By Dr. Jim Dahle, WCI Founder

It's a simple proposition. You have valuable knowledge and can always use a little extra money. Various companies want that knowledge and are willing to pay for it. Why not get the two parties together and make a deal that causes them both to be better off? You can take surveys for money. You can make money taking online surveys. Online surveys for cash. Got it?


Recommended Physician Survey Companies

So, which companies should you try out? Here are the ones we recommend. Note that we have an affiliate relationship with each of these companies. If you sign up with them, we get paid a few bucks. Thank you for going through these links to support the mission of The White Coat Investor. You also sometimes get a special deal by going through these links that you can't get by going directly to the company.

#1 Sermo

Sermo is the largest global healthcare professional network, connecting more than 1.3 million HCPs across 96+ specialties. With high-paying opportunities focused on current medical topics like innovative treatments, medical device reviews and AI, members can earn over $15,000.

Last year, Sermo paid $20 million to members and offers flexible payment options including direct deposit, PayPal, gift cards or charity donation. Members conveniently complete surveys using the simple, mobile-friendly interface or interviews.

For physicians, Sermo also provides a social community for patient case collaboration, CME opportunities, medical news, lifestyle discussions, and the world's largest searchable database of drug ratings from verified doctors.

 Sign Up for Sermo today!


#2 Incrowd

InCrowd’s 5-10 minute MicroSurveys use a mobile-first approach, giving physicians an easy way to participate in paid research on diverse healthcare topics. It’s medical research designed for physician schedules. Incrowd will take people from all of these fields:

  • Active Physician
  • Nurse Practitioner (NP)
  • Nurse (BSN, LPN, RN, CNA)
  • Physician Assistant
  • Hospital Administrator
  • Psychology
  • Optometry
  • Pharmacists and Staff
  • Managed Care
  • Dentistry
  • Practice Managers
  • Dental Hygienists
  • Medical Resident or Fellow
  • Veterinarian
  • Genetic Counselor

Incrowd pays via Paypal or Tango (gift cards). It pays for surveys every time your balance reaches $25 and for interviews within 24 hours.

Sign Up for Incrowd today!


#3 Zoom Rx

ZoomRx surveys are quick, easy and tailored to your specialty. If you need to step away for a second you can automatically pick up where you left off the next time you log in. You can choose PayPal as your payment method and get paid instantly. Or they offer payment by check.

Sign Up for Zoom Rx today!


#4 Opinion Site

Join OpinionSite to share your expert feedback on new products, patient treatment trends and issues impacting the everyday lives of healthcare professionals. Participate in a wide array of engaging surveys and interviews. Your personal information and privacy are fully protected at all times. Digital payment tools provide a quick and easy way to redeem the rewards you earn for participating in research. It takes less than 5 minutes to join and once your membership is approved they will begin matching you with the meaningful medical research that fits your interests, with invites being sent to your inbox whenever a new research opportunity matches your profile.

OpinionSite accepts:

Active Physician
Nurse Practitioner (NP)
Nurse (BSN, LPN, RN, CNA)
Physician Assistant
Hospital Administrator
Pharmacists and Staff
Managed Care
Practice Managers
Dental Hygienists
Medical Resident or Fellow
Genetic Counselor
Technician, Technologist, and Imaging

OpinionSite accepts healthcare professionals in the US, Canada, UK, and EU.

Sign Up for Opinion Site Today!


#5 MDForLives

MDForLives accepts all specialties and residents. Plus those without NPI: Decision Makers- Directors, Managers, C-Suite Executives, Hospital Admins, Lab Admins, Optometrists, Payers, Healthcare Regulators, and Veterinarians. It is all on an app for both Android and iPhone, making it super convenient to do surveys on your phone during downtime. MDforLives pays monthly via Visa and Amazon vouchers. Surveys pay $50-$500. If you sign up via these WCI links, you'll get a $20 sign-up bonus.

The MDforLives recruitment team will require 2-3 working days to validate your details and approve your registration. It takes approximately 4-6 weeks to validate your survey responses. Please reach out to [email protected] for any inquiries related to signup or surveys. They will respond to all queries within 2-3 business days. If you encounter any issues during the signup process, share a screenshot of the error page with their support team and they will assist you.

Sign Up for MDForLives Today!


#6 All Global Circle

Register with All Global Circle to help drive meaningful change and receive a $25 welcome bonus.

All Global Circle is an established panel of healthcare professionals from the world’s leading and most influential markets, including America, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain.

As a panel member, you’ll get access to tailored and rewarding online surveys and medical studies for physicians. Your participation in our studies influences healthcare outcomes in these selected regions.

