Archive

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.

Insights

Lessons from Steward and the Need for Primary Care Reform in Massachusetts

The Steward Health Care system collapse has raised alarm bells and activated a crisis response from many levels of Massachusetts’ political and health care leadership. Through a still-evolving series of action steps, this crisis will eventually resolve. When the fire has been put out, however, an important lesson will remain: this crisis has its origins in the dangerous set of health care policies and decisions that got us to this point. As health care leaders ...
Insights

Protecting Foster Care-Involved Youth with Asthma in the District of Columbia

In the 17th annual Child Fatality Review Report, the DC Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) disclosed the death of a 9-year-old female involved in the foster care system from an asthma-related complication in 2021. While asthma is a serious pediatric condition, affecting roughly 6.5% of children aged 0-17, it is one that can be ...
Stories

Reflections on Differences in Health Care Between a Kingdom and a Democracy

A hospital is often seen as a sanctuary—a bubble of refuge for local and migrant populations alike. However, in order for a hospital to provide care, it needs to rely on a health care system that governs daily operational functions and establishes rules and regulations to care. As an Egyptian-American licensed physician assistant (PA) in the United States currently conducting a clinical trial and an educational research curriculum in Bahrain, I have had a chance to reflect on the major differences, successes, and downfalls of ...
Advocacy

Standing for change: NASEM Forms Standing Committee for Primary Care

As a specialty that manages complex chronic conditions and preventive care, primary care has been shown to reduce cardiovascular, cancer, and respiratory mortality and extend the lives of patients. Yet the field of primary care faces an unmanageable physician workload, lower average salaries than most other medical specialties, and ...
Advocacy

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
Advocacy

Relating Place, History, and Neighborhood Context to Mental Health: A Baltimore Case Study

Mental health is a growing public health priority. While people from racial/ethnic minority groups generally report a similar prevalence of mental health conditions compared to the rest of the U.S. population, they have
Advocacy

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 ...
Advocacy

“Is the Lawyer in?”: Accessing Health Care in America

Jamal was a young, promising athlete whose coordination suddenly deteriorated, at only 12-years-old, with the onset of terrible headaches. Scans revealed a large brain mass, and he was referred to a regional academic medical center for what would be a complicated surgery. Moments before he was to be wheeled into the operating room, a nurse pulled Jamal’s mother, Lisa, aside to tell her apologetically that the procedure was cancelled. The medical center had learned that Jamal’s Tennessee Medicaid plan, TennCare, had been terminated, and he was uninsured. “I’m afraid you’ll need to take him ...
Advocacy

No Borders for Those Who Fight

"Não há fronteiras para os que exploram… não deve haver para os que lutam”—there are no borders for those who explore… there should not be for those who fight. This powerful statement was the rallying cry of representatives from dozens of waste picker organizations to the 2nd Latin American Congress. The gathering, held in 2005 in São Leopoldo, Brazil, unified a collection of marginalized peoples into a single voice calling for an end to ...
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