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12 Side Hustles You Can Have in Medical School

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The journey through medical school is expensive!!! The tuition, the rent, the books, the traveling, Netflix payments, and of course the unlimited supply of coffee (or hot cocoa) all have to be paid for somehow. Because the workload can be enormous, you’re left with very little time to work up enough hours to earn significant amounts of money. Working while in medical school is possible but requires A LOT of discipline to pull off both studying and working simultaneously, effectively. Whatever you choose to do on the side, make sure it doesn’t interfere with your studies. Always keep in mind that your degree is the priority and anything else is secondary.

Here are some ways you can make some extra cash as a medical student:

Student Ambassador Programmes

Image adapted from Dublin Institute of Technology 

A good number of organisations run student ambassador programmes which come with loads of juicy perks including work experience and paycheques. Some even have offices on university campuses. Do some research to find out what’s available where you are, there are loads of them to choose from!


Image adapted from Northeastern University 

Just by the virtue of making it into medical school, chances are you still know a bit of high school science subjects or at least you can work your way around them. You can put that knowledge to good use by getting yourself some tutoring gigs. You can either sign up to already existing platforms or seek them out yourself from people you already know. It could be online or offline as well, and most of the time, you’re able to pick your schedule so that’s a plus.


Image adapted from Internet Matters

Medical student vlogs are all the rave at the moment; even I still watch some of them. I particularly enjoy the studious ones and the some on ‘a day in my life’ of a student or doctor. You could also vlog about other things- beauty, travel, and so much more. Whatever you fancy really. The possibilities and scope of content and audiences is huge. You don’t have to start big by splurging on a high-tech-high-budget camera, expensive filming lights, and equipment. A lot of smartphones come with good quality cameras and editing softwares are becoming more intuitive and user-friendly.


Image adapted from Unsplash

Same concept as vlogging. Mustn’t be medically-relevant content; could be anything you’re remotely passionate about that others would find educational, entertaining or both. All you’ll be needing is a computer, an internet connection, some grammatical competence, a domain name, domain hosting, and a blog template. You could also get paid for writing for established blogs if you’re not up for starting your own. Give it a go!


Image adapted from Unsplash

If photography is your thing, then medical school isn’t a bad time to put it to good use. I had a lot of friends that were freelance photographers when we were in medical school. Aside from the fact that they were doing something they loved, they were also making some money off it. Some went off on the weekends to photograph events, some photographed nature and sold the images online, while some offered affordable portrait photography services. Really cool stuff!

Summer jobs

If you prefer not to work during term time, you could choose to work only during your summer breaks. Could be any type of (legal) work really, it’s totally up to you. Try to pick summer jobs that are at least mentally stimulating and minimally passive. I don’t think there’s a lot out there that’s worse than starting a new semester with a sleepy brain that is still on vacation.

Uber (or Lyft, or others) driving

Image adapted from Lost at E Minor

This is another good option mostly because you can pick your hours, listen to audio lectures when you’re alone in the car, and it doesn’t require a lot of effort (I think). Even if you don’t have your own car, there are individuals that let you lease theirs and you pay them a percentage of what you earn at intervals.

Freelance Makeup Artistry 

Image adapted from Makeup Classes

If you’re skilled in the makeup department, then give it a go yo! We can never have too many makeup artists! The downside is- setting up an effective and diverse (skin tone-wise) makeup kit can be costly but if you plan to do it for a long time then it’ll be worth it. You choose when you’re available and when you’re not. You don’t need an office, you meet clients where they are or they meet you where you are.

Home Hair Styling

Image adapted from Essence

This was quite popular with international students when I was in uni, especially with hair braiding and weave-ons. Some people also made customised wigs to sell to those who wanted them. It’s especially useful in countries where there aren’t a lot of hair stylists that are competent with afro hair care.

Research Assistant

Image adapted from Unsplash

There’s usually a huge number of research projects going on continuously in most medical schools and so finding one to be part of shouldn’t be too difficult if you know where to look. Could be on a part-time basis or summer-only. Apart from earning some money, you’ll also be gaining meaningful research experience which would come in handy as you progress in your medical career.


Fiverr is a platform for freelancers, any type of digital freelance work. Graphic designing, web designing, writing, filmmaking you name it. Check it out and see if you find it useful.

So that’s it, folks. If you choose to do any of these in medical school, always keep it in mind to never lose sight of what’s most important- your degree. Ensure you take out time to rest because you deserve rest and a healthy balance is key.

Are you a medical student doing any of these already? Let us know in the comment section how you juggle both work and studying…


Featured image credit: Elevated Healthcare

Dr Wendy Evans-Uhegbu

The author Dr Wendy Evans-Uhegbu

Dr. Wendy Evans-Uhegbu is a graduate of The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, with experience in Connected Health, Medical Technology, Clinical Research, Medical Education, Medical Communications, and Web Design/Development. She is a part of the Medics Abroad team with the role of Chief Communications Officer. She is also a Medical Writer at 3D4 Medical and runs a Medical Communications and Children's books company (ODR Integrated Services/ ODR Books).  She is the author of the newly published children's book series "The Things Around Me".

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