Your Practice Sustains the Economy, and Hurts It

Physician's Money Digest, November 2007, Volume 14, Issue 11

Without physicians like you, the job market in the United States would be in poor shape. A BusinessWeek article relates that 1.7 million jobs were created by the health care industry, including pharmaceuticals, health insurance, and practitioners, in 2001. States like California are investing $3 billion in stem cell research, creating a trickledown effect of jobs and employment. However, the massive creation of health care jobs could be economically crippling without job diversity. Government health care spending totaled more than $600 billion in 2005. Investing in information technology, which would require fewer health care workers, is one way the government is looking to prevent lop-sided growth in the overall job market. New laws requiring updates and standardization in medical information technology could balance the job market but would hit physicians hard with the extra costs of upgrades, like computer systems, without compensation.