Paying Surveys for Doctors

Medical surveys are an easy way to make a few bucks at a good hourly rate as a resident or less-than-honest medical student, and there are multiple sites offering surveys to physicians. The caveat is that of course most survey sponsors are typically looking for board-certified physicians with multiple years of experience, particularly in general practice or internal medicine sub-specialties. The flip-side to that caveat is that many sites do not appear to meaningfully verify their respondent’s credentials.1 And, oddly, answers to the screening questions of one study do not seem to be carried forth to determine what studies will be sent your way in the future.

Last updated Dec 2017.

One of the best straight-up survey sites is Sermo, which is a physician-only “online community” and rapidly growing company. Once you maintain a balance of $100 in honoraria, you get preferentially invited to more surveys. If you invite a friend/colleague and they sign up, both you and they get $10 (that’s traditionally called a “win-win”).2Sermo has “temporarily” stopped signup bonuses as of November 2017.

M3 Global Research is about as good as Sermo, though they do have a very irritating habit of putting you through a lot of screening questions (so many that you think you’re answering the survey itself) only to find that you’ve been screened out and wasted a lot of time.

At the resident (and probably student) level, my favorite is Brand Institute, which almost exclusively sends out short surveys about potential drug brand names. Payouts are always on the smaller side ($15), but each one is quick (about $1 per minute or more) and screen-outs are rare. So if you get invited to a survey, then you can generally complete it and get the honoraria. No BS. The main style/format is nearly always the same, so you pick up speed as you do more of them. And that honoraria size is also significantly larger than what one can generally pull as a non-physician (e.g. SurveySavvy, the biggest most popular survey site around, usually pays a measly $2 per survey).

ImpactNetwork and GLG are newer players to the game but are growing fast and may even be better than the more established players like Sermo and M3.

Additional legitimate additional survey sites, many of which are significantly less active, are below:

QuantiaMD is another interesting site (another “clinician community”) that can also earn you few dollars. It’s a big site with CME, interesting cases, educational presentations/videos, discussions, etc. Doing some of the activities on the site earns you “Q-points,” which you can redeem (as a degree-holder) for Amazon gift cards at a rate of at least 1 to $1 (update August 2015: Q-point redemptions are now limited to $150 per calendar year, and the easy 1 Q-point opportunities have become quite rare). You theoretically aren’t able to redeem Q-points if you aren’t a “clinician” (MD, DO, PA, NP, RN, etc), but you can certainly accumulate them even as a medical student prior to later redemption (but they must be redeemed within two years, so you’d have to wait until your third or fourth year to not waste your time). You do need to confirm your clinician status after signing up in order to be able to redeem Q-points. As an incentive, you can still currently earn 10 Q-points/$10 by joining through the link above and then verifying your status as a “clinician” (takes about 2 minutes). Prior to recent Q-point policy change, it was possible to earn a goodly number of Q-points from referring colleagues; now that’s been curtailed.

136 Comments

    • Done. It appears from my end that at least the referral bonus is gone. I don’t know if the referee bonus is also gone; I reached out to Sermo but let me know if you have a chance.

      Reply
      • Aaaaand, Sermo says they have “temporarily” stopped referral bonuses entirely.

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