Perspectives in Primary Care features writing from practitioners, activists, and community members representing organizations, practices, and institutions across the United States and around the world.

COVID-19 and the Social Determinants of Health

The COVID-19 crisis continues to expose deep vulnerabilities in the U.S. healthcare system—from the dearth of personal protective equipment to the lack of surge capacity to fragile hospital financials. And yet many of the most concerning issues laid bare are ones that originate outside the system. Some have called this coronavirus the “great equalizer,” as all of us—in every corner of the country—are at risk. But although pathogens might not discriminate, our society certainly does. And with each passing day, patterns in COVID-19 morbidity and mortality are revealing the ...

COVID-19 Exacerbates Food Insecurity in Latino Children & Families

COVID-19 has exacerbated long-standing health disparities that continue to affect Latino families, and further, the pandemic has revealed that many Latino families are struggling to put food on the table. Food insecurity affects 37 million Americans, including 11.2 million children—and this is especially urgent within the Latino community. Prior to COVID-19,

The State of the South

I refuse to write another state of emergency article. I have no more words to say about the epidemic of anti-Black violence and white supremacy’s murderous impact on Black bodies. I’ve lost count of how many names we’ve typed of siblings murdered by police officers. We’ve screamed at our computer screens about the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black communities, and for so ...

COVID-19 and Oral Health

During the initial rapid spread of the coronavirus in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Dental Association (ADA) released urgent guidance for dental providers to cease all non-emergency dental care by late March 2020. For many weeks, ...

Pandemic-Related Psychological Distress & Tools to Help

A mental health pandemic has developed amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, and the increasing number of COVID cases in the United States and resulting shelter-in-place mandates will continue to result in deterioration of mental health. A recent

Environmental Service Workers: Our First Line of Defense Against Infection

Among the many essential workers putting themselves at risk during the COVID-19 pandemic are environmental services (EVS) workers, many of whom face considerable challenges yet are often overlooked. Despite being referred to as “janitors” or “housekeepers” and not being recognized as an integral part of the hospital team, EVS workers play a critical role in patient safety. Their laborious tasks, which are critical to providing safe and high-quality care, consist of thoroughly disinfecting all surfaces in patient rooms that might spread infection, as well as cleaning beds and equipment, ...

Social Mission Now: The Role of Health Professions Education in Addressing Health Equity and Social Justice

The racial equity movement and COVID-19 are bringing needed public attention to the structural racism and inequities that underlie social and health disparities in the United States. The police killings of George Floyd and so many other Black lives have brought about increasing calls for police reform. In Minneapolis, where George Floyd’s killing occurred, the City Council recently approved a

Primary Care and COVID-19

Primary care is the foundation for population health and well-being. Unfortunately, our efforts to address the coronavirus pandemic have exposed many critical structural deficiencies in our country’s health care system, most notably the lack of investment in primary care. Equal access and equitable care While the disparate impact of the coronavirus on

Mindfulness Can Improve Mental Health During & After the COVID-19 Crisis

Although there was no shortage of suffering before coronavirus, this global pandemic, compounded by tragic events involving the loss of Black lives, has brought rising levels of stress and uncertainty. Growing unemployment and physical separation from loved ones have led to increased substance ...