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.


The Future is Bright—Award Recipients Share Insights

Primary care is the first point of care for many. It has a direct impact on health equity and is uniquely positioned to help alleviate the impact of social determinants of health, manage chronic conditions, and help people live healthier lives. While there are physician shortages in the primary care field, there are still individuals who commit to this noble pursuit. Today, we honor recent recipients of the Robert H. Ebert, MD Student Achievement Award by sharing their insights on what makes primary care great. Congratulations to ...

A Teaching Hospital Partnership with the Rosebud Sioux Tribe

Beautiful Rosebud, South Dakota, is the home of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, or the Sicangu Oyate. In 2012, the Sicangu Oyate was one of the first communities to ask teaching hospitals to send physicians to work in the local Indian Health Service (IHS) facility, nearly 70 years after physicians from teaching hospitals started working with the Veterans Health Administration. The

Language Barriers to Optimal Health Care: Caring for Migrant Workers in the Middle East

What good is art when the viewer is blind to the colors you draw in? Communication is an art that health care professionals are taught early in their medical education. We’re not only taught what to ask, but how to ask it. Beyond avoiding errors and misunderstandings, good communication builds the trusting relationships that are at the core of health care. It can be said that while medical knowledge constitutes the “health” aspect, it is communication that contributes to the ...

Black Birthing Persons Matter—All of Them

A Black trans dad, Kayden Coleman shares his clinical experience during his two pregnancies. He recounts horrible encounters with gestational care providers, such as being offered an abortion a “ridiculous” number of times, misgendered by physicians, virtually forgotten during his postpartum period, and even turned away from care.

Increasing the Black Physician Workforce: How One Student is Taking Action to Address Diversity in Medicine

“When I grow up, I wanna be Dr. G!” That was how, at seven years old, I announced to my parents that I wanted to be a doctor. Dr. Jan Garavaglia (aka, “Dr. G”) was my role model and the star of my favorite TV show, Dr. G: Medical Examiner. Growing up as an avid viewer of Discovery Health Channel programs, my earliest role models were the doctors I watched every day.

Food Rx: A Prescription for Health Systems and Medical Education

It’s an overcast Tuesday morning in Scranton, Pennsylvania, as Mary walks into the outpatient clinic for her groceries. The warm air in the lobby feels like a pleasant welcome from the blistery snow outside, but it’s the words spaghetti squash and salmon—two of her favorite items the pharmacy provides—written on the whiteboard that make her smile. The dietician at the ...

A “Mouthless” Medical Education: The Gap Between Medicine and Dentistry in Academia and Practice

Medicine and dentistry in the classroom: the context of Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Dental Medicine Since the conception of Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM) in 1867, students at the dental school learned alongside medical colleagues at Harvard Medical School (HMS) during their early years of professional development. The idea of dentistry as a ...

Primary Care Innovations in Medical Education during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Lessons from the Philippines

It has been almost two years since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. This global health crisis continues to expose the vulnerabilities of health systems worldwide, especially in low- and middle-income countries such as the Philippines. While advanced hospital-based health care is required in treating the life-threatening complications of severe COVID-19, it is a

Knock-Knock: Our Ordinary is the Patient’s Extraordinary

The time reads 8:30 am. Walking down the pediatric wards as a third-year medical student, it is easy to get lost in the routine. Step by step with the rest of the medical team on morning rounds, I report an elevated direct bilirubin outside the patient room of a young newborn whose liver is looking a little “junky” to say the least. “His belly is soft and non-distended,” I report.
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