*In collaboration with M3 Global Research and m-panels, you can receive a $40 or $60 welcome bonus instead of $25 if you register with two or three panels.

Sign Up for All Global Circle Today!


#7 M3 Global Research

Become an M3 member to impact future healthcare developments and receive a $25 welcome bonus.

M3 Global Research is a multinational panel, representing millions of verified healthcare professionals across 18 markets in America, Canada, Brazil, Australia, and throughout Europe, including smaller regions such as the Nordics.

We offer paid market research studies for physicians across a wide range of medical specialties. Our online surveys, digital interviews, and focus groups are compensated, anonymous, and help decision-makers address global healthcare needs.

*In collaboration with All Global Circle and m-panels, you can receive a $40 or $60 welcome bonus instead of $25 if you register with two or three panels.

Sign Up for M3 Global Research Today!


#8 m-panels

Join m-panels to share your local medical expertise and receive a $25 welcome bonus.

m-panels is a specialized panel of healthcare professionals in America and Canada. We enhance patient outcomes and support local communities through customized and market-specific surveys and medical studies.

Our platform enables physicians to make a meaningful impact by sharing their expertise and local medical insights in our studies, while getting compensated.

*In collaboration with M3 Global Research and All Global Circle, you can receive a $40 or $60 welcome bonus instead of $25 if you register with two or three panels.

Sign Up for m-panels Today!


Why Doctors Should Take Paid Surveys 

Why would someone want to become a paid survey-taker? There are a fair number of reasons besides the obvious.


#1 Take Surveys for Money

A surprising number of doctors are looking for a side gig. Multiple streams of income are a good thing. Taking surveys isn't ever going to overtake your clinical practice as your main source of income, but you can make a surprising amount of money doing them as a physician, especially compared to non-physician online survey companies.


#2 Start a Business and Get a Solo 401(k)

Here's another big reason people want to do surveys. If you are an employee at your practice, one big advantage of taking surveys is that you get some self-employment (1099) income. Since you and your employer are completely unrelated employers, that means you can start an individual or solo 401(k). Yes, that's right, you can have more than one 401(k). Assuming you're maxing out the 401(k) at your main gig, you can contribute 20% of what you make doing surveys into the solo 401(k). You can also roll traditional, SEP, and SIMPLE IRAs into it, allowing you to do a Backdoor Roth IRA, at least if Congress continues to allow them after 2021. Be sure to treat the enterprise as a real business. Get an Employee Identification Number and a separate business bank account. Treat its finances separately from your own. Report the income and put any expenses on Schedule C and SE each year.


#3 Make a Difference

These companies really do want to know what you think, so much so that they're willing to pay you for your knowledge and opinion. This influences the products they come out with, how they market those products, and perhaps even what they charge for those products. Most of the time we're talking about medications here, but there are certainly surveys about other products.


#4 Learn About New Products

Let's not kid ourselves. These companies also want to get the word out about their new medications and other products, and they want to develop brand recognition. Why shouldn't you get paid for them to advertise to you? Plus, you'll be up to speed on the latest and greatest.


How Much Can You Make Taking Physician Online Surveys?

It depends on how many surveys you take, how much each survey pays, and how quickly you can take them. No matter how many companies you sign up for, you're not going to get enough surveys that you can spend all day just taking surveys. You have to take them as they come. But it's pretty easy to knock them out during some downtime during the day, while watching TV, while helping with homework in the evening, or while commuting on public transit.

The companies generally send you a check 4-6 weeks after the study or survey is complete. Hourly rates while actually taking the survey range from $60-$300 per hour, although most surveys won't take an hour. If you really make an effort at this, it would not be terribly difficult to make $1,000-$2,000 per month on surveys. In at least one case, WCI columnist Rikki Racela made $30,000 in a year by taking surveys.  An extra $10,000-$20,000 might not be much for a super-efficient and busy plastic surgeon, but it's enough to move the needle for lots of doctors and it is life-changing money for a resident or fellow.


What About the Screen-Outs on Medical Surveys?

One of the biggest complaints of doctors who have tried surveys is that they often get five or 10 questions into the survey only to learn that they will not be paid to take it. They are “screened out.” This can be particularly annoying as it often feels like they already got your opinion and valuable advice just in the screen-out questions and didn't bother compensating you for it. There are a few ways to work around this.


#1 Play the Game

With some experience, you can often figure out what the company is looking for and make sure you screen in, rather than out. Obviously, you don't want to compromise your integrity for $100, but there is some gamesmanship here in the gray areas.


