning strategies later on so make sure you read the whole post to miss anything). Now let’s talk about what the business should look like.
Pick One: Personal or Business
Regardless of the platform you choose, whether it is blogging or YouTube, there are two main directions you can take your content.
Either you could go via the personal route and have your name be your brand. Or, you could have a standalone business that people come to learn the name of (rather like Revising Rubies).
There are advantages and disadvantages to both methods. Here are some of the advantages of using your name to start a business:
However, you might not want to put your name out there. So don’t worry! Building a standalone business has its own advantages.
Now, that’s not to say you can only do one.
For example, you could have a branded business like my friend’s Medmentor site (which is a great site for those applying to medical school), and still have a separate blog which is yourname.com.
It is up to you to decide how much time you can invest. If you feel like you can make a new blog post every day, then you can certainly do both and make a few pieces of content for each site every week.
For most people though, I would recommend you just pick one idea and stick to it. Once exams come around you will be able to stay consistent and not feel overwhelmed with everything you have to do.
Starting a Blog
Starting a blog may seem like a difficult way to earn money, and you are right. It is difficult. But so it starting a YouTube channel.
The amount of effort it takes to make a good blog is much higher than people think. There is the designing, writing, and editing to think of as well as countless small menial things you have to think about when starting a blog.
However, if you can be consistent with the content you produce, you can earn a lot of money blogging.
How Much to Write
Regardless of what niche you are in, I suggest that you write at least 1500 words per blog post. This is the sort of depth that is needed for search engines to rank you (i.e. when Google puts your website on the first page when it is searched).
Coming Up with Good Ideas
Coming up with good ideas is easy. You can just search that topic online and see what Google autocompletes.
For example, if you are in the medicine niche, you can search “why do medical students” and see what comes up. You can then write about these topics knowing that people are searching for them.
Be careful though. Don’t go for obvious terms like “How to study as a medical student”. There will already be a bunch of articles on that topic and so it will be hard for you to rank.
What to Do if You Are Serious
There is a lot more to talk about when it comes to blogging, but I don’t want this to become a 20,000-word article so I won’t mention everything here.
If you are serious about this, then I suggest you check out the Income School YouTube channel which gives you a great insight into how to make money over the long term. This video on The Complete Guide to Blogging for a Living is a good starting point.
Note: You don’t need any coding knowledge to get your website started. You just need a small amount of cash and a functioning brain.
YouTube is where all the eyes are. It is the second biggest search engine after Google and has millions of watch hours every day.
And the great thing is that you don’t need any fancy equipment to get started.
How to Make YouTube Videos
I use a free software called iMovie on my MacBook to edit videos for the Revising Rubies YouTube channel. Admittedly, I did buy two things before starting making videos: a £100 Blue Yeti microphone and a PowerPoint presentation which allowed for fancy looking slides.
However, you can get started for free using just your phone’s camera and a bit of willingness to learn a new skill.
You could even link your blog in the description of your YouTube videos which allows users to find the website from other sources other than Google.
Knowing how to present yourself on-camera and edit videos is a skill which will undoubtedly be useful in the future. Combined with the potential for fast growth with lots of views and it’s a no brainer to start a YouTube channel.
How Often to Upload
As a busy medical student, you probably want to have a side business that will not be too overwhelming to start with. Therefore, spending 20+ hours making 4 videos a week is not an option.
I personally only upload videos once a week.
This allows me to put in a good amount of hours on each video while not getting too stressed about the university work I have to do.
If you want to upload twice a week, then go ahead. You can decide later if you want to reduce this down.
This is a great video by Cathrin Manning which tells you exactly how to get started with your channel.
Just Create Content
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what platform you use. You could even use websites like Medium to put your ideas.
The main thing is that you are creating valuable content over the long term. Once you have people trust you and engage with what you are producing, the opportunities that they will produce will truly blow your mind.
Key Points for All Online Creators
Here are some tips to remember. If you keep these points in mind, then half the battle is done.
- No one is watching your videos/reading your blog at the beginning – Use this to your advantage. You can be creative and try new things out which you might not be able to do once you have an audience.
- Consistency is key – You need to constantly be making something for a long time to see success. Don’t just give up in the first few months because no one is watching your stuff.
- You have a lot to learn – Even after blogging for over a year, there are still soo many things that I need to learn. It is almost endless. Therefore, keep on taking in information from different sources and researching new ways to do things. The more you know the better you will do.
How Does All of This Result in Money?
So after all that, you might still be thinking about how you can make an income online. There are in fact a large variety of ways to make an income.
Some of the most common ways include:
- Sponsorship deals
- Affiliate programs (e.g. Amazon links to products)
- Making an online course
All of these sources require one thing: an audience.
If you have a large enough of an audience, you can easily earn from them. The difficult part is getting that audience in the first place.
How Much Could You Realistically Make?
There are many people out there who claim to be earning millions of dollars from there blogs and YouTube channels.
Although there is no guarantee that you will get to that level of success, it is realistic that you can earn a full-time income within a few years of starting your journey.
For example, Ali Abdal only started his YouTube channel in 2017, but now has over a million subscribers as of writing.
Even if you were able to get to a fraction of that, you could still earn upwards of $1000 a month. From then on, it can grow exponentially.
If you want a breakdown of how much you can earn from YouTube, check out Ali Abdaal’s video where he talks in-depth about his earnings.
If you are more into the blogging side of things, then here are some articles you can check out.
How Long Would It Take?
This is difficult to answer.
Although for most people, it would only take a couple of years to start building an audience, to get a sizable income from it may take a lot longer.
