Teaching hospitals, med schools contribute $587B to U.S. economy

U.S. medical schools, teaching hospitals and affiliated medical systems made a gigantic impact on the nation's economy, providing $587 billion in economic benefits during 2011, according to a report from economics researcher Tripp Umbach.

The report , commissioned by the American Association of Medical Colleges, found that one in every 40 wage earners in the United States worked either directly or indirectly for the lobbying group's members, which include more than 250 hospitals and 130 affiliated medical schools.

New York and California are the leading states in terms of academic medicine's economic impact--together, they account for more than $143 billion, or nearly 25 percent of the total business volume, according to the research announcement

However, most rural states have negligible impact--the bottom 25 states provide less than 11 percent of the overall economic impact.

The study noted that direct spending totaled $255 billion, which included wages, capital improvements and patient spending. Another $1.30 was indirectly generated for every dollar in direct spending.

Overall, job growth among teaching hospitals and medical schools have grown by 4 percent since 2008 despite the Great Recession, creating an additional 136,831 jobs in the United States.

For more information:
- here's the research announcement
- read the AAMC study (.pdf)