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Kaiser Limits on Side Gigs

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  • Avatar Morbo 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 15
    Joined: 04/10/2019
    alpha investing

    Thanks RosieQ, for the additional options within Kaiser. I had forgotten about EPRP, although the hospitalists hate them!  I didn’t know about the telemedicine option within Kaiser though. Is this like the physicians work through the advice call center? Will have to explore….

    Morbo, you hit the nail on the head with the comment about Kaiser docs typically not being entrepreneurial. Many are of the flavor of “put your head down and get your work done so you can go home.” Unfortunately I feel that this leads to more hopelessness and burnout because Kaiser docs have limited options for income sources due to the contract rules. I have seen many colleagues go through this burnout and experienced this directly several times in my Kaiser career already. I have felt trapped by the golden handcuffs of the retirement plans and not in a good way. I remember in one of the benefits seminars that the chipper financial advisor leading the group stated “If you’re having a bad day at work, just log in to your Fidelity account so you can feel better!”

    But I see a fair number of colleagues that have a zombie-like approach at work, looking so beaten down coming to work (and I’ve felt that way myself). Having other income sources can be an antidote to this. However FLP’s dismissal of “weird side gigs” is actually a common behavior pattern I have seen at Kaiser, where innovative ideas can be shot down if they are not in line with the “Kaiser group think.” I’m not sure if this behavior is due to drinking the Koolaid or it is some intentional malignancy in order to keep the troops in line, like a hazing of sorts.

    There are definite benefits to working at Kaiser but it is not without its drawbacks.

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    I think the main thing is why you’re doing the side gig.  If you’re doing it just to make more money, then it just makes sense to pick up extra shifts at Kaiser.  You get paid $100-150 per hour or more, it’s going to be hard to beat that with a side gig.  You even get paid at your specialist salary even if you are doing hospitalist shifts or something.  I think that’s part of the reason why you got a bit of a negative response.  Sure, sometimes you will hit the jackpot and be the next WCI, but most of the time you won’t. I’m guessing that even Jim probably didn’t start WCI because he thought he was going to make money, he did it out of interest and he was lucky enough to stumble into something profitable. (edit: reading his blog entry, looks like I’m sorta wrong on that, but WCI did come out of a place of interest.  He spend a ton of time online with Bogleheads and other forums for free helping people with finances, and then he leveraged that interest/expertise into something that makes money.)

    But if you’re doing it because you enjoy building something new (like a company or software), or you’re trying to make some money off a hobby (like playing in a band or selling art or doing graphic design), or because you want to expand your horizons and enjoy learning a new craft, then that is something different.  I don’t think anyone would tell you that you shouldn’t.

    If money is your only goal, then consider just doing extra work within Kaiser.  I don’t think reviewing charts is the way to go personally.  If I’m going to do more paperwork, then I’d rather just get paid $125 per hour to be in the hospital.

    My advice would be to start with something that interests you, that you would enjoy working on even if you don’t end up making any money, and try to leverage that into a side gig.  That’s a win-win scenario in my view.  Even if it ends up being a financial failure, you’ve enjoyed doing it, learned some new skills, maybe met some new people.

     

    #220130 Reply
    Avatar BCBiker 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 234
    Joined: 01/10/2016

    Sorry. I don’t know anything about Kaiser… Most hospitals and practice groups have clauses that you cannot practice medicine (i.e. do anything that requires a medical license) and I would assume Kaiser would be strict on that due to brand protection.  But this leaves open many opportunities.

    I think FLP’s perspective if fairly narrow.  There is a lot of value in having peripheral skills that one picks up doing side hustle work.  A practicing physician plus some other skill can open up very lucrative doors if you plan for it.  If money is not an issue, you can even take on things that are high on skill but low on pay.  I also think that learning new skills is fun and exciting compared to same old practice day in and day out. FLP is also incorrect about hourly rate. I’ve made triple the hourly rate of practice consulting (nothing shady just to be clear). By being involved with consulting on product development, one can be in position to take executive level positions (CMO, CTO, CIO) at companies that are going to have salaries 3-10X a practicing physician.

    #220202 Reply
    Avatar Tim 
    Participant
    Status: Accountant
    Posts: 2822
    Joined: 09/18/2018

    “one can be in position to take executive level positions”,
    Leveraging research and product knowledge is extremely valuable with potential. It is a rare bird that can master the skills necessary to commercialize basic research and bring it to market. Incubators are big business. Things like patents, intellectual property rights and disclosure you are well aware of the mine field. So far patents and royalties have proved most successful. Consulting fees tend to dry up, until the next promising research or product pops up. BC Biker, alls it takes is one. Good luck.

    #220233 Reply
    Avatar BCBiker 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 234
    Joined: 01/10/2016

     BC Biker, alls it takes is one. Good luck.

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    Yep.

    #220237 Reply
    fatlittlepig fatlittlepig 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 1111
    Joined: 01/26/2017

    Sorry. I don’t know anything about Kaiser… Most hospitals and practice groups have clauses that you cannot practice medicine (i.e. do anything that requires a medical license) and I would assume Kaiser would be strict on that due to brand protection.  But this leaves open many opportunities.

    I think FLP’s perspective if fairly narrow.  There is a lot of value in having peripheral skills that one picks up doing side hustle work.  A practicing physician plus some other skill can open up very lucrative doors if you plan for it.  If money is not an issue, you can even take on things that are high on skill but low on pay.  I also think that learning new skills is fun and exciting compared to same old practice day in and day out. FLP is also incorrect about hourly rate. I’ve made triple the hourly rate of practice consulting (nothing shady just to be clear). By being involved with consulting on product development, one can be in position to take executive level positions (CMO, CTO, CIO) at companies that are going to have salaries 3-10X a practicing physician.

    Click to expand…

    If you are able to make triple per hour “consulting” that you make as a physician you are surely in the tiny tiny minority of physicians, perhaps you are highly skilled in a sub speciality or whatever. I don’t think that applies to the vast majority of physicians. For the rest of us no side gig is gonna make us more than working as a doctor. On a personal note I could never see myself searching for more work outside of work. After work, going to the gym, running, family time, music, hobbies there is no time left.

    #220239 Reply

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