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.

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 ...
Stories

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 Farewell Message from the Outgoing Editor-in-Chief

To our community of readers and contributors of the Harvard Medical School Primary Care Review: It has been the pleasure of a lifetime to serve as the inaugural Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Medical School Primary Care Review from April 2020 through December 2022, and it is with mixed emotions that I step down from this role as I pursue further family obligations. Throughout the past 2.5 years, we have grown this publication to become a key Harvard-affiliated publication where community members ...
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

Compassionate Release for Prisoners: Ensuring Dignity and Care

He is bedbound, unable to walk, unable to care for himself, unable to advocate for himself, and so confused that he cannot finish a thought, let alone a sentence. He has lost 90 pounds in the past year. He soils the bed multiple times per day. His legs and feet are so swollen and edematous that socks and shoes do not fit on his feet. The expectation is that he yells from his bed/cell if he needs something, has a problem, or even worse, he falls with the hope someone hears him in the hallway. There is no emergency call button or ...
Advocacy

P is for Period and P is for Power: Attending to Menstrual Hygiene in Rural India

“Can I take a bath during my period?” comes a feeble voice from one corner of the classroom. I struggle to put the words together but am afraid to ask again lest the enquirer retreat. “I missed my exam because I was on my period that day, and the cloth I use often leaks and soils my clothes,” someone else says from another corner. Slowly the entire room fills with questions that I never imagined existed. I wonder if we have different centuries for different people.
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 ...
Advocacy

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
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