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Medical schools, teaching hospitals contribute $587B to economy of nation

Says a recent study of the economic impact of the AAMCs

 A recent study of the economic impact of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)-member medical schools and teaching hospitals showed that combined they added $587 billion to the nation's ecoonomy and supported close to 3.5 million jobs directly or indirectly in 2011.

According to the analysis of 46 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., conducted by consulting firm Tripp Umbach, one in every 40 wage earners in U.S. worked either directly or indirectly for a medical school or teaching hospital in 2011. Since 2008, when the last analysis was completed, the total employment impact of these healthcare organizations grew by 4 percent.

The AAMC represents all 141 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, including 51 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and nearly 90 academic and scientific societies.

“This study demonstrates how important medical schools and teaching hospitals are to the nation’s health,” said AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, in a press release. “In addition to the care these institutions provide to millions of Americans, medical schools and teaching hospitals are important economic engines in their communities.”

Additionally, the AAMC-member schools and teaching hospitals generated more than $34 billion in total state government revenue in 2011 through state income taxes and commerce with local businesses. This was a $12 billion increase since the 2008 analysis.

According to the analysis, the $587 billion total economic impact in 2011 represents a 15 percent increase over 2008. This economic impact includes $255 billion in direct spending, including goods and services, capital improvements, spending my employees and patients, and tax revenues. The resulting indirect impact of this spending means that for every dollar spent by a medical school or teaching hospital in 2011, an additional $1.30 was generated.

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