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.


Menstrual Justice Is a Matter of Health Equity: How to Fight Period Poverty and Stigma

While assisting patients in the Emergency Department (ED) one morning, I met a patient I’ll refer to as Mary. When I walked in, she was hunched over the edge of the bed, gripping her abdomen in distress. As I approached her, asking how I could make her more comfortable, she sat up slightly. She sounded ashamed as she opened up to me about not having access to menstrual products and unexpectedly starting her period while waiting in ...

Lessons in Health Equity Learned During the Pandemic

In the spring of 2020, as the pandemic bore down on our country, I was appointed to the COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Group to help guide the executive branch on communication, distribution, and equity issues relating to the distribution of vaccines. My role as the President and CEO of the state’s ...

Responsible Medical Engagement in the Developing World

In July 2018, I engaged in a four-week research and service-learning trip in Buhoma, Kanungu District, Uganda. The trip was designed to address two of the most pressing concerns for the isolated, rural communities that rely on the local hospital,

Healing Across the Divides: Peace Building Through Health, Part 2

Healing Across the Divides is based on the simple idea that all humans desire good health. And it was created because all Americans are engaged in the Middle East conflict, as Israel is the greatest ...

A “Mouthless” Medical Education: The Gap Between Medicine and Dentistry in Academia and Practice

Medicine and dentistry in the classroom: the context of Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Dental Medicine Since the conception of Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM) in 1867, students at the dental school learned alongside medical colleagues at Harvard Medical School (HMS) during their early years of professional development. The idea of dentistry as a ...

Primary Care Innovations in Medical Education during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Lessons from the Philippines

It has been almost two years since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. This global health crisis continues to expose the vulnerabilities of health systems worldwide, especially in low- and middle-income countries such as the Philippines. While advanced hospital-based health care is required in treating the life-threatening complications of severe COVID-19, it is a

Knock-Knock: Our Ordinary is the Patient’s Extraordinary

The time reads 8:30 am. Walking down the pediatric wards as a third-year medical student, it is easy to get lost in the routine. Step by step with the rest of the medical team on morning rounds, I report an elevated direct bilirubin outside the patient room of a young newborn whose liver is looking a little “junky” to say the least. “His belly is soft and non-distended,” I report.

Sudden Death in the Realm of Possibility: The Psychosocial Trauma, Uncertainty, and Health Care Needs of Migrants Crossing the Mexico-U.S. Border

Matamoros, Mexico: The living conditions of displaced migrants Poverty, violence, natural disasters, and political instability are all forces that have led to mass migration and displaced populations globally. In the Americas, migrants crossing from Honduras into Mexico face a number of personal safety and health concerns, including a high risk of sex trafficking, ...

The Power of a Personalized Approach: Physicians’ Fight against Misinformation and Vaccine Hesitancy

“There was so much information out there, I didn’t know what to do. I just wish someone had convinced me to get the vaccine,” said a COVID-19 patient we cared for a few days after he had been transferred to the intensive care unit (ICU). Each day, we slowly turned up his oxygen. Each day, he could only manage a few words at a time as the virus, that has come to dominate all of our lives, ravaged his lungs. Every patient we have had in the ICU with COVID-19 in the last ...
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