Montana physicians play a vital role in Montana’s economy; Montana knows the value of its physicians.
However, doctors aren’t just there when you need them for medical attention. Physicians contribute to their neighbors’ well-being outside of the exam room too.
This year, the American Medical Association (AMA) published a study that demonstrates the huge economic impact doctors have locally and nationally. In Montana, the local industry that doctors support produces 22,780 jobs and $167.7 million in state revenue. A strong Montana economy means a strong Montana community that can provide for its neighbors and ride out any harsh waves that may hit — whether they be natural or financial.
The 2018 AMA Economic Impact Study found that Montana physicians generated $3.7 billion in direct and indirect economic activity for the state, with each physician supporting nearly $2 million on average. In total, physicians across the United States produced $2.3 trillion in economic activity for the country — for comparison, the gross domestic product for the entire country of Brazil is $2.14 trillion.
For every physician, there is a support system filled with Americans who have good-paying and secure jobs. According to the AMA study, Montana physicians supported a total of 22,780 jobs, including those in the medical field and across other industries. On average, that’s 12.3 jobs per individual physician — jobs which produce a local economy that stays in the state and even attracts investment from outside the state’s borders.
These jobs supported by physicians are good-paying, high-quality jobs. The AMA report shows that Montana physicians contributed nearly $1.9 billion in direct and indirect wages and benefits for all supported jobs, and each individual doctor supported nearly $1 million in total wages and benefits. For Montana’s approximately 1,856 physicians, that is a huge contribution, and one that benefits a whole network of Montana residents.
As the AMA study demonstrates, physicians not only safeguard a healthy community, but also provide for their neighbors. The state’s doctors supported more than $167.7 million in local and state tax revenues, with each doctor supporting $90,352 in local and state tax revenues. That’s money that goes directly to Montana communities and infrastructure.
This report’s findings show that Montana physicians go above and beyond for their communities, generating millions in state and local tax revenue and economic activity, while also creating more jobs that provide secure, good wages and benefits.
Despite the clear economic benefit Montana doctors provide their state, there are still barriers in place that prevent recruitment.
The distribution of physicians in Montana is extremely uneven, with 71 percent of all physicians practicing in only five counties. Furthermore, there are nine counties without a single physician and 13 counties lack a primary care physician, and seven counties without any hospitals. For Montanans living in rural areas, access to primary care is much more limited than that of their counterparts in Montana’s urban centers.
The AMA Economic Impact Study shows the tangible value physicians provide, and we hope more come to Montana to keep our state’s health and economy strong.