Should You Take on a Side Hustle?

side hustle

*This post may contain affiliate links. This mean if you purchase through the link I will receive a small commission at no cost to you. It is the way sites like this are funded, but does introduce a conflict of interest.  

Side hustles have taken the world by storm over recent years. The humble concept of a second job has been rebranded. Side hustles are often more than a second job, as they usually have non-financial benefits. You may learn new skills, have more schedule flexibility, open opportunities for networking or be location independent working. A side hustle may provide opportunities to “Try before you buy” a new career or employer. The type of side hustle that will suit you will depend on:

  1. Your objectives
  2. Your skills
  3. What you enjoy

What are Good Side Hustles Ideas?

SIDE HUSTLE OBJECTIVE 1: NEED TO BOOST CASH FLOW ASAP

These side hustles are most appropriate for those wanting to boost cash flow for a specific short-term goal. These side hustlers may want to reduce their dependence on student loans, payback debt or save up a home or 1st investment property deposit.

Extra hours at your usual employer is often the easiest and fastest way to earn extra cash. This may not be available to you, or the non-financial benefits of other side hustles may also appeal.

1. Assistant in Nursing

This is an ideal work experience for healthcare students. The pay is pretty good, and you will pick up skills and experience looking after patients and being to network with staff.

I spent my medical school pre-clinical years working part-time as an assistant in nursing. I picked up practical skills, improved my communication and learned how to not annoy the nursing staff! Getting on with nursing staff is critical to doing well as a junior (and senior) doctor.

Lifting and washing people, or being patient with a confused patient for an 8-hour shift can be hard, physical work. But it gives you a more realistic view of what working in healthcare is like.

2. Tutoring

Tutoring 1st year university or school students is an ideal side hustle for more experienced students. Tutors need to be patient and able to explain tricky concepts well. You can sign up with an existing tutoring platform or produce an advertisement for your local Facebook marketplace or university billboard.

As well as the hourly rate, you will hopefully meet some great students and their parents. If you get on well with students and provide great value, you may get a series of referrals to other students.

3. Cleaning

Sometimes physical hard work is the perfect antidote for too many hours on the books.

You could take a job cleaning your university or sign up with a domestic agency. Once you are familiar with a cleaning routine, very little thinking is needed to get the job done. This time can double as study time if you are organised enough to prepare a list of high-value podcasts. Perfect for those who like to learn by listening and keeping their hands busy. Ironing also lends itself to watching video lectures quite nicely (as long as you don’t get distracted!).

4. ChildCare

Are you good with kids? If you love to play, have first aid qualifications and are happy to apply for a working with children card, this could be the perfect side hustle. Plenty of professional households need a reliable, responsible and fun babysitter they can call. Excluding those who want a full-time nanny, hours are likely to be evenings and weekends, around school or daycare.

Hospitals are full of staff struggling to fill childcare gaps! Having a university student available to work evenings and weekends can be a perfect solution. Again, word spreads quickly amongst staff, and you are likely to end up with more referrals than you can cope with if you are particularly good with kids (and parents).

Advertise locally on FB marketplace, through an agency, or during work placements ask your supervisor if you can display a poster.

5. EBay or Facebook Marketplace

Selling good quality items you no longer need, including your old textbooks can produce cash pretty quickly. Over the longer term, buying undervalued items locally and selling them at a higher price can be a profitable and good use of your Saturday if you enjoy it and need some extra cash.

Items brought and sold can range from books to cars. The larger the investment, the more risk involved. Make sure you know enough about the items you are buying to reliably make a profit. If you have the skills, you can “Upcycle” items (eg cars, furniture) for a larger profit margin.

6. House and Pet Sitting

This is money for jam in my opinion! Imagine being paid just to stay in a home for free and walk a dog daily! An ideal “job” for retirees, students and other location independent people. Small amounts of money are involved, but free accommodation is a massive saving (and is tax-free). This can be an amazing and cheap way to travel. There is probably less demand than usual with the pandemic, but this should improve over time.

