The Economic Impact of Medical Schools and Teaching Hospitals

U.S. medical schools and teaching hospitals represented by the AAMC support over 6.3 million jobs in the United States. Learn more about how member institutions contribute to the national economy.
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Medical schools and teaching hospitals play crucial roles in educating tomorrow’s physicians, providing cutting-edge patient care, and conducting life-saving research that brings hope to millions seeking treatment and cures. But these institutions are also powerful economic engines. In fact, they generate millions of jobs that pay billions in wages and benefits and contribute significantly to local businesses and community development efforts across the nation.

According to a new report by RTI International on behalf of the AAMC, U.S. medical schools and teaching hospitals represented by the AAMC generated about 3.1% of the U.S. gross domestic product and supported 6.3 million jobs.

Here are some key facts about how medical schools and teaching hospitals contribute to the U.S. economy:

  • Medical schools and teaching hospitals represented by the AAMC contributed more than $562 billion in value to the national economy in 2017. Of that, about $182 billion came from medical schools and $380 billion from teaching hospitals. This contribution includes expenditures for patient care, research, equipment, services, and supplies.
  • Medical schools and teaching hospitals support more than 6.3 million U.S. jobs. That’s around 3.3% of the nation’s total jobs. AAMC member institutions in New York support the highest number of jobs (544,979), followed by California (481,538) and Texas (331,746).
  • Jobs supported by AAMC member medical schools and teaching hospitals generated over $386 billion in wages, salaries, and benefits. That averages out to about $61,295 per job. People in these jobs contributed to their local economies by spending money on food, entertainment, clothing, and more.
  • Medical research promotes a healthy economy. Medical research conducted at medical schools and teaching hospitals represented by the AAMC was responsible for 313,604 jobs and added $25.4 billion to local economies in 2017. This research paves the way for groundbreaking cures and advancements in patient care and makes the United States more competitive globally.
  • The economic impact of U.S. medical schools and teaching hospitals is comparable to other large sectors. The numbers are similar to those of the transportation and warehousing and the accommodation and food services industries.

The full report, Economic Impact of AAMC Medical Schools and Teaching Hospitals, provides more information, including interactive maps showing job and income totals and the impact of research in each state.