Close this search box.


Moonlighting During Residency: A Guide for Aspiring Physicians

Residency is a transformative period in a physician’s career, marked by intense training, long hours, and invaluable learning experiences. However, it’s also a time when physicians earn significantly less than their fully licensed counterparts. Moonlighting—taking on additional medical work outside of residency—can be an appealing option to boost income and alleviate financial pressures from medical school debt. But is it practical or advisable for residents to moonlight? 

Let’s explore the fundamental pros and cons of moonlighting in residency. 

Benefits of Moonlighting as a Resident

Despite these concerns, moonlighting offers several benefits that can enhance a resident’s professional development:

  1. Financial support: Extra income from moonlighting can help residents manage student loans and living expenses.
  2. Diverse clinical experiences: Working in different healthcare settings broadens a resident’s clinical knowledge and skills.
  3. Professional networking: Moonlighting provides opportunities to build relationships with other healthcare professionals, which can be valuable for future career opportunities.
  4. Autonomous practice: Gaining more independent practice helps residents develop confidence in their clinical decision-making abilities, an essential skill for their future careers.
Obtaining Approval from Your Residency Program: Potential Concerns

Before moonlighting, residents must seek approval from their residency program director to ensure compliance with institutional policies and preserve the quality of their medical training. Residency programs typically have several concerns about moonlighting, including:

  1. Work-hour limits: The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education enforces strict work-hour limits to prevent burnout. Moonlighting could push residents beyond these limits, risking non-compliance and potential penalties for the program.
  2. Training and experience: Residents are still honing their skills, which means there is a higher risk of mistakes that could reflect poorly on both the resident and the program.
  3. Fatigue and performance: Adding extra hours to an already demanding schedule can lead to exhaustion, negatively affecting performance and patient safety.
  4. Educational interference: Additional work commitments may interfere with critical educational activities such as seminars, conferences, and required rotations.
  5. Legal and malpractice liabilitiesThere are concerns about legal and malpractice liabilities if residents practice independently outside the scope of their training.
Keys to Resident Moonlighting Success

Balancing moonlighting with residency requires careful planning and support. OnCall Solutions understands residents’ unique challenges and provides comprehensive support throughout the moonlighting journey. We connect residents with suitable moonlighting opportunities and ensure they are covered under our medical malpractice insurance policy, enabling them to focus on their practice without added stress.

If you are a resident considering moonlighting and believe it aligns with your career goals, partnering with OnCall Solutions can streamline the process and help you start moonlighting sooner.

Interested in learning more? Check out our frequently asked questions about moonlighting or explore available moonlighting opportunities for residents.

Job Type

Job types


Job categories

Job Location

Assignment Type

Duration of Assignment

Shift Type

Shift type

Travel Requirements

Travel Requirements