Academic Medicine A Big Driver Of RI Economy, Study Shows

Apr 5, 2018

A new study  by the Association of American Medical Colleges offers fresh evidence that academic medicine is a major driver of Rhode Island’s economy.

Teaching hospitals operated by Lifespan and Care New England and Brown University’s medical school together supported nearly 26,500 jobs in Rhode Island last year, according to the report.  

That represents about 6.4 percent of the roughly 405,000 private sector jobs in the state in 2017.

Employers in this slice of Rhode Island’s health care sector also pay better than the average private-sector jobs.  The pay for academic medicine jobs -- including benefits -- averaged more than sixty-nine thousand dollars ($69,000) in 2017. The average private sector wage, not including benefits, was less than $50,000 in 2016, according to the most recent available state data.

The AAMC study estimated the total economic impact on Rhode Island – including purchases of equipment, services or supply and employee purchases at local businesses – at about $2.46 billion.

Lifespan, the state’s largest hospital network, employs nearly 14,900 people. Lifespan reported that from 2009 to 2017 its workforce has grown by nearly 25 percent.

- An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the association's name.