Building Boom

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Science  01 Nov 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5595, pp. 959d
DOI: 10.1126/science.298.5595.959d

Anyone who has dodged bulldozers, dust, and cranes on a medical campus recently knows there's a building boom under way at U.S. medical schools. Indeed, investments in facilities grew precipitously in the '90s and will continue to climb rapidly in the next 5 years, according to a quick survey of 99 schools done by Jack Krakower of the Association of American Medical Colleges after National Institutes of Health (NIH) director Elias Zerhouni asked if AAMC had such data. The building boom dwarfs the growth in Ph.D. research faculty, which increased by 40% to 25,000 between 1991 and 2001.

This hand-over-fist construction—much of it financed by loans—might look optimistic in the face of a slowdown in NIH's budget growth and a sluggish economy, notes Krakower. But AAMC's Tony Mazzaschi says that new health services research and collaborations with drug companies are also fueling the boom: “It's not all NIH driven.”

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