While many dermatologists choose to focus exclusively on patient care, others choose to add non-clinical opportunities. There are a multitude of reasons that a dermatologist may choose alternative, non-patient employment possibilities. One of the main reasons is that these projects provide supplementary income while avoiding the added inherent risks associated with seeing more patients. Ancillary services have become increasingly appealing in recent years. The growing interest in popular offerings makes some of the opportunities difficult to achieve, but proper dedication and planning will allow you to successfully navigate these prospects. Below are some of the most common avenues that dermatologists utilize.
Public speaking for medical and non-medical venues is one way to generate additional income. Since there are many physicians eager to speak to non-medical audiences at community events, it may be difficult to secure these speaking engagements. However, some dermatologists earn significant income for this type of public speaking. Dermatologists can be sought after keynote speakers at events geared towards teens, health and wellness, and beauty. Many dermatologists are booked annually at specialty skin-care conferences. These speaking engagements are low-risk, high income events that serve two purposes.
They produce a one-time or recurring revenue without added patient care.
They increase authority reputation in the dermatology industry, which may directly reflect benefits to the clinical practice.
Paid speaking engagements for a medical audience is in much higher demand and can be an excellent resource for ancillary income. Many dermatologists enjoy working with pharmaceutical companies that provide public education. Others choose to lecture in medical schools or at professional society meetings. In order to speak at any of these events, you must be regarded as an expert and prominent physician leader in your field. Most doctors are only permitted to speak at these events if they were invited. Dermatologists looking to get into this elite circle of invited speakers will likely need to start small at local conferences and community events, building credibility with smaller, albeit paid, speaking gigs.
Although some medical schools view clinical instruction as a voluntary, unpaid opportunity, others will provide significant payment for teaching services. Many dermatologists choose to work part-time as adjunct professors at medical institutions or even as college administrators. With the right connections to certain medical schools, dermatologists are able to make additional money teaching full- or part-time in their area of expertise.
This is one of the simplest ancillary services to provide— especially when partnering with community colleges that are often looking for experts to teach in a non-contractual situation.
Performing expert witness work for medical malpractice lawsuits is another ancillary opportunity for dermatologists. In addition to being paid for opinion and testimony supporting the decision-making process of the lawsuit, doctors are also compensated for travel. This type of work is often in high demand due to the number of lawsuits filed against medical professionals in all fields, including dermatologists. To be successful as an expert witness, it is important for doctors to stay up to date as a clinical expert in their field. It is also helpful to be published and well-regarded in your specialty.
Direct sales of medical products has become a common way for doctors to increase their supplementary income. This type of work is best for dermatologists who have both a medical and business mindset and who are comfortable accepting a certain level of rejection. With the right personality and dedication, product sales can provide a real source of ancillary income.
What can make this ancillary service even more lucrative is if the product or technology is cutting edge and poised to take off in the industry sector where it resides.
MEDICAL EQUIPMENT INSTRUCTOR
Using medical equipment takes practice and skill that may not be taught fully during residency. That is why some dermatologists choose to teach other dermatologists, physicians, and other health care providers how to properly and safely operate commonly used medical devices or cutting-edge technology, as a way to gain additional part-time income. These experienced dermatologists must have contacts with well-known medical systems and continue to practice within the clinical setting so that they do not lose their credibility.
Anti-aging treatments are often in high demand for dermatology patients. Adding aesthetic or even med spa services to your practice can bring in an impressive amount of income, sometimes even as much as medical practices brought in through their clinical services. Some of the most common services for dermatologists include:
- Machine-assisted facials
- Dermal fillers
- Laser hair removal
- Body contouring
In order for these services to be successful within your practice, you will have to work to build a well-known, respected reputation. Your chances of profit increase if your practice is the only dermatology treatment center in the area. The start-up costs related to Med Spa services are fairly reasonable unless your practice chooses to add lasers, which can add a substantial upfront cost.
Many companies need highly qualified medical professionals, including dermatologists, to review charts. During this review, dermatologists will make recommendations on medications, procedures, length of hospital stay, and other treatments. Dermatologists have the chance to work for hospitals, insurance companies, or even Independent Review Organizations.
Many facilities require qualified doctors at all times and may need additional physicians in the event that further contracts are opened. Because this opportunity can generate substantial income almost immediately and without any risk related to medical malpractice, it is in very high demand.
Writing is another highly competitive way for dermatologists to increase personal revenue. Offering guest blog posts, contributing to online dermatology publications and magazines, or generating ad revenue through the development of a successful dermatology blog are just a few ways dermatologists can monetize writing. While successful journalism guarantees substantial income, it also takes a considerable amount of dedication and punctuality to publication deadlines.
Clinical research provides one of the most substantial amounts of growth for dermatologists to work outside of a clinical based setting, but they must first receive either a CRA or CRC certification in order to participate in trials. As a clinical researcher, a dermatologist will have the choice to work remotely or utilize expenses covered while traveling for work. Assisting in the discovery of new drugs and overseeing clinical trials are just a few of ways to make ancillary income.
Some dermatologists choose to create digital products that are downloadable for varying fees. While the physician needs to put the work in initially to create a quality product that will provide some type of value to their patients, or to the internet at large, that product will continue to generate passive income after it’s repeatedly purchased and downloaded. Examples of the types of digital products that dermatologists can create are:
- Self-Published E-books on skin care routines, anti-aging tips, etc.
- Courses for fellow dermatologists on sites like Udemy, Teachable, and Coursera
- Master Classes educating fellow dermatologists about practice
The beauty of these types of products is the idea that they serve as ancillary services that only require the initial effort of creation. After the product is launched, it generates revenue on its own.
ARE ANCILLARY SERVICES RIGHT FOR YOU?
Ancillary services can generate a significant amount of revenue for you and your practice. In order to be successful, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you will have to decide on what additional services you would like to provide. If these services will be provided in-office or directly to your patient base consider patient needs and current trends. Taking a poll of current patients can help determine which services might be utilized the most. Keep in mind that these services should be beneficial and relevant. They should complement your current services.
You should also consider the costs associated with providing additional services. Some of these services may only carry the overhead of a few added supplies, while others may require expensive equipment, and even additional staff. It is important to budget these costs to ensure the benefits, and potential revenue, outweigh these additional costs.
With a significant amount of dedication and skill, qualified dermatologists can successfully achieve non-clinical, ancillary revenue sources.