This one is probably not for those that don’t like animals, most housesitting jobs involve animal care.

7. Rent a Spare Room

Renting a room can produce some passive side income, but relies on a good tenant screening process to make sure everyone gets along.

8. Rent Out Your Home

Those in an area in demand for short-term rentals can utilise Air BnB to rent out their home whilst they are away on holidays. If you are renting rather than owning your home, this needs to be cleared by your landlord. Both owners and renters need to check their insurance will cover this.

9. Renting Out Your Things

Do you own anything expensive that doesn’t get used very often? Car owners can now rent out their vehicle when it’s not in use. Insurance and terms and conditions need to be examined closely. Make sure you think through the consequences if a renter destroys your car. I have never rented my car and can see the potential for big problems so proceed with caution.

10. Optimise Points and Cash back

Make sure you are taking advantage of your points. Supermarket points can be saved up for air travel or hotels, but not many of us are doing very much of that this year! You could do worse than living on your flybuys for grocery shopping for a week or two to save some cash.

Cashback involves being paid back tiny amounts of money for purchases, as long as you click through the right links. I found it too much hassle and the cash accumulated never reached the payout point before I lost interest. I did like the RAIZ rewards though. Any cashback earned through clicking through their links is automatically invested within a reasonable time period. Probably not worth having a RAIZ account just for this but if you’re looking for a robo-advisor/micro-investment app, this is an added bonus for RAIZ.

SIDE HUSTLE OBJECTIVE 2: WANT TO BUILD A LONG-TERM SUSTAINABLE INCOME STREAM

You have probably heard that wealthy individuals generally have multiple streams of income. Diversifying the source of income makes sense for most households. Relying on a single high earner with a stay at home spouse with plenty of liabilities puts a family in an extremely vulnerable situation if anything happens to that single high income.

Producing a meaningful income stream to take the pressure of a high-income earner takes time though. In the meantime income protection is a must for those vulnerable families heavily relying on a single income.

1. Utilize Your Professional Skills Outside the Workplace.

Apart from taking on extra hours at work, this is the second-fastest way to produce significant income. It has the advantage of at least diversifying your income away from a single employer. If you have a health catastrophe however and can no longer do this sort of work, freelance or locum work provides no protection.

It can be used to meet short-term goals such as funding that property deposit, or used long term to augment income and produce non-financial benefits. These extra benefits include networking, trying a new employer before you commit and getting a different point of view on problems that you may be able to utilise in your original workplace.

You will need to check that there are no restrictions in your contract on working for others before commencing. Risking your main source of income by breaking the rules is definitely not worthwhile!

Employees also need to make sure they are not damaging long-term career prospects by taking on work that may damage their reputation. You also need to make sure any extra work is not impairing your ability in your primary employment (eg fatigue).

– Doctors Considering Locumwork

For doctors PGY 3 and up, locum work is possible. You definitely need to check with your employer that this is acceptable and ensure your sick leave and fatigue levels are not impacted. Be aware, there is often lower levels of supervision in hospitals requiring locums. You need enough knowledge and experience to work mostly independently.

For those this is appropriate for, this is an easy and reasonably fast way to earn extra cash.

There is lots of paperwork and online handwashing modules to get through before you are allowed to work. The health services are variable in the time taken to pay, but 30 days is quite common. It’s worth checking reviews of the hospitals on this locum doctor facebook page.

2. Invest in Property or Shares

Investing is arguably the ultimate, most profitable side hustle whilst taking up little of your time. A significant passive income stream is very possible with this route but takes years to build.

This is for the patient planners who are willing to put in some work up front, and a little ongoing effort each year to build a side income that you can eventually retire on. The concept of making your money work for you is key to building real wealth.

Don’t expect investing to pay for next year’s holiday, but if you can delay gratification and build an investment portfolio it will produce an income stream forever if managed well.

