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Dermatology Online Journal

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Moonlighting in residency: a dermatology perspective


Background: Moonlighting refers to the practice of medicine outside one’s training institution in exchange for financial compensation. High medical debt-to-income ratios drive residents to seek additional compensation during residency.

Objective: To gather information to establish the current practices of moonlighting and to better understand the thoughts and experiences of dermatology residency program directors regarding moonlighting.

Methods: All allopathic and osteopathic dermatology residency program directors in the United States and Puerto Rico received a blinded survey between February 1, 2017 and April 1, 2017 through an email link.

Results: Response rate was 47.0%. Of the programs that responded, 63.16% allowed moonlighting. In three regions, 100% of programs allowed moonlighting. The geographic area with the lowest percentage of programs permitting moonlighting was New England with 25%.

Limitations: This survey only reflects the field of dermatology and beliefs/policies of program directors.

Conclusion: This survey highlighted that training programs allowing moonlighting tend to have a more positive outlook on the practice than programs who do not. Results revealed trends that suggest that states in regions with less access to dermatologic care were more inclined to allow moonlighting.

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