Physicians contribute 10 million jobs, $1.6 trillion to economy, AMA reports

April 10, 2014

The nation’s physicians contribute a lot more than health and wellness to their communities-their activity generates $1.6 trillion for the national economy, according to the American Medical Association.

The nation’s physicians contribute a lot more than health and wellness to their communities-their activity generates $1.6 trillion for the national economy, according to the American Medical Association (AMA).

In total, physicians support almost 10 million jobs and $775.5 billion in wages and benefits to communities across the country, according to the AMA’s Economic Impact Study evaluating physicians’ impact on the economy during 2012. The report looked at 720,000 physicians, and found that each physician supports almost 14 jobs and adds more than $2 million in economic input, on average.

The jobs that physicians create translate into taxes that support education, housing, transportation and other public services, says Ardis Dee Hoven, M.D., AMA president. On average, each physician contributes more than $90,000 in local and state revenue, and $65.2 billion as a group.

"Physicians carry tremendous responsibility as skilled healers, trusted confidants and patient advocates, but their positive impact isn't confined to the exam room," Hoven says.

California physicians added the most jobs to their state, employing more than 983,000 people, or almost 12 people per physician. Florida physicians created more than 528,000 jobs, and employed 12.26 people on average. Wyoming physicians created the smallest number of jobs at 7.9 per physician and 7,837 for the state.

The report also found that physicians contribute more to the national economy than higher education, legal services, and other healthcare fields including home healthcare, and nursing and residential care.

Though national spending on physician services slowed between 2009 and 2012, and represented only 16% of healthcare dollars spent in 2012, the AMA says that every dollar spent with a physician supports $1.62 in other industries.