Paying Surveys for Doctors

Medical surveys are an easy way to make a few bucks at a good hourly rate (well, maybe at least for a resident), 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 sub-specialties. The less experience you have, the more you need to be prepared to get screened out of what seem like promising survey opportunities.

Last updated October 2020.

Reckner Healthcare is one of my favorites, a long-time player with a 30-year history and great survey offerings. Screening questions are generally short and honoraria are high and prompt, even more so if you can do telephone surveys. Definitely worth a sign-up.

Another no-brainer to join is InCrowd, which has a slick app and can also send you survey opportunities by email or text and work well on your phone. These are always of the very short and painless variety (the fastest of all in my experience), so the payouts are small, but it’s good money for the time and basically effortless. You do have to respond quickly before surveys fill up. Being referred (like signing up through that link) will earn you a $10 bonus after you answer your first two microsurveys.

MDforLives is a new company eager to grow its physician panel. Big payouts as much as $500 with less competition for surveys and every new physician signup also gets $10.

M3 Global Research is one of the biggest survey companies, and they’re super active. Any doctor can sign up of course, but they especially need oncologists, neurologists, rheumatologists, and surgeons for their panel. The more you complete your profile, the less often you’ll be screened out of surveys you don’t qualify for.

ZoomRx is also excellent and has a nice app and better/shorter-than-average surveys.

One of the biggest sites is Sermo, which is a physician-only “online community.” Once you maintain a balance of $100 in honoraria, you get preferentially invited to more surveys. It can be hard to get your honoraria balance up to the bonus level, especially if you aren’t in a high demand field like oncology or cardiology. A lot of the well-paying surveys are very arduous.

At the resident level, one of my old favorites has been 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). The website, however, is clunky and terrible. You’ve been warned.

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

144 Comments

  1. I’d like to join if possible! I am a medical student though, but we can accumulate points for now until we are board certified?
    Thanks!

    Reply
  2. Julia,

    You won’t be able to join Sermo without finishing school, but you can certainly join QuantiaMD and accumulate points gradually by completing the activities. Then, once you finish up medical school, you’ll be able to confirm your “clinician status” and redeem your points (which is what I did). Basically as long as you log in once a year, the Q-points don’t expire. I actually can’t remember offhand anymore the vetting process for MDLinx or Brand institute, which are the other two I’ve had success with.

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  3. Is it just me or does Sermo suck these days? I swear I haven’t gotten a survey from them in several months.

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  4. Sermo is a bit irregular, with frequency depending a lot what specialty you’ve provided. Having $100 in honoraria saved up to reach “preferred status” also makes a signficant difference. Getting the first $100 can be a challenge.

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  5. Do you have to disclose this survey taking as a relevant financial relationship in a presentation you give?

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  6. Nope. The actual companies sponsoring these surveys are not dislosed to you as a survey taker, so you don’t even have a way of knowing to whom you could have any sort of relationship.

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  7. For anyone who is reading this and wondering, yes, I do respond to the these requests (usually the same day!).

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  8. Sermo has worked very poorly for me to the point that I do not trust them to be secure. I registered and they could not verify who I am. I sent documentation and they emailed me that I was verified and the account active. Then later they emailed and said they can not verify who I am. I responded that you already did. They responded that they did not have any record of an account with my email and asked me for more documentation. Don’t trust a site that can’t even keep track of what info it collects – that’s how identity theft happens; last thing any physician needs is someone getting his/her licensing info and doing illegal things.

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  9. Sounds super frustrating. Can’t say I’ve heard of anything like that happening to anyone else I know or myself, but I’d definitely be annoyed under those circumstances.

    Typically I’ve seen people provide their medical school diploma or state medical license when it comes to providing documentation for these sites. License numbers are readily available online, and NPI numbers are also public info. So with regards to that sort of information, I don’t really see the harm regardless.

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  10. I have never gotten anything from Brand Institute. Do you need to be a VIP member to actually get any surveys?

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  11. Definitely don’t need to be a VIP. The VIP program gives you access to open surveys, but the vast majority of surveys still come from direct invitations.

    I have noticed that the survey invitations seem to come in spurts of activity, and that there is a lot of variability in how soon they come after signing up. For example, I didn’t get a single invitation for the initial three months after signing up and have since continued to get them regularly, so it may just be a matter of time until they kick in. I do know others who received surveys immediately, but it seems like waiting a bit first is probably more common.

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  12. Hey Ben, I was hoping you had a few more referrals for Sermo to send out? If you do, I would appreciate one! And thanks for all the links!

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  13. Ben, thanks for the informative post. As many above, I would very much appreciate a Sermo referral, if possible!

    Reply
  14. Brand Institute and QuantiaMD definitely both cater to pharmacists as well as other clinicians. Sermo does not; a few of the others (e.g. Curizon) do as well, but they don’t seem to me to be quite as active. MDLinx does (perhaps ironically), and is one of the most active for physicians, but I’m not sure how good the site is for pharmacists=—my guess is that it would be one of the best bests though.

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  15. Hello,

    Do you know if PAs can join? If you feel comfortable, please send me a referral as well.
    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Sermo is only for physicians (and they do verify), but most of the others are open to all types of providers.

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  16. I’d take a referral to Sermo and any others that you have as well. Thanks for all of the great info.

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  17. I would appreciate a referral to Sermo. thank you for your website and showing us all these different opportunities!

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  18. Sorry for disturbing i found this site and i was really interested in it can a referall for the sermo site if it is possible ?

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  19. Ben thanks for posting this resource and keeping it alive all these years, would you kindly send over a sermo referral please? Much appreciated.

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  20. “High yield” article ;-) -thanks.

    Could you send me a referral for Sermo & Medefield (I’d be open to other referrals, as well.) Thanks again!

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  21. Just found out I matched yesterday–would love an invite to Sermo as well.

    Also, thanks for the informative list of books needed as a psych resident.

    Have a good day!

    Reply
  22. Hey Ben! Would love a referral also!

    Thanks for the info and the great site btw, been reading off and on for years =)

    Reply
  23. Hi Ben,
    What do these survey companies do if they find that you are not representing yourself accurately (i.e. not actually a practicing cardiologist or whoever)?

    Reply
    • Not pay you for starters. They could conceivably report you to your local medical board, but I haven’t heard of any cases of that happening on the grapevine.

      Reply

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