What percentage of our population works in health care?

Jul 22, 2009
I ask because there is so much talk about driving down the cost of health care, which is now 15% or of our GDP and growing. At first I was surprised and wondered how to cut down costs. But just look at how many people actually work in this industry that take from that 15% - there is the clinical side (doctors, nurses, PAs, medics, AAs, technicians, other support staff) and the business side (administrators, insurance company workers, random secretaries, their support system).

Other than taking out the for-profit component of health care (based on the lobbying going on in Washington, this may not happen), how can you really cut down health care costs without putting a measurable percentage of our population into unemployment?

I guess the point I am trying to make is, health care is what drives America right now, like how electronics and the auto industry drives Japan and oil drives the middle east. The only problem is we don't export our health care like other countries export their best goods. Because honestly, what does the US do better than any other country other than health care?


10+ Year Member
Oct 8, 2008
Resident [Any Field]

There is about 1 doctor/300 people in the US. That means that there are about ~1,000,000 doctors in the US. With all the nurses, techs, hospital staff, dentists, chiropractors, midwives, Carribean MD's and DO's(JK), I'd say that about 10 million people directly work in health care.