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How to Hire the Right Practice Manager

Teresa Iafolla

Written by Teresa Iafolla

As you probably already know, the right practice manager can be the key to a successful medical practice.

If you have a competent practice manager, chances are there are fewer bottlenecks in your workflow, more satisfied patients, and a generally happier atmosphere in the office. While practice managers aren't miracle-workers, the gems out there have a knack for keeping medical practices organized - no small feat!

So, how do you find the perfect practice manager?

Hiring staff is always challenging, but when it comes to selecting the office leader, the process can be downright intimidating. Here are some key tips to guide you through and find that perfect fit.

What to look for in a candidate


All candidates applying to the position should have at least a high school diploma, and in most cases a college degree and above. The education background greatly depends on how many of the practice’s business or medical functions you want your office manager to assist with. You may also want to ask about their certifications. Their level of education should also depend on the size of your practice.


Experience is even more vital than the level of education. Your practice manager must be able to handle operations, staff, billing, bookkeeping and finances. Smaller practices may even want to look for someone who is a registered nurse. This way, they can jump in and help when things are overwhelming.

Personality and Character Traits

A good practice manager must be able to get along easily with other staff. They must be friendly, even-tempered, outgoing, and supremely organized. They should be able to communicate effectively with everyone who passes through the office including patients, clients, staff and physicians.

Your manager should also have the needed leadership skills to streamline routine practices and motivate practice staff to work more efficiently.

Questions to ask during the interview

The way candidates answer these key interview questions can tell you a lot:

  1. What did you like most about your current or past position?
  2. What did you like least about your past position?
  3. Describe your ideal office culture.
  4. Describe yourself in 3 adjectives.
  5. What leadership roles have you been involved in?
  6. What successes and failures have you had in the past and how did you tackle them?
  7. Why do you want to work here?
  8. How did you improve the office workflow at your current/past job?

Red Flags and Warning Signs

These warning signs can help you spot weaknesses in a candidate early on:

  • When a candidate keeps speaking negatively about the doctors or staff they worked with in a previous job, especially if he or she was in a managerial position
  • When a candidate is asking about salary over the phone
  • When a candidate does not seem to be a team player

Review these tips and then make a list of what you value most in a practice manager. Are you willing to pay a little more for someone who's more experienced? Do you value personal references over education and certifications? Make some notes, create your interview plan, and start calling.

Let us hear your successes and strategies. Tell us about your experiences in the comments!

Published: May 3, 2016