It all started when Katie Deming, MD, went undercover at a boutique near her office.

She asked a staff member to bring her an assortment of bras they offer to women undergoing treatment for breast cancer, which often causes swelling and sensitive skin. As a radiation oncologist, Dr Deming wanted to test first-hand the types of bras on the market.

“The features were all wrong for my patients. They were scratchy, they had an elastic that would irritate the skin,” said Dr Deming in an interview with Medical Bag. “When I left that store, I said ‘I’m never sending my patients there.’ I decided to make this my hobby.”

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That was just the beginning of Dr Deming’s years-long journey that led her to create MakeMerry, a first-of-its-kind online shop with bras designed specifically for women undergoing radiation treatment.

Dr Deming had no experience as a fashion designer, but she saw a need and set out to fill it. Since then, MakeMerry’s products have been changing lives.

“So many women say they couldn’t wear a bra since their breast cancer surgery and that this is the first bra they have been able to wear. It’s one of the things we take for granted,” she said. “To give that back to these women — that they have something that’s comfortable, that’s not irritating their skin — they express gratitude that they have that option, and that someone said it’s not only important that you’re comfortable, but that you also feel beautiful like you would in the clothing you had before breast cancer.”

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Dr Deming’s story is just one example of a physician taking a passion outside of the office and running with it. Finding a side hustle can provide a positive outlet and a sense of freedom for physicians — especially physicians who feel like they’re on the verge of burnout. Whether you’re interested in teaching future generations, writing for healthcare blogs, or dabbling in a subject outside the realm of medical care, there’s something for everyone with an interest.

“It’s amazing what you can do outside of your medical practice,” Dr Deming said. “Think about what your goals are. If you’re passionate about something, it’s a great to find that outlet.”

To learn more about side gigs for physicians and tips on how to get started, visit