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Digital Nomad Physician Income

You’ve probably heard the term digital nomad before; it refers to someone who has a location independent job and doesn’t have a particular home base. They travel to new destinations and stay there several months before moving on to a new place.

A physician can be a digital nomad because there are plenty of opportunities which need nothing more than your brain and an internet connection. Securing a high digital nomad physician income depends on the kind of gigs you’re willing to do.

A Digital nomad physician practices telemedicine or reviews medical charts. They consult for a healthcare startup or teach online courses. She oversees Nurse Practitioners or he audits internal protocols.

Or they can earns their income outside of healthcare. As physicians, we know how to interact with people, how to lead teams, how to communicate, and how to organize our time.

With these skills, a digital nomad physician can earn a solid income, enough to allow them to live a location independent lifestyle.

Your overhead as a digital nomad physician is tiny. You need enough income to cover your flights, accomodation, and food. Unless you are choosing the most expensive destinations, it’s cheaper to travel than to grow roots somewhere.

Digital Nomad Physician Income

What’s a realistic digital nomad physician income? I depends on how many income sources you have and how much time you’re willing to put in. I have consistently earned $10,000-12,000/month.

If you’re only interested in doing telemedicine then it’s important that you hack the shit out of your particular telemedicine platform. You want to be able to see as many patients as possible, without risking any bad outcomes.

I have a great course on how to see more telemedicine patients in less time and earn better patient satisfaction scores.

It’s ideal to start working on these income streams a few months before you pull the plug on your work and before you start traveling. This way you can test it out – make sure you’re comfortable with your income.

I did a trial run in another state in the US in 2016 and then tried it out again in Barcelona, Spain. Success, every time.

My digital nomad physician income for August 2017 was $11,354 in my first month abroad – all from a laptop.

Location Independent Income

What can a physician do for location independent income? A lot. I’m sure there are many more opportunities which aren’t even on my radar. I know many of you have written me and told me the crazy shit you do for income – brilliant.

I have the following income sources as a digital nomad physician:

You shouldn’t limit yourself to only the things I do here. You might find more interesting opportunities.

If it’s something clinical then expect to earn somewhere around $100/hour. But you can bump this up to about $200/hr if you learn how to see telemedicine patients faster.

If it’s something non-clinical then $60-75/hr is a safe range. This might be online teaching or consulting. Writing doesn’t pay quite as much until you start focusing on purely clinical writing. Upwork is a great resource for finding such opportunities. So is Craigslist.

Finding Online Gigs

First figure out what you’re interested in. If you hate consulting, don’t waste your time with it. If you don’t enjoy online teaching, don’t apply for those positions. You want to do something you’ll actually enjoy.

1. Telemedicine

Telemedicine is easy and there are plenty of opportunities. Browse indeed.com regularly because new jobs are posted every hour. It’s good to have multiple telemedicine gigs lined up.

2. Medical Expert

I like working for Just Answer as a medical expert. There are many other such websites and so it’s a matter of finding the kind of platform you’re most comfortable with. I have a workflow tutorial for JA.

3. Healthcare Consulting

If you want to get into consulting then you’ll have be proactive. It might take a few months to find the right client. But if you’re willing to put in the dues, word of mouth travels fast. Soon you’ll have more clients than you have time for. Take my Healthcare Consulting Course to find your first client.

4. Online Teaching

Tons of universities and colleges are looking to hire adjunct professors to do online teaching. I’ve worked for my local community college, teaching medical terminology. You can teach math, physics, chemistry, physiology, anatomy … tons of options.

5. Writing

Writing is a little harder to come by because you have to build your portfolio. But some doctors are incredible writers. I recommend that you start building your portfolio on a platform like Verblio or Upwork.

Some physicians create test content for various testing companies. From Kaplan to uWorld. There are a lot of companies these days and they are always looking for content creators. Once you get on the editing team, you’ll have a solid ongoing gig.