The Stock market is designed to transfer money from the Active to the Patient

Warren Buffet

I spent a while working out which to invest in, property vs shares. The most important issue with either is to avoid screwing it up. Instead of chasing 0.1% higher returns makes sure you don’t lose all your money. Consider risk first.

3. Start an Online Business

This is a long-term play that has no guarantees of actually producing income but has unlimited potential. It also involves learning a (for some of us a completely novel) set of skills and creating an income stream completely separate from your primary income source.

You have complete autonomy running your own online business, schedule flexibility and location independence. It can also become an obsession, taking over every waking hour available and distracting you from the ones you love if you’re not careful.

Unless you have done this before, and have significant knowledge and skills in website design, SEO and marketing this is not a side hustle that will produce significant income fast.

You can use pre-existing platforms to sell videos such as online lectures on your area of expertise. In this way, you can potentially scale your skills as a tutor. Pre-existing platforms such as Udemy have an audience already so can speed up the production of income significantly, but limit income potential. They make the process far easier than learning how to build a website, attract an audience and market yourself from scratch. But if the platform closes, you have to start from scratch as you have lost your audience.

4. Sell Your Skill

Do you have a special skill? Are you good at drawing, enjoy making jewellery or obsessed with photography? Crafts can be sold on several platforms including Etsy, Facebook marketplace and photography platforms.

Physical products are more difficult to scale but can produce some regular income. These can also be sold locally, to friends and at local craft fairs. If anyone is selling selection boxes of hand-drawn modern birthday cards, send me a message!

This type of work is very schedule flexible, and location independent. There is no guarantee of income though, particularly if this is the first time you have attempted anything like this.

Digital downloads are more scalable, but of course, there is a lot more competition in this space. And some products aren’t well suited to being downloadable (nice quality birthday cards, for instance).

If you want to draw and sell your paintings, go ahead. For high income earners, these kind of side hustles are less financially efficient but may be driven by enjoyment, passion and desire to learn new skills or challenge oneself

5. Scuba diving / Skiing instructor

How awesome does this sound?! You obviously need to spend some money on getting qualified to teach, and I suspect this means you end up earning not a great deal.

It’s basically a working holiday, where hopefully you have a complete blast, meet loads of people interested in the same things as you and get to do lots of your beloved activity.

I recently saw an advertisement for a doctor to work at one of the Australian Ski resorts. It was paid (although not well) and included accommodation, ski passes etc.

Side Hustles & Tax

If you receive income from any source, you have to pay income tax. Whether you rent out a room or start a business, whether you get income paid to a bank account via an ABN or through Paypal. You can, however, claim costs against income once you are clearly carrying on a business aimed at producing a profit.

Side hustles that save money rather than earn it do not attract income tax. So living in free accommodation as a house sitter is a particularly efficient way of “paying” for housing.

– Remember to Save the Tax!

PAYG employees are not used to thinking about tax at any time apart from end of financial year. If you are earning business income, tax will need to be paid.

If side hustle income exceeds $75,000 per year, you will have to register for GST and lodge BAS (business activity statement) and pay tax quarterly.

Most side hustles will earn less than $75,000. There is no need to register for BAS and you can pay your tax bill annually. You must remember to put aside the tax from each pay! It’s easy to have a separate account (ideally offset) for your tax to go into. Round up what you think you will owe in tax and keep it in this account. Watch out for the surprise division 293 and superannuation excess contribution charges that come sometime after your income tax return.

If you have a mortgage your tax to be paid can sit in an offset account for often over a year, saving you significant amounts of interest on your home mortgage.

If you get paid for work in July 2021, for example, you don’t even have to submit your tax return until October 2022. The ATO will give you a due date for paying a tax bill at the time, which could be as late as March 2023. As long as you don’t accidentally spend your tax, this money sitting in is sitting in your offset saving you interest for up to 20 months!

Claiming your home interest for use of your home in producing income can change the capital gains tax exemption eligibility of your home when you sell. Speak to your accountant to clarify your personal situation.

