U.S. medical schools and teaching hospitals that are members of the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) generated approximately 3.23% of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) and support more than 7.1 million jobs nationwide, according to a new study.
The study, conducted by RTI International on behalf of the AAMC, examined the economic impact of AAMC member medical schools and teaching hospitals located in 47 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. This report presents the results of that study, which are based on data from the 154 medical schools and 258 teaching hospitals that met the criteria for the study. The report uses 2019 data and does not reflect the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on member institutions.
In 2019, the institutions that were studied added $728 billion in value to the nation’s economy, including direct economic impact and substantial secondary economic effects on the communities where they operate. Secondary impacts include activities such as institutional purchases of equipment, services, or supplies, and employee purchases at local businesses.
The more than 7.1 million jobs supported by the institutions studied corresponds to 4.4% of the U.S. workforce and are spread out across multiple industries. Wages, salaries, and benefits earned by workers in those jobs total $488 billion, or an average of $68,578 per job.
“Medical schools and teaching hospitals are a critical component of healthy communities, and their role is unparalleled in educating future doctors, scientists, and health care professionals, discovering new, critical information about life in health and disease and improving the health of patients and families,” said David J. Skorton, MD, AAMC president and CEO. “These new data underscore the important role these institutions also play in driving thriving economies at the local, state, and national levels—providing jobs, paying wages, and supporting business and community development opportunities and collaborations.”
Of the total economic impact, research activities at medical schools and teaching hospitals resulted in $33 billion added to local economies and 348,000 jobs that generated $21 billion in salaries, wages, and benefits. Every dollar in research funding granted to AAMC member institutions contributes $1.60 to the U.S. economy.
“This report illustrates that research conducted at medical schools and teaching hospitals is a significant contributor to the national economy, offering not only cutting-edge advancements in prevention, treatment, and diagnostics to help save lives, but hope to all patients and families when faced with illness or injury,” Skorton added. “The profound research in progress at our member institutions is extraordinary, and results in improved health, saved lives, economic growth, stronger local and regional economies, and U.S. global leadership in science and technology.”
The full report provides state-level data on jobs and labor income created; total national economic value added by medical schools and teaching hospitals; and impacts of the medical research conducted by AAMC member institutions.
View the full report, including national and state-specific data, at www.aamc.org/EconomicImpact.