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Minnesota’s medical schools and primary teaching hospitals boost state’s economy by $8.4 billion

Medical students Ncha Xiong and Melissa Sherman (second and fourth from left, respectively) conduct a mock exam of stand-in patient Megan Tucker, while David Power, M.D., M.P.H., observes. (Photo: Emily Jensen)

Minnesota’s medical schools and teaching hospitals had more than an $8.4 billion impact on the state’s economy in 2008, according to an Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) report on its member institutions.

Those institutions include the University of Minnesota Medical School and Mayo Medical School as well as Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Hennepin County Medical Center, Regions Hospital, Saint Marys Hospital, and University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview.

The report found that these institutions are responsible directly or indirectly for 65,430 jobs and that government revenue from various types of taxes contributes more than $496 million.

Other study findings for Minnesota:

  • An out-of-state medical visitor impact of $19.5 million;
  • A direct state business volume impact of more than $3.6 billion; and
  • Capital improvements, goods, services, and supplies of more than $1.8 billion.

“U.S. medical schools and teaching hospitals are substantial economic engines in terms of jobs, state tax revenues, and economic growth,” says AAMC president and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, M.D.

“Although some medical schools and teaching hospitals have been grappling with reduced funding as a result of the recession, AAMC member institutions have continued to be strong economic drivers for their communities, their states, and the nation.”

In fact, the AAMC data coincides with recent information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicating that half of the 30 fastestgrowing occupations in 2009 were in health care.

Nationally, AAMC member institutions had an overall $512 billion impact on the country’s economy. That figure includes institutional and employee spending, as well as spending by patients (outside of the hospital), their families, and visitors.

Medical schools and teaching hospitals benefit their communities and state beyond their economic impact. They care for patients in an environment where health knowledge and research continually evolve into new treatments and cures, educate the next generation of health-care providers, and serve as core care providers of the uninsured.

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