Your Equipment

I would recommend an Android cell phone and a MacBook laptop.

If you’re planning on doing a lot of telemedicine work then don’t go for a Chromebook. A PC might be fine, as well, but you’ll enjoy more reliability from a MacBook.

Though you’ll be fine with an iPhone, an Android will make it easier for you to connect to different devices. Also, if you run into problems with you Mac, it will be nice having a different operating system.

Do a Trial Run

It’s time to leave your home baby!

Rent an AirBnb and take your equipment with you to another state. Pick a place you’ve never been to just so that you can see what it’s like being in a completely strange place.

  • are you able to connect online reliably?
  • is your equipment working as expected?
  • any trouble with your medical license in other states?
  • are you able to stay organized?
  • can you balance your time and work?
  • are you earning enough money to feel comfortable traveling?

9 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    Telemedicine companies won’t allow you to work from outside the US….

  2. I work from outside of the US for my own telemedicine company and for others which have no problem with my location. You can read more about it on my course or you can contact the telemedicine companies and see which one is okay with you being outside of the country. Or, of course, you can start your own telemedicine company, as I have discussed in previous posts.

  3. Anonymous

    Seems obvious, but I have to ask.
    Are there any laws restricting US licensed physicians to practice in the US or are there any special certifications required to practice outside of the US.

    The assumption of course is the physician is licensed in the state the patient is located.

    Thank you

  4. It’s a great question and it comes up a ton when I speak to doctors. There are no laws as of now restricting where the doctor is when they are prescribing medication or engaging in a patient-doctor relationship. Nobody can force you to be in any particular place. Once you are licensed in a particular state then you can see the patients of that state. There are no certificates necessary and there are even ways of getting around the patient-doctor relationship laws and the medical practice act so that you don’t have to be held to the rules of which patients you can see in which states.

  5. I always find your blog posts so fascinating. Thanks for writing this one. Not sure I could ever do telemedicine but it’s still interesting to read about.

  6. Heather

    I love your blog and have found it so helpful. I am starting Teladoc in a couple of weeks and want to purchase a dedicated laptop for this purpose. Do you think a chromebook would suffice? I couldn’t find any requirements other than google chrome and flash player 10 in the training module. Thanks!

  7. If you have to have a dedicated laptop, which isn’t necessary, a chromebook will suffice – one of the better ones on the market is the ASUS and Samsung is decent too – spend about $500 to get something of quality, it’ll be more than enough. There are no other softwares or VPN’s you’ll have to install with Teladoc so you are good there. How exciting, teladoc was always super easy of a platform to work on and see patients through. Just don’t be like the other doc’s who write 3 sentences. Read my telemedicine risk post – and remember, telemedicine is meant for screening and triaging and patient empowerment. It shouldn’t replace the in-person visit. That’s why you should be able to easily plow through 10 patients and hour. I sell a course on that, though I don’t think you’ll need it if you’ve been reading my posts regularly on telemedicine, I’ve tried to address it as often as possible.

  8. Anonymous

    I’ve been thinking about a career in telemedicine, the flexibility is just so appealing. To do telemedicine from abroad, do you need to maintain a US address? Can you do it if you aren’t a US resident/citizen, but are US trained and board certified?

  9. You’ll need some sort of US address because the medical boards will hound you if you don’t have some sort of home address and if you provide a foreign one you’ll just be making a target out of yourself. You don’t need to be a citizen in order to be a licensed physician in the US. If you’re talking about giving up you citizenship, you’ll need to prove that you are eligible to work in the US which isn’t too hard but could make you a little less of an ideal candidate.
    As for a career in telemedicine, I would just try it out first, if you’re enjoying it and making enough money then you’re good to go. But you can also consider moving your current practice online which might be a better way to guarantee your own stream of patients instead of relying on an employer who may not be happy with you being abroad should you decide to travel while doing telemedicine.

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