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 Role of Advocacy in Primary Care

Primary care physicians are uniquely positioned to go beyond the immediate needs of their patients. Everything from writing a prescription to examining the larger, more daunting socioeconomic and environmental factors that affect their patients’ health and well-being falls within their scope of work. “When physicians have a trusting relationship with their patients, there are things that are disclosed between the walls of an exam room that many people would not disclose otherwise,” says

Air Pollution Is the New Radiation. It is Time to Act Like It.

In the not-so distant past, you may not have thought twice about your exposure to radiation. While Roentgen discovered the X-ray in 1895, it would not be until the early-mid 1900s that the general public—let alone the scientific community—would accept the malignant potential of an invisible, devastating force, powerful enough to pierce bone, burst cells, and warp DNA. It would take years of tragedy before we finally recognized radiation for what it was—a threat to human health. That begs the question, why aren’t we doing ...

Our Right to Basic Public Health Amenities

I was born and raised in Mebane—a small town in North Carolina that is now primarily white with a large percentage of Black, Indigenous, and Latinx individuals today. My childhood was spent between my father, Jesse’s, side of the family in the West End Community of Mebane and the Hawfields community of dairy farms where most of my mother, Mary’s, side of the family lived. My father worked on dairy farms after his left arm was cut off in a Mebane sawmill accident, while my mother worked in textile mills that caused carpal tunnel syndrome and mini-strokes. Outhouse ...

Inspire: Helping Families with Asthma Catch Their Breath

“I did whatever I needed to for my child to get the proper services… you are the professionals, but I’m the mom.” She’s the mom. It’s these humbling moments that Mary, a panelist at the

Air Quality in Southwest Detroit: A Public Health Crisis

Southwest Detroit is currently battling some of the worst air pollution in the country. In this area, where senior centers and elementary schools sit on the borders of oil refineries, residents suffer from high rates of asthma, cancer, and respiratory illness. Asthma hospitalization rates are

Climate Health Now

Injury and drowning from worsening storm surges and flooding. Smoke inhalation and burns from wildfires. More severe and frequent heat stroke and heat-related illness. Spread of infectious diseases. Worsening anxiety and depression. These are just a few of the ways in which climate change impacts human health. ...

The Original Pandemic: Commercial Tobacco

All mentions of tobacco in this article refer to commercial tobacco and nicotine products and not sacred and traditional use of tobacco by some Native American communities. This article is solely for informational educational purposes and is not meant to lobby and/or express, promote, or influence support or opposition on any ...

How Many More Children Must Be Hurt by Pollution?

A nine-year-old girl in London died from an asthma attack in 2013, and she is the first person in the world to have “air ...

In the US West Scorched by Wildfires, We Can Barely Breathe. It’s Going to Get Worse.

In California, we’ve counted ourselves among the lucky this past week if the worst we’ve had to cope with is a thick layer of smoke transforming our daytime skies into eerie orange hellscapes. Compared with the trauma of losing a home or loved one, having to
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