When Side hustles are a Bad Idea

The worst outcome would be for a side hustle to threaten your main source of income, or delay career progression. To avoid this you need to make sure you have your employers blessings and are not exhausting yourself. Knowing the limits of what you can commit to is an important skill.

You also shouldn’t start a side hustle because it seems the thing to do. Life is for living. Side hustles should be taken on short-term if you just need a cash flow boost to fund a property purchase or start an investment, or over the long-term if it is based around an activity you love and want to do more of.

Actively avoid taking on work you don’t enjoy over the long-term just for cash. Try and pivot into things you enjoy more, or give up the cash for more fun.

The benefits of a side hustle need to be weighed carefully against the time commitment. Side hustles can help you save money for a goal, develop new skills, maintain employment flexibility, increase your social group or build an extra long term income stream. Will you take on a side hustle? Which will you choose and why?

Aussie Doc Freedom is not a financial adviser and does need offer any advice.  Information on this website is purely a description of my experiences and learning.  Please check with your independent financial adviser or accountant before making any changes.

How Much do Doctors Earn in Australia?

This article may contain affiliate links. If there are any in this article they are marked *. An affiliate link means if you click on the link and purchase a product, at no extra cost to yourself, I will receive a small commission.

If you are final year medical student, you’re probably in plenty of debt. and looking forward to being paid.  Society tells us doctors earn a lot of money and own flash cars and mini-mansions.  But how much do doctors in Australia really earn?  Are your expectations realistic?

Interns receive gross pay of $65,000- $75,000.  This is a little under the Australian mean average of $89K, but often more than the median income of $66K. 

Doctors’ pay increases in the public system for each additional year of experience (up to a point). 

Larger pay increases occur when a doctor is promoted a level e.g. from internship to residency.

In this article I have adjusted my income from PGY1 to PGY9 for inflation as an example.

The pay on a job offer can bear little relation to the actual pay received.  Base pay is affected by many factors included in your award. 

Each state has a different award / package. Penalty rates paid for working weekends, evenings and overtime often make for highly variable pay fortnight to fortnight.

How much do Doctors Earn in Australia: Different Specialties

A significant pay increase usually occues with the step up to specialist status.

From ATO data last reported in 2016-17, doctors declared gross income between $200,000 and $400,000. 

An average GP specialist can earn $200,000 per annum, with wide 95% confidence intervals! 

Surgeons, anaesthetists and cardiologists tend to be the highest paid, grossing ~$500,000. 

Due to our progressive tax system, the difference between gross $400,000 and $500,000 is net $54,000.

NSW health income is described in more detail in this article

How Much do Doctors Earn: Private vs Public

There is theoretically no upper limit to private income.  Private specialists can earn more than in public hospitals, particularly if they are a procedural specialty. 

Pay upwards of $500,000 sounds amazing, but can come with work-life balance challenges. 

These specialists (along with GPs) are self-employed, so miss out on paid leave and professional development packages.  They can struggle to take holidays and have no guaranteed income.  Overhead costs such as rent and staff wages continue regardless of income (this became an issue during COVID-19 lockdowns). 

On the plus side, private work can provide opportunities to be your own boss, escape public hospital management and have more autonomy. Owning your own business also has potential tax advantages over being paid “Personal services income” as an employee or sole trader.

How Much do Doctors Earn in Australia vs Elsewhere in the World

Compensation for Australian doctors is generous. 

Pay is generally higher than in the UK.  It is not as lucrative as in the US,  but American graduates are commonly saddled with hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. 

The Australia healthcare system, although far from perfect, is in my opinion, a close to happy medium between the socialist ideals but chronically underfunded NHS, and the profit driven system in the US. 

Have you worked elsewhere in the world and want to add your perspective to pay and conditions?  Please add your comments below.

How Much do Doctors Earn: More than Enough

Whether your final wage is $200K or $500K, you will be among the highest paid professions in Australia.  Any variation within this range, and you have pretty much won the lottery of life!

