It’s getting harder to keep track of my income because there are multiple sources now. For which I’m grateful. More importantly, it’s money that’s coming in for work which I enjoy doing. I’ll talk about my August 2019 income as a digital nomad physician, here.
My days are still quite unstructured which is good and bad. One day I’m recording podcast episodes and another I’m chatting with clients on Skype. I talk to my own telemedicine patients and see patients for Dial Care and answer questions on JA.
I also am learning Spanish at a language school. And I’m learning machine learning and marketing my own telemedicine practice.
Let’s dive right in. Here are my August 2019 income sources.
#1. Just Answer – $4,300
Still a great source of income for me. I log in every day or every other day and answer a few questions. It’s down to a science now, and I know which questions to take and which to avoid – the best times to log in and which questions to opt out of.
I probably spent about 20 hours a month on JA. Most of the time I am doing other things while I wait for client replies.
#2. Healthcare Consulting – $2,500
The healthcare consulting work earned me roughly $2,500. I send out my invoices at the end of the month so I don’t always get paid the same month.
Limiting myself to 5 clients allows me to focus my free time on learning. October 2019 was the first month that I said no to a potential client.
The consulting is a mix of monthly retainers and phone consults that I do. The majority of my clients are CEO’s/CMO’s and the occasional lone doctor who is looking to start a business or expand it.
#3. Digital Products – $900
I sold $900 worth of digital products from the website – that’s 3 tutorials. By the time I pay platform fees, it’s $650.
I’m happy with the income, though I thought it would grow faster. I think I need to spend more time marketing it and it’s not something I want to spend my time doing right now.
#4. My Own Telemedicine Company – $240
$240 for 3 visits. I’m trying different payment models with this business. I am going to increase the cost but need to first grow my customer base.
I want to copy the Direct Primary Care model and charge a monthly fee for unlimited access to me as a virtual primary care doctor. But do I want to be responsible for 20 patients, or 50, or 100?
It’s fulfilling seeing your own patients on your own platform. There is truly no middle-person there.
#5. Telemedicine for Dial Care – $150
Their volumes are a little lower but I enjoy the patients who call in and they seem to be a great company to work for. But I thought the same about Kaiser and Doctor on Demand and got screwed by them royally.
I suppose the advice is that you should expect a business to behave like a business – they have to protect their bottom line. What we can do as physicians is have an alternate income source, just in case.
My August 2019 Income
My August 2019 income could have been higher, sure. But this is a stage in my medical career that I need to focus more on doing the things I care about and less on the things that make me money.
For example, I could spend more hours on JA or market the shit out of my digital products. But that won’t get me closer to where I want to be.
As for where I want to be. It seems that I’m gravitating towards Health IT. Probably not in the traditional sense. I think I can learn the curriculum myself. And on the side I can slowly grow my virtual primary care telemedicine company.
2 replies on “August 2019 Income for a Digital Nomad Physician”
Nice to read, that dour digital product income goes up and up 🙂
Do you think the justanswer.com option is just so lucrative in the US or in europe or anywhere else also? I checked the german justanswer.de and it seems that there are just a few doctors and patient. The US justanswer seems not possible for non-us degree physicians.
It would be also so great to know if there are international telemedicine companies out there, who not exclusively hire physicians with a us university degree ( for example a german 🙂 one )
There are international telemedicine companies out there but the parent company has a child company in another country. So they operate completely independently. Because countries fight wars and shed blood to protect their borders, I doubt there will ever be a truly international anything. I can’t even download my basic apps with my phone when it’s set to a different country code.
But this is a great opportunity for yourself to start your own telemedicine company as we’ve discussed before. It’s either you or someone else.
As healthcare rules become more strict, there will be more companies like JA which will offer medical advice without enter an actual patient-doctor relationship – other examples are and zocdoc and . Many will build their own AI screening system and go from there.
Since you’re already looking into this space so early in your career, I wouldn’t suggest that you look for trading your time and clinical knowledge on an individual basis with patients – it’s ineffective and inefficient. Look into building something bigger and get inspiration from what other telemedicine companies are doing and websites such as figure1.com