Loneliness at the Top: Ten Ways Medical Practice Administrators Can Manage the Isolation of Leadership

J Med Pract Manage. 2016 Mar-Apr;31(5):292-6.


Medical practice.managers spend their days surrounded by people, so the last thing they may expect to feel is lonely. Yet for many, being the manager of a medical practice can lead to feelings of isolation from the rest of the staff, and loneliness. This article explores the many reasons that managing a medical practice can be a lonely business. It considers the risks when a practice manager's loneliness goes unchecked, both to the individual and to the practice. It suggests 10 effective and healthy strategies for preventing and managing the leadership loneliness that medical practice managers sometimes experience. Next, this article argues that acceptance is the first step in overcoming loneliness in the workplace. It offers guidance for medical practice managers who wish to help lonely members of their teams. It describes the benefits of having a confidant to help support the medical practice manager, and the characteristics of an ideal confidant. Finally, this article suggests a strategy for combatting loneliness by interacting with the staff more frequently.

MeSH terms

  • Administrative Personnel / psychology*
  • Communication
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Leadership*
  • Loneliness*
  • Mentors / psychology
  • Patient Care Team
  • Practice Management, Medical / organization & administration*
  • Social Support