But income does not equal wealth.  There are high earning professionals who don’t save or accumulate wealth.  The average earner would laugh at the suggestion  a specialist could spend all their earnings and fail to save for emergencies, extended holidays and retirement.  Lotto winners and MC Hammer teach us, there is literally no limit to the amount of money an individual can blow!

“Adaptation” means we pretty quickly get used to new luxuries, no longer appreciating them, but feel deprived if they are removed.  They become the new normal. 

An upgrade in the wine you drink from a cheap and cheerful $10 bottle (or box!) to a $20 bottle seems reasonable.  But a similar upgrade in every area of your life doubles your expenses.  Once the upgrades are applied to big ticket items (houses and cars) this becomes very significant.

Lifestyle inflation is so insidious it leaves many perplexed about where their income vanishes.  Living the new normal, people tend to look for the next luxury to treat themselves with (YOLO). 

Welcome to the hedonic treadmill – it doesn’t get you anywhere fast!  At some point, lifestyle upgrades seem excessive, greedy and ridiculous (private jet anyone?)  I suspect this is always a few levels above the one we’re personally at! 

The end result is that professionals’ decades into well-paying careers can be left with inadequate retirements savings to fund their lavish lifestyles. 

How Much do Doctors Earn: Expectations vs Reality

I vividly remember my “Last” economy long-haul flight after final year of medical school.  It was a cramped, uncomfortable and pretty miserable 24 hours.   I enjoyed the thought that this would be the last time I flew so far in economy.  Doctors are rich after all! 

I have still never flown anything above economy, 15+ years into my career.  Paying triple or more for the comfort of business class is hard to justify.  My income (along with everyone else’s) is limited.  Everyone has to choose what they prioritize, although many of us don’t realise this for decades.

Society has firm expectations that doctors are “Rich”.  I had certainly internalized that, and I think many others do.  It can lead to an expectation that you can afford anything and everything you desire. 

“My priorities were out of order”

MC Hammer
Please tell me you know who MC Hammer is. Am I that old??

Even Above Average Income Earners Need to Make Some Effort

There are low income workers who hustle hard and grow impressive wealth through investments. 

It is no doubt far easier to build financial freedom with a higher income, but it will not happen automatically. 

Everyone has to put conscious effort into managing income effectively in order to find balance between YOLO and financial freedom.

For me, financial freedom means having savings to cover emergencies (e.g. COVID-19 shutdown) and make lifestyle decisions independent of financial implications (e.g. 6-12 months off work for travel, changing to a lower paid but more enjoyable job). 

The financial independence crowd call this “FU” money! What does financial freedom mean to you?

How to Use your Above Average Income Effectively

Taxation makes working for income less and less efficient as you earn more. 

The progressive tax system in Australia means you are paid less net per hour as your income increases.  Once you are paying 46% tax you’re real hourly rate is almost halved! 

Not relevant if you love your job and want to work full time or more forever. 

But if you would prefer to work fewer hours, or take extra leave unpaid or want to leave that as an option later if your priorities change, it is worth considering limiting your spending within tax efficiency.

Many doctors end up with crippling financial commitments.

Your choice of home and car are the most powerful factors in how much you are able to save and invest. Weigh the luxury big ticket items very consciously against the freedom you are losing as a result.

Consumerism and the Environment

Many doctors wish to make a positive impact on the environment.  Buying a keep cup is a real token effort when you are purchasing new cars every few years, and online shopping for luxuries every week. 

Living frugally, minimising waste, taking local holidays more often and making your own coffee in an actual mug all benefit your finances and the environment.

Hang Out with People on the Same Path

The people around us have a huge effect on how we think and act. If you’re surrounded by doctors
comparing the latest BMW models, and other luxury items you will find yourself
thinking of this lifestyle as the expected norm.

Surround yourself with average earners, and your expectations will be lower and grip on reality stronger! The average Australian household (with 2.4 people) spent $74K in 2016. That’s ~ $80K this year accounting for inflation. 

