One of the best things I ever did in residency was moonlight. My residency program allowed Senior Residents to moonlight during their final year of training. If you are offered this opportunity, I strongly recommend it.
Moonlighting allows you to practice as an Attending prior to graduating from your residency program.
It allows you to make decisions regarding patient care without Attending back up. Experiencing the full responsibility of patient care prior to completing your residency will make you a better physician and make your transition to an Attending much smoother. You will learn from your moonlighting experiences and be able to discuss difficult cases with your colleagues and teaching Attendings. I believe that this is the most important benefit of moonlighting.
In the last year of Residency, I worked 24 out of every 28-days (we had 13 four week blocks in our calendar). This is a schedule that I would not choose today but I am grateful for that opportunity. I learned about the benefits of working as an independent contractor during this time and formed an S corporation.
In addition, Lauren and I were able to use the additional moonlighting income to pay off our “wedding debt” and most of our credit cards… The financial education and compensation were nice.