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.

Hospital Visitor Policies in the Context of COVID-19: Ensuring Support & Promoting Health Equity for Laboring Patients

After working the night shift, Mandy, now five months pregnant, travels close to two hours on public transportation to make it to her prenatal appointments. The day before, I send her a text message with a reminder and ask whether she plans to get the gumbo special of the day or a grilled cheese with tomato from the hospital’s surprisingly delicious cafeteria. As a first-year medical student, I am participating in a program that trains me to provide additional support to a pregnant patient who I’m partnered ...

Focusing Upstream: Imagining Post-COVID Times

As the daily death toll for COVID-19 continues to climb across the United States, it may be difficult to consider post-pandemic times. Yet despite the messy

Birth Equity Requires Hard Truths and New Leadership

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States is finally experiencing a cultural shift in consciousness and awareness of racial disparities. And meanwhile, the maternal health community’s reckoning with racism is accelerating. Black women in the United States die from pregnancy-related complications at

The Impact of Neighborhoods on Racial & Ethnic Inequities in COVID-19

As 2021 opens with US COVID-19 cases soaring, racial/ethnic inequities persisting, and

Why Harvard Medical School Could Be a Perfect Place to Train Family Medicine Physicians

In 1965, Harvard Medical School (HMS) had a thriving Family Medicine & Primary Care Residency—a visionary program that was strongly rooted in serving the vulnerable populations surrounding the HMS campus. Resident physicians trained to provide outpatient primary care across the life spectrum, working in partnership with Boston Children’s Hospital, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, and Boston Lying-In Hospital (the latter two of which are Brigham & Women’s predecessor institutions). ...

How Our Clinical Public Health Curriculum Equipped Us to Respond to COVID-19

The authors are fourth year medical students at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences who have been active participants in their medical school’s Clinical Public Health (CPH) curriculum. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the students applied their education to help launch and lead community response efforts, including creation of a

Incarceration is a Public Health Crisis, During COVID-19 and Beyond

The COVID-19 pandemic has made American inequality painfully clear. As case counts continue to rise across the country, some of the largest COVID-19 clusters in the US are in jails, prisons, and detention centers. As of November 2020, 38 different institutions have reported greater than 1,000 cases. One study estimates that rates of COVID-19 in US prisons are

Well-Being of LGBTQI+ People in the United States Today

More than 11 million lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI) people live in the United States today, but we know far too little about their overall health and well-being. For LGBTQI+ people, we do know that some aspects of life are better than they once were. Whereas LGBTQI+ people were once viewed negatively by many ...

Diversifying the Healthcare Workforce is Key to Addressing Health Inequities

When we improve the health of the most marginalized, we improve the whole nation’s health. Brian Stevenson, Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, noted in the American Public Health Association (APHA) 2020 Annual Meeting, “the health of our communities must not be judged on how well the powerful and privileged are doing, but by the health and well-being of the most vulnerable ...
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