How does your spending compare?    

I hope no-one really chooses friends based on their income! But try not to hang around doctors all the time. If you’re keen to start saving more, find a savings facebook group you like.  You will find great ideas for how to gradually increase your savings by hanging out with others trying to do the same. 

Subscribe to this blog for reminders to keep you on course.

Get your Spending Under Control

Every household needs an effective money management system. 

Below is my very simple system that compensates for the lumpy income many of us recieved.

Scott Pape has a detailed system in his excellent book – The Barefoot Investor 2019 is currently on sale at Amazon*.

In my opinion(and many other doctors) the number one financial management book in Australia, and it’s currently on sale!

Spend the time to work out a financial plan.  This really involves deciding on your priorities. There is never enough income to pay for everything (In my experience).  This forces you to cut low value spending.  You will review this every year, so can always change the goals as life changes. Working towards any goal will generally get you ahead faster than drifting aimlessly.

Doctors in Australia are paid well, but usually not enough to buy everything society expects.

Utilize the opportunity afforded by average income by managing your money effectively.  Spend it on what you decide is a priority.

Appreciate your position of privilege and Pay it Forward in a way that is meaningful to you.  Giving others a hand up inevitably gives the giver far more joy than a stupid flash car.

Work for the love of what you do, not for the money to cover your ridiculous mortgage.

Aussie Doc Freedom is not a financial adviser and does need offer any advise.  Information on this website is purely a description of my experiences and learning.  Please check with your independent financial adviser or accountant before making any changes.

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Benefits of Remote Medicine: Why, When and How

Have you worked in a regional or rural area? Are you planning a career in remote medicine?  

Many believe all doctors should try out rural medicine at some time during their careers. 

Some understanding of the conditions and resources available to your rural colleagues will give you a far better ability to coordinate patient care in the future.

Why Work in Regional or Rural Medicine

There are many benefits to getting out of the big city. 

There is of course a huge difference between regional, rural and remote.  Regional towns have most amenities of big cities, with reasonable transport links and often large hospitals. 

Rural and remote towns can be an hour drive to a big city, or an RFDS flight away from anything resembling a large centre. 

There is usually lots of clinical variety in a more rural setting.  Junior doctors get to step away from administrative duties to assess and treat, as well as practice procedural skills. 

There is more independence and autonomy on offer.  Although still supervised, a rotation in rural medicine is a good opportunity to practice stepping up. 

Local communities in smaller town often have a buzzing social calendar that compensates for the lack of expensive entertainment and retail. 

Rural doctors often enjoy the closer relationships and mentorship with senior medical staff, and a deeper connection with the local community. 

Many of these regional and remote locations are in stunning areas.  If you’re more into hiking and waterfalls than lattes and nightclubs, you will find plenty of entertainment on days off. 

Check out this rural doctor post about remote medicine from beautiful Thursday Island.

Financial Benefits of Regional or Remote Medicine

Most professionals outside medicine are paid significantly more to work in the big centres of Australia.  Sydney and Melbourne are the place, but suffer a very high cost of living.  

Doctors are needed everywhere in Australia, with smaller towns often having difficulty recruiting and retaining skilled staff. 

Many specialties have the option of metropolitan or a regional centre, and general practitioners can obviously work wherever they like. 

The pay for a GP or more general specialist (general medicine, anaesthetics, emergency, general surgery) is not necessarily less in a regional or rural setting. 

In some circumstances, doctors can be rewarded with more pay as an incentive to leave the big smoke to work in a smaller centre.  Skilled doctors often feel more appreciated in smaller locations.    

The difference in cost of living between big cities and regional or rural areas is an important factor to consider. 

The largest expense in most households is housing.  Transport and food are runner up expenses for Australian households.  Reducing the amount a household spends on the three biggest expenses is one of the most powerful ways to build financial security and eventual wealth.

