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

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
Stories

A Poem: No Name

I called a third time. her voice sounds like a whisper hanging from a wire or a storyline lost in space. Worry not of death itself but her fragile husband and three kids Despite everything she is eager to talk and between the cough and fatigue Shared details, dates, places she speaks about her experience at the hospital and is ...
Advocacy

Beating Hunger: Addressing Food Insecurity During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Closed. Out of Business. We are temporarily closed due to COVID. These signs have become a common sight in the windows of grocery stores scattered throughout the United States. Throughout the pandemic, the number of communities that have become food deserts, as well as the number of households that have become food insecure, has increased substantially. While volunteering at a local food pantry during the pandemic, I talked to a regular named Carmen, and she described her ...
Advocacy

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
Stories

The Salutary Impact of Listening to the Trauma Story

I entered the Brighton Marine Public Health Center in Massachusetts in December 1981, where hundreds of Indochinese refugees were being medically screened after the fall of Saigon. I’ll never forget my first patient—a middle-aged Cambodian woman with major hearing loss. During the exam, she told me that her hearing loss began after being beaten unconscious by the Khmer Rouge soldiers and left for dead on a pile of the bodies of her relatives. At the time, I knew nothing about the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia. I had no training on the impact of extreme violence on ...
Advocacy

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 ...
Advocacy

Wi! Si! Yes! We Can Provide More Equitable Care When Interpretation is Required

Imagine you’re a primary care provider at our clinic in Malden, Massachusetts. A patient quickly rattles off a list of concerns during your latest telehealth visit with her. Before you can ask any clarifying questions, you wait for the Brazilian Portuguese medical interpreter to interpret her concerns into English. You ask some questions, then wait again for the ...
Advocacy

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
Advocacy

The Conflict of Culture and Sexuality Among Arab American Women

As Arab American women studying public health at National Arab American Medical Association Next Generation (NAAMA NextGen), we’re passionate about the sexual health of our fellow Arab American women. Though the Arab region extends throughout a vast geographic area in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), resulting in diverse societal norms and cultural values,
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