It is down to luck. But there are ways to improve your luck.
Uploading higher quality content regularly is a sure-fire way to amass a large audience. Unfortunately, this often requires two things that medical students don’t have: money and time.
But don’t worry. Even uploading once a month can get you success.
Mark Rober only produces 12 videos a year and get upwards of 20 million views on each one (with his most viewed video being over 110 million views!
So to answer your question, it would probably take a couple of years before you could start earning anything substantial.
You just need to start with something.
There is no point in wasting your time saying that you will do it later. You won’t.
If you don’t have any money to spend but want a high-quality set-up, earn some via tutoring (which I talk about later) and get a few hundred pounds saved up. Buy everything that you need (whether that be a website or camera equipment) and just get started.
You won’t regret it.
Learning More About Making an Online Income
I haven’t gone into a lot of depth and so here are some resources you can use if you are interested in taking this further.
- Income School’s video – The Complete Guide to Blogging for a Living
- Neil Patel’s article – How to Start a Blog That Generates $3817 a Month in 2020
Tutoring – The Go-to Job for Medics
Tutoring is one of the most popular ways for medical students to have a side hustle. It is perfect for someone who has smashed their exams and can easily attract high-paying customers who are willing to spend big for their kid’s education.
If you have decided that you don’t want to build an online business or just need some quick cash, then tutoring is by far the best way to get a good income in medical school.
It is an easy job for a medic as you can do simple GCSE tutoring (or the equivalent for whichever country you are in) and earn up to £50 an hour.
That may seem unrealistic, but trust me, it is very possible.
Of course, you cannot start with such a high hourly rate. Rather, you should start with £20-30 an hour and work your way up.
There are plenty of websites out there depending on which country you are in. However, because the vast majority of tutoring is now done online, you could tutor anyone in the world at any time.
Here are some of the websites that are good starting points:
- Tutorful (UK)
- Neraplatform (a new site made by the same people who make Medmentor)
These aren’t the only websites I would use though.
To set yourself up for success, I suggest signing up to at least 4 different websites. It will be a lot of work in the first week as you will have to make a profile for each one, however a lot of the detailed information you can just copy and paste across.
Just search Google “best tutoring websites” and you will see which sites are currently ranking at the top. Those are the ones you want to be using as your potential customers will all be going there.
Here are some tips on how to maximise the income you gain from tutoring.
- Get a review from every person – After 4 successful lessons, you can safely ask for a good review from your student. In my experience, if you ask after you have finished tutoring, you are unlikely to get any response. This also makes it more likely for them to give you a good review.
- Focus on your current students – You may only have one or two students initially, but make sure you give them your full attention. Prepare notes for each lesson, have a PowerPoint presentation made. Anything to make you stand out. They are much more likely to give good word of mouth reviews if you do this.
- Ask what other tutors did wrong – It is often the case that the student you are tutoring has already tried out tutors in the past. Ask them what they didn’t like about those tutors and see that you don’t make the same mistakes as them.
- Have an amazing profile – Your profile is the first thing your students are going to see. If you have a picture that is of you in scruffy clothing and only a few lines in your bio, you aren’t going to catch anyone eye. Look around at what other people have done and see what the best have done. Take inspiration from them and turn your profile into a showcase of how awesome you are.
Providing Services – Fiverr, Uber and More
There are still plenty of ways you can earn money other than starting a business and tutoring. It might be difficult, but you can easily earn upwards of $5,000 a year from these service jobs.
There are plenty of other short term strategies that can earn you some money in medical school.
Think about the skills that you have.
You might not feel like you have any, but remember you are a medical student! You have plenty of skills. Even if you don’t, there are so many free resources for you to learn from online.
Fiverr is a place where you can sell your services online.
Thos services could include:
- Editing people’s writing/videos
- Coding for a website/app
- Making a website
- Language translations
- Providing audio voice-overs
- Even couching people at Fortnite!
The possibilities are endless.
And the great thing is that as you build your reviews, you can increase your price accordingly.
So make sure to get over there and make a profile today!
Working for Uber is another way that you could earn some cash. Although it doesn’t have the potential for growth that online business or tutoring does, it is certainly something you could think about.
To get started, all you need is a driver’s license and you will be good to go. Even if you don’t have a vehicle, there are options on their site for how to get a car. You can get a car via:
- Finance – Paying a deposit and then the remainder over 3-5 years.
- Flexi-lease – Allows you to own the car but return it if you aren’t happy.
- Leasing – Long term rental where you don’t worry about insurance or maintenance.
- Rental – Rent a car for £180-240 a week.
Finance or Flexi-lease are fantastic options for students who want to a job earning cash on the side, and end up owning a car after a few years.
Other Job Ideas
Although I have gone in-depth as to some of the potential options for how you can earn some cash on the side in medical school, I have by no means given you all the possibilities out there.
Therefore, if you are still stuck on what to do, then go through the list below to give you some ideas.
- Healthcare Assistant
- Research Assistant
- Donate plasma/sperm
- Medicine related prizes (entering competitions which have cash prizes like Duke Elder Exam for Ophthalmology)
- Enter online surveys
Now that you know how you can make money as a medical student, you might be wondering if there are ways of making more money that only involve being a doctor.
And there is one way. Moving to another country!
Therefore, you might want to learn about which countries offer high paying salaries. Check out this detailed comparison of US and UK doctors salaries.
It took a lot of effort to put this article together, so if you could share it with your friends and colleagues who might find some value from it then that would be amazing.
Have a good day!