#2 Take a Lot of Surveys Knowing the Screen-Outs Will Happen

You can also view the screen-outs simply as part of the job. Even if you're screened out of 3/4 of the surveys, is it still worth your time? If so, then quit beating yourself up about screen-outs.


#3 Let Market Forces Adjust

These companies know that survey-takers hate being screened out. So they have an incentive to minimize the screen-outs, too. If one company screens you out more than the others, quit taking their surveys and take the ones from companies that don't screen you out. If not enough docs are willing to even try their surveys, it may force these companies to pay you something less than the full survey price when they screen you out. Some companies already do this outside the physician survey space, although they're only paying 5-25 cents for screenouts.


#4 Fill Out Your Profile Completely and Carefully

Many sites allow you to fill out a profile. They use this profile to decide which surveys to send you. The more completely you fill it out, the fewer surveys you will get but also the fewer screen-outs you will get. That means that a much higher percentage of the surveys you do take will go all the way.


#5 Take the Survey Soon

Most companies hiring a survey company only want a certain number of responses. There may be quotas for each type of group—50 emergency docs, 50 family docs, and 50 internists for instance. The sooner you take the survey, the more likely you are to get in before they get their required number of responses.


#6 Read Questions Thoroughly and Don't Rush

Believe it or not, there are people who just click through surveys as quickly as possible to try to get paid. Obviously, the data from those survey-takers is worthless. So the companies actually screen out people who go too fast. Especially if you miss a question such as, “The answer to this question is B. Please select B,” that has been specifically inserted to catch people doing that and screen them out. If the survey is supposed to take 20 minutes, don't finish it in two.


#7 Stick to Short Surveys

Shorter surveys tend to have fewer qualifying questions and may even pay more on an hourly basis.

surveys for money


Does Your Medical Specialty Matter for Online Surveys?

Unfortunately, yes. Years ago when I looked into doing surveys, I discovered that my opinion as an emergency doctor was worth dramatically less than that of an endocrinologist, rheumatologist, neurologist, or dermatologist. Why? Because my main prescriptions are on the Walmart $4 list. If you're prescribing $10,000+ a month biologics, your opinion is a whole lot more valuable than mine! Don't get me wrong, there are surveys for every specialty, but some definitely have an advantage.


What About the Sunshine Act?

Many doctors would prefer their names not appear in the public database of the Sunshine Act, which requires pharmaceutical companies and medical device makers to report all payments and gifts made to physicians. Payments to physicians for participating in pharmaceutical and medical device marketing research are typically made by research companies, instead of manufacturer-sponsors. Those payments are, in most cases, excluded from reporting under the Sunshine Act law.


Do I Have to Pay Taxes on Online Survey Income?

Yes, all earned income is taxable, even if the compensation comes via gift cards. The companies aren't required to send you and the IRS a tax form unless you earn $600+ in a year, but you're required to report it all as income.


Ready to Get Started Taking Surveys?

So, what should you do if you're serious about this? Should you form a company before doing medical surveys?


#1 Get an EIN

The first thing I would do is get an Employer Identification Number (EIN). You don't have to do so. You can simply use your own personal Social Security number. You'll automatically have a sole proprietorship and file a Schedule C for this new business. However, if you want to open a Solo 401(k) to shelter 20% of your survey income, you will need an EIN so you might as well get it now. It's fast and free from the IRS. Seriously, it's super easy. Like 30 seconds easy.


#2 Open a Business Bank Account and Paypal

Next, open a business bank account at your bank or credit union. Get a Paypal account, too, for your new business. Link them together. Route all income and expenses for this business through those accounts. You don't have to do this, but it will make your accounting MUCH easier at tax time.


#3 Sign-Up with All the Companies Above

Which company to sign up with? Sign up with all of them. Why not? It's free and easy. You can sign up with all five in less time than it takes to open a bank account. As time goes on, you will likely find you get more surveys from some than others. That's OK. No harm done. Be sure to use the WCI links above for special deals and to support our mission.


 #4 Return and Give Feedback Below in the Comments

After you gain experience working with these companies, come back and tell your fellow white coat investors about it. Maybe you can inspire another doc to begin doing their own side hustle without having to actually spend much time doing it.

If you are already doing surveys, share your experience. Which companies do you like best and why? Which do you not like so much? What other companies should we add to the list? Which ones pay the most and the quickest? Which are least likely to screen you out? Comment below! If you have specific issues with any of the companies listed here, reach out to . We typically can help you get these resolved in a timely manner.