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New Study Shows Medical Research an Important Economic Driver

Medical Schools and Teaching Hospitals Add Billions to U.S. Economy

Denver, Colo., November 7, 2011—Federal- and state-funded research conducted at the nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals in 2009 added nearly $45 billion to the nation’s economy, according to a new study by the national economic consulting firm Tripp Umbach conducted for the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges). In addition, the study found that medical research conducted at AAMC-member institutions supports nearly 300,000 or 1 in 500 U.S. jobs. 

 “The value of research has always been clear—medical research means hope to patients and improves the health of all Americans,” said AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, M.D.  “Through this study we also can see how important this work is as an economic driver, funneling billions into the economy and providing hundreds of thousands of high-skilled jobs as well as indirect employment in communities around the country.”

Speaking today at the AAMC’s annual meeting, Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reinforced the importance of that institution’s research to the fiscal health of the nation. Physicians and researchers at AAMC-member institutions are awarded more than half of all NIH grants to external scientists.

“AAMC’s commissioned report demonstrates that NIH’s investment in biomedical research continues to have a positive effect on the health and economy of the nation,” said Collins. “Research conducted at medical schools and teaching hospitals is a critical source of knowledge that advances the NIH mission to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce the burdens of illness and disability.”

“Sustained federal funding is vital to the continued progress of medical research and the discovery of new cures and treatments,” said Ann C. Bonham, Ph.D., AAMC Chief Scientific Officer. “The Tripp Umbach study shows that federal- and state-funded research also provides jobs and economic growth that contributes to the stability of the U.S. economy.”

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The Association of American Medical Colleges is a not-for-profit association representing 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. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC represents 128,000 faculty members, 75,000 medical students, and 110,000 resident physicians. Additional information about the AAMC and U.S. medical schools and teaching hospitals is available at www.aamc.org/newsroom

Contact

Susan Beach
Senior Director, Strategic Communications
Telephone: 202-828-0983
E-mail: sbeach@aamc.org