$53 Billion, 355,013 Jobs: Study Shows Physician Impact on Pennsylvania Economy

Each physician in the U.S. supports 13.84 jobs on average and contributes $2.2 million in economic output, underscoring how physicians influence the health of both their patients and the economy, according to the American Medical Association (AMA’s) new Economic Impact Study.

“It is clear that physicians are significant contributors to the Pennsylvania economy as evidenced by their 8.8 percent share of the state’s gross domestic product (GDP),” Dr. MacLeod said. “With a $600 billion GDP in 2012, the physician contribution is huge,” said Bruce MacLeod, MD, president of the Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) in a recent statement.

Here in Pennsylvania, physicians impacted the economy by:

  • Creating $53 billion in direct and indirect economic output
  • Supporting a total of 355,013 jobs statewide (including their own)
  • Contributing $29.9 billion in direct and indirect wages and benefits for all supported jobs
  • Supporting $2.2 billion in local and state tax revenues

“We’re normally talking about creating new residency slots and medical school loan forgiveness programs to build up the physician population in medically underserved areas,” said Dr. MacLeod.

“Now we know that those types of programs may also be a good investment for additional reasons. It’s possible that they’ll help Pennsylvania’s future economy by supporting jobs and producing revenue for the state in the years ahead.”

The study, prepared by IMS Health and released April 16, 2014, focused on the roughly 720,000 physicians who primarily engage in patient care activities, as opposed to those who focus on research or teaching. Nationally, these physicians support $1.6 trillion in total economic output — that’s $2.2 million per physician — and 10 million jobs.

The study also found that:

  • Physicians support $775.5 billion in wages and benefits at the national level.
  • Physicians contribute $65.2 billion in total state and local taxes nationally, or $90,449 in local and state tax revenue per physician.

The study estimated the total economic impact of patient care physicians at the national level and for each of the 50 states and Washington, D.C., measuring output, jobs, wages and benefits, and state and local tax revenue. At the national level, physicians support greater economic output than the following industries: legal services, home health care, higher education and nursing home and residential care.

Visit the Economic Impact Study Web page to access an interactive map and see a specific break-down of economic contributions for each state.