MONTGOMERY – On March 29, officials from the Medical Association of the State of Alabama participated in a proclamation signing ceremony declaring March 30, 2017, the Second Annual Doctors’ Day in Alabama formally recognizing Alabama’s nearly 17,000 licensed physicians serving millions of residents through private practice, in hospitals, in research, and in other health care facilities.
Doctors’ Day in Alabama, a project sponsored by the Medical Association and the Alabama Department of Public Health, is held in conjunction with National Doctors’ Day to celebrate physicians of all specialties serving in our communities.
“Physicians often lead patients and families through some of life’s most challenging moments,” said Mark Jackson, executive director of the Medical Association. “We wanted to have one day to thank our physicians for the work they do each day to make the health of our residents and our state better. The practice of medicine is a special calling, and we wanted to recognize that,” he said.
Montgomery radiologist Mark LeQuire had the opportunity to explain a more about the path to becoming a physician to a Today in Alabama morning news crew.
“Most people probably don’t realize the length of training that it takes to become a doctor. After four years of college, four years of medical school, five to seven years of training after that, and then the lifelong experience of training to become a good physician. But, it can be so much more. The concept I try to use in my practice is that of a physician-priest — to heal the body and soul of our patients and our communities as well. We are involved not only in the physical health of our patients but also in the wellness and well-being of our communities. You see that a lot more now with wellness centers in our communities. It’s more about the entire person and not just a body part,” radiologist Dr. LeQuire explained to WSFA-12 on March 31 as he toured the crew through his workspace at Baptist South in Montgomery.
How Do Physicians Contribute to Alabama’s Economy?
Alabama’s physicians fulfill a vital role in the state’s economy by supporting 83,095 jobs and generating $11.2 billion in economic activity, according to a joint report by the Medical Association and the American Medical Association.
Alabama’s physicians are major economic engines in their communities. Urban or rural, large group or solo practitioner, Alabama physicians can improve both patient health and the economy.
With the changing health care environment, it is increasingly important to quantify the economic impact physicians have on our society. To provide lawmakers, regulators and policymakers with reliable information, the report measured the economic impact of Alabama’s physicians according to four key economic barometers. The overall findings in Alabama include:
Jobs: Each physician supports an average of 9.5 jobs, including his/her own, and contributed to a total of 83,095 jobs statewide.
Output: Each physician supports an average of $1.3 million in economic output and contributed to a total of $11.2 billion in economic output statewide.
Wages and Benefits: Each physician supports an average of $758,744 in total wages and benefits and contributed to a total of $6.7 billion in wages and benefits statewide.
Tax Revenues: Each physician supports $46,148 in local and state tax revenues and contributes to a total of $404.9 million in local and state tax revenues statewide.
The study found, in comparison to other industries, patient care physicians contribute as much or more to the state economy than higher education, home health care, legal services, nursing and residential care.
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