Housing

Accommodation purchase prices and rentals tend to be dramatically cheaper in smaller cities and towns.  The median house price in Sydney is over 1 million dollars! 

Even at our current record low interest rates (3%) the mortgage repayment for the median house (100% Loan to value ratio) would come to ~ $4226 per month!  A mortgage for $500,000 would currently cost you around $2116 per month, leaving over $1000savings monthly to invest.  Some locations may even subsidise accommodation. 

The caveat to this is that houses in regional and remote areas may not benefit from the same capital growth you can expect from a carefully selected capital city property.  A house purchase is a massive financial decision, with long term consequences.  Consider carefully whether your location is a good place to purchase a property, and whether renting, or rent vesting may be a better option for you.

Commuting Time and Cost and Groceries

Traffic in smaller cities and towns tends to be far less severe than that in the big cities (although locals everywhere will still moan bitterly about horrendous traffic)! 

Coming from Sydney or Melbourne, you will usually find a far shorter commute and hours of time freed up a week as a result.   With a far shorter commute (or a bike ride), travel costs are also significantly reduced, and more importantly time freed up for more important hobbies.

Food can, however, be significantly more expensive in rural (not so much regional) towns. 

When is the Best time to Try Regional or Remote Medicine?

As A Resident Medical Officer

By PGY 3, most junior doctors are into the groove of hospital medicine, becoming more independent and considering stepping up to registrar. 

A rural rotation at this point, in my opinion, is a fantastic opportunity to practice stepping up in a location with lower acuity patients. 

This will allow a doctor to take on more responsibility and develop independence in decision making.  These are skills crucially required for working as a registrar, many would agree the most difficult transition in the journey to specialisation. 

If your single, without dependents it is obviously a lot easier to move around than to uproot a young family.  Early in your career is a great time to indulge that inner travel bug and see more of this great country (once COVID-19 restrictions lift)!

Trying rural medicine at this stage also provides opportunity to change careers if you fall in love with living and working outside of the city, before you have wasted time and money on exams.

As a Registrar

Life often gets pretty serious as a registrar, with postgraduate exams, increased responsibility and often marriage and babies often mean not much sleep between night shifts!

Life may be too busy to fit in a move, but if you get the chance an opportunity to work in your regional network before starting as a consultant, it will give you far better insight into the conditions and resources available to your rural colleagues, allowing you to provide better advise, coordination and education.  

Locum Doctors

Doctors often take time out of training to travel and locum around Australia. This is a wonderful opportunity to see more of this enormous and varied country, and check out some regional and rural medicine along the way.

Accommodation and travel expenses to the work place will usually be covered, allowing long stretches of time without accommodation costs.

I have little doubt that anyone who undertakes a year of adventurous work doesn’t have an amazing time, meet lots of new friends and develop into a better doctor as a result.

Retirement

The term “Geographic arbitrage” means moving to a different location to take advantage of lower costs of living.  It’s why so many retirees move to countries like Thailand, Bali and South America. 

But it doesn’t have to be an international move.  Many older Sydney residents have benefited from the property boom over the past 20 years.  Many have sold up to relocate to cheaper towns, freeing up plenty of equity to retire in luxury with.

So even if you want to become sub-specialised and want to enjoy the career and research opportunities the tertiary centres have to offer, geoarbitrage can be something you utlise at the end of your career.

How to get into Regional or Remote Medicine

Almost all hospitals are linked to a regional network, and often organise rotations out to rural hospitals from their junior doctor pool.  These rotations can be very popular, so express interest early. 

Locum agencies are advertising work opportunities all the time, mostly for regional centres and rural towns.  There are several such agencies, “Locum Doctors Australia” is a facebook group you can join and ask for agency recommendations.

Regional and rural medicine offer great opportunities to develop skills, increase responsibility and see more of Australia.  As an added benefit, pay can be excellent with far lower cost of living than in the major capital cities.  This kind of geographic arbitrage is a powerful lever to pull in order to accelerate your journey to financial freedom.  It would be a shame to miss out!