What is our medical school worth? For many of us, it is priceless. It’s not easy putting a price tag on producing physicians who care for patients and families, or supporting research scientists who develop new treatments and diagnoses for disease. And it’s equally difficult to assess the economic impact of providing leadership and an exemplary commitment to our community, developing curricula that are widely imitated for their effectiveness, establishing an anchor for the profession in Cleveland and so much more.
But there are always those who want to put a number on it.
My grandmother would call these people cynics – those who know the price of everything and the value of nothing, to quote Oscar Wilde. But the AAMC has done the calculations to provide the cynics their due by assessing the economic impact of medical schools and teaching hospitals, and that impact is BIG.
Medical schools alone, without their teaching hospital affiliates, contribute $182 billion to the national economy. Together with their teaching hospital affiliates, that contribution rises to $562 billion. This is 3.1% of the gross domestic product. In 2017, research at these institutions added $25.4 billion to local economies. Jobs at these institutions numbered 6.3 million … and they are good jobs with average wages and benefits amounting to $70,000 and creating secondary jobs paying $55,000 per job.
Besides producing the next generation of physicians and scientists, our research and teaching and patient care and community activities deliver huge economic impact for Cleveland. We can be proud of the contribution that we and our hospital partners make to our economy as well as to the lives of our citizenry.
I’m proud of us all!
Pamela B. Davis, MD, PhD
Dean, School of Medicine
Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs, Case Western Reserve University
Arline and Curtis Garvin Research Professor
2109 Adelbert Rd. BRB 113
Cleveland OH 44106