Loneliness, Burnout, and Other Types of Emotional Distress Among Family Medicine Physicians

Results From a National Survey

Samuel Ofei-Dodoo, PhD, MPA, MA; Rebecca Mullen, MD, MPH; Andrew Pasternak, MD, MS; Christina M. Hester, PhD, MPH; Elisabeth Callen, PhD, GStat; Edward James Bujold, MD; Jennifer K. Carroll, MD, MPH; Kim S. Kimminau, PhD


J Am Board Fam Med. 2021;34(3):531-541. 

In This Article


The prevalence of loneliness in practicing family medicine physicians is high and is significantly associated with burnout and depression. Our findings contribute to the growing body of evidence demonstrating the disproportionate amount of emotional distress experienced by physicians. In response, health care systems, employers, and payers need to prioritize understanding and addressing the factors relating to physician wellbeing. Future research ought to study the temporal relationship between loneliness, burnout, depression, and the factors related to the manifestation of these conditions to inform effective interventions.