Boom amid bust: Med schools grow as economy tanks

It's hard to tell there's a recession on at the nation's medical schools, where business appears to be booming.

Responding to warnings of a looming doctor shortage, existing schools are increasing enrollment, and new ones are opening or under development.

A quarter century ago, experts blamed rising health costs on what they said was a surplus of doctors performing unneeded procedures.

But the president-elect of the American Medical Association - Temple cardiologist Dr. J. James Rohack - says Americans are living longer and need good doctors.

This year alone, the number of accredited medical schools in the U.S. is set to grow by four to 130. Alabama's medical schools are located at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the University of South Alabama.

Health care in America is a $2.4 trillion annual business.

President Barack Obama has made overhauling health care an early priority of his administration.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)