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Special Communication |

Review of US Medical School Finances, 1996-1997

Robert F. Jones, PhD; Janice L. Ganem, CPA; Donna J. Williams, MA; Jack Y. Krakower, PhD
JAMA. 1998;280(9):813-818. doi:10.1001/jama.280.9.813.
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Based on data from the Annual Medical School Questionnaire of the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, to which 100% of schools responded, the revenues that supported the programs and activities of the 125 accredited medical schools in the United States totaled $34897 million in 1996-1997. A large proportion (78.9%) of these revenues was derived from 3 sources: practice plans, grants and contracts, and hospital support. Both public and private medical schools, in aggregate, have continued to experience growth throughout the last decade but at a progressively slower rate, primarily because of a slowing in the growth of practice plan revenues. Federal revenues supporting research in public and private medical schools since 1992-1993 have grown at annualized, constant-dollar rates of 5.6% and 4%, respectively. Growth in state and local appropriations to public medical schools has tended to lag behind inflation. Growth in reported revenues from endowments that are used to support programs at private medical schools is on the rise. The aggregate numbers mask considerable variation among schools with regard to changes in financing. A small, but appreciable, number of schools have witnessed a constant-dollar decline in their total practice plan revenues since 1992-1993. The financial data reviewed in this report demonstrate the continued dependence of medical schools on faculty-generated sources of revenue and confirm the perception that medical schools, as a group, are experiencing constraints on the growth of their enterprises.

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Figures

Graphic Jump Location
Figure 1.—Trends in average total revenues and selected revenue components (dollars in millions) for the 74 public medical schools, in current and constant dollars, with the exception of practice plan revenues, where the averages are based on the 71 schools with nonzero values. Constant dollar amounts were calculated using 1987 dollars. Annualized compound growth rates are computed for 3 periods, 1987-1988 to 1996-1997, 1992-1993 to 1996-1997, and 1995-1996 to 1996-1997. These growth rates are based on the actual values, not the rounded values that appear in the graph. See text for a discussion of how these growth rates may be affected by changes in reporting and for information on adjusted rates.
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Figure 2.—Average number of clinical and basic science faculty in public medical schools, fiscal years 1987-1988 to 1996-1997. The figures shown are the averages for the 74 public schools.
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Figure 3.—Trends in average total revenues and selected revenue components (dollars in millions) for private medical schools, in current and constant dollars, with the following exceptions. One school, data from which are included in Table 1 and Table 2, is excluded from the averages of total revenues and practice plan revenues because of a major change in its reporting practice in fiscal year 1996-1997. Seven other schools with zero values are excluded from the calculation of the average practice plan revenues. Constant dollar amounts were calculated using 1987 dollars. Annualized compound growth rates are computed for 3 periods, 1987-1988 to 1996-1997, 1992-1993 to 1996-1997, and 1995-1996 to 1996-1997. These growth rates are based on the actual values, not the rounded values that appear in the graph. See text for a discussion of how these growth rates may be affected by changes in reporting and for information on adjusted rates.
Graphic Jump Location
Figure 4.—Average number of clinical and basic science faculty in private medical schools, fiscal years 1987-1988 to 1996-1997. The figures shown are the averages for 50 of the 51 private schools.

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