A new Medical Society of New Jersey report says the almost 23,000 patient-care doctors in New Jersey give the state a $55 billion economic boost, while providing nearly 282,000 jobs.

"The Economic Impact of Physicians in New Jersey" was released by the Medical Society of New Jersey and the American Medical Association.

Medical society CEO Larry Downs said of the thousands of practising doctors and their offices, "It really is an economic driver for our state."

He said that also includes the purchase of million in goods and services, "the economic spread from medical practices includes things like insurance purchases, accountants, legal services, as well as the purchase of equipment and supplies."

"I think that we usually think of physicians as creating benefit, by keeping us and our families healthy. This report actually shows the significant numbers of good-paying jobs and tax generation from medical practice in our state, and is a major economic driver in New Jersey," he said.

Downs also makes the point that unlike universities and some hospitals, physician offices are for-profit businesses, and pay taxes as such — "and it greatly benefits the state and local tax revenues, as well as providing excellent quality medical care for our citizens."

"I think that the most important effect of this study is that it shows that policy makers should be taking a look at things that incentivize the development of physician practices, not only because they provide excellent health care at low cost and high quality, but because they are a major economic driver," he said.

But Downs said unfortunately, New Jersey is still exporting many more doctors who are trained here to other states.

"It is something that we have been looking at quite closely at The Medical Society," he said.

Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5.

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