Physicians’ Economic Impact Felt in Rural Texas and Nationwide
By David Doolittle

1.30 curranYou know physicians play a vital role in keeping Texans healthy. But did you know just how vital you are to the health of Texas’ economy?

TMA President-Elect Douglas Curran, MD, a family physician at the largest group practice in Athens (population, 12,811), is just one example of how physicians support jobs and economic activity statewide.

“We are an enormous economic driver,” Dr. Curran said of his practice, Lakeland Medical Associates, in a recent article in the AMA Wire. “Patients will come into town, they will see the doctors, and they will have lunch here, and they will run to the stores.”

In Texas, physicians create more than 670,000 jobs and generate almost $118 billion in state economic activity, according to a new report, The Economic Impact of Physicians in Texas, released this month by the Texas Medical Association and the American Medical Association.

But physicians’ economic impact isn’t limited to the Lone Star State. Physicians add $2.3 trillion to the U.S. economy and support more than 12.6 million jobs, according to the AMA study.

Lakeland Medical Associates currently has 71 staff members and 14 physicians, and will bring on three more doctors ― two family physicians and a pediatrician ― this summer. 

“We will add 11 or 12 employees this summer on top of what we already have, besides the physicians,” Dr. Curran told AMA Wire. “Most of our people are at least medical assistants or licensed vocational nurses. Of course, we have a lot higher-paid positions for lab techs and x-ray techs and that sort of thing.”

The study measures physicians’ impact using four key economic indicators:  

  • Jobs: In Texas, physicians support 670,172 total jobs —13.1 for each physician on average. 
  • Economic activity: Physicians generate $117.9 billion in economic output, representing 7.3 percent of the Texas economy.  
  • Wages and benefits: Physicians contribute $55.4 billion in total wages and benefits paid to workers across Texas.  
  • State and local tax revenue: Physicians’ contribution to the Texas economy generates $3.5 billion in state and local tax revenue for their communities — translating to $68,599 in tax revenue paid for each physician on average.  

Find more information on the direct impact of physicians, including an interactive national map, at  

Last Updated On

May 03, 2018

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David Doolittle


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Dave Doolittle is editor of Texas Medicine and Texas Medicine Today. Dave grew up in Austin, where he attended culinary school as well as the University of Texas. He spent years covering Central Texas for the Austin American-Statesman newspaper. He is the father of two girls, a proud Longhorn, and an avid motorsports fan.

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