About PRiMER

  • Christopher Morley, PhD, MA

    Editor in Chief

    Christopher Morley, PhD, MA, has been chair of the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Upstate Medical University since 2016. He is the vice chair for research in the Department of Family Medicine at Upstate, and has held a faculty position and leadership roles in the Department of Family Medicine since 2007. Dr Morley's research focuses on student specialty choice, health policy, social determinants, ethics, primary care practice improvement, cancer screening, tobacco control, research methods, and special populations. He serves as an editorial board member for the following peer-reviewed journals: Family MedicineDisability and Health Journal, and Journal of Patient-Centered Research and Reviews. Dr Morley received his PhD in Social Science, and his MA in Public Administration from the Syracuse University Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.

    Email Christopher Morley, PhD, MA
  • Kristen Bene, PhD

    Associate Editor

    Kristen Bene, PhD, is the associate director for education at UCHealth Fort Collins Family Medicine Residency in Fort Collins, Colorado, where she served in various other capacities from 2002 to 2009. Dr Bene’s areas of research expertise include peer teaching in medical education, quality improvement and primary care practice transformation, and curriculum development and evaluation. She earned a PhD in Educational Leadership from Colorado State University in 2013, and a Master of Science in Educational Psychology from Pennsylvania State University in 2002.

  • John Epling, Jr, MD, MSEd

    Associate Editor

    John Epling, Jr, MD, MSEd, is professor of family and community medicine at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, and medical director of research in the Department of Family and Community Medicine. Dr Epling’s research expertise is in educational instructional design, development, and evaluation; evidence-based medicine; public health; clinical preventive services and intimate partner violence; and clinical decision-making. He completed his MD degree at Tufts University School of Medicine in 1992, his family medicine residency at the Medical University of South Carolina, and his Master of Science in Education in Instructional Design, Development and Evaluation at Syracuse University in 2004.

  • Amanda Kost, MD

    Associate Editor

    Amanda Kost, MD, is associate professor in the University of Washington Department of Family Medicine. Dr Kost is the director of the Ecology of Health and Medicine Course at UW, and faculty advisor for the Community Health Advancement Program. She codirects the Community-focused Urban Scholars Program (CUSP) to help prepare students to care for urban underserved populations. Dr Kost’s research expertise lies in the areas of medical student choice of care of underserved populations, and health care systems and their impact on medical practice and health. She earned her MD degree at the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Science, and completed her medical residency at the University of Washington.

  • Amy Lee, MD

    Associate Editor

    Amy Lee, MD, serves in many roles at Tufts University, including family medicine associate clerkship director, chair of the Educational Strategic Planning II Committee on Healthcare Systems, codirector of the Student-As-Teacher Program, elected member of the Curriculum Committee, and Harvey Learning Community advisor. Dr Lee is the founder and director of the Society for Wholeness in Medicine, an organization aimed at promoting principles and practices of self-care and wellness among doctors and medical students. Her primary research interests are family medicine clerkship education, family medicine specialty advising, interprofessional education, medical student well-being, cross-cultural communication, and implicit bias in medical care. Dr Lee earned her MD degree at Tufts University School of Medicine in 2002 and completed her residency at the Tufts University Family Medicine Residency in Malden, Massachusetts.

  • Julie Phillips, MD, MPH

    Associate Editor

    Julie Phillips, MD, MPH, is currently the assistant dean of student career and professional development at the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. She also serves as associate professor of family medicine in the Sparrow-MSU Family Medicine Residency Program in Lansing, Michigan. Dr Phillips’ research expertise includes medical student professional development, social mission-driven medical education, and development of the primary care physician workforce. Dr Phillips is a member of the editorial board for Family Medicine and serves as board member for the Society for Values in Higher Education. She represents the North American Primary Care Research Group to the Academic Family Medicine Advocacy Council. Dr Phillips earned her MD degree at the University of Michigan Medical School and completed her residency at the University of Michigan Family Medicine Residency Program.

  • Jacob Prunuske, MD, MSPH

    Associate Editor

    Jacob Prunuske, MD, MSPH, is associate professor of family and community medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin, where he also serves as assistant dean for clinical learning. He is currently a staff physician at Aspirus Wausau Family Medicine in Wausau, Wisconsin. Dr Prunuske serves on the board of directors for the Family Medicine Midwest Foundation, and on the editorial board for Family Medicine. His research expertise is in curricular development and design, public health in medical education, and primary care workforce issues. He earned his MD degree at the University of Wisconsin in 2000, and completed both his Master of Science in Public Health and medical residency at the University of Utah.

  • Andrea Wendling, MD

    Associate Editor

    Andrea Wendling, MD, is a professor at the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, where she is also director of the rural health curriculum. Her research expertise is in the areas of rural medical education and workforce issues, and she is currently focused on medical education and its impact on the rural physician workforce. Dr Wendling is an assistant editor for Family Medicine, and is the medical director at the Charlevoix Area Physicians Organization. Dr Wendling receives funding from the Michigan Center for Rural Health. She earned her MD at the University of Michigan and completed her residency at the Michigan State University Grand Rapids Family Medicine Residency Program.

Editorial Board

Alicia Agnoli, MD
Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of California, Davis

Tyler Barreto, MD
Sea Mar Community Health Center, Everett, WA

John Delzell, MD, MSPH
Northeast Georgia Health System, Gainesville, GA

Joel Heidelbaugh, MD
Departments of Family Medicine and Urology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Winston Liaw, MD
University of Houston College of Medicine, Houston, TX

Bich-May Nguyen, MD, MPH
Memorial Family Medicine, Residency Program, Sugar Land, TX

Ryan Palmer, EdD, MFA
College of Medicine, Northeast Ohio Medical University, Rootstown, OH

Peer Review Process

Submissions in the Research Brief, Learner Research, and Letters to the Editor categories are initially reviewed for compliance to the manuscript preparation guidelines. Compliant manuscripts are then assessed by the editor in chief, who makes an initial editorial decision. Some manuscripts are immediately rejected or given feedback directly from the editor. Most submissions are assigned by the editor in chief to one of the associate editors, who then assign and coordinate peer review. In some cases, the editor in chief may act as an associate editor. A minimum of two peer reviewers are assigned to each compliant submission, and author revisions are typically needed as a result of reviewer comments. PRiMER uses a single-blind peer review process for all submissions (authors do not know the identity of reviewers, but reviewers do know the identity of authors). When reviewer feedback has been addressed to the satisfaction of the associate editor, the associate editor makes a recommendation to the editor in chief, who makes the final determination regarding publication. Some final revisions may be requested at the time of acceptance by the editor in chief. As a teaching journal, PRiMER editors will often provide more feedback and guidance than what can be expected by other journals throughout the review process, especially in the Learner Research category.

Human Subject Recruitment and Informed Consent

PRiMER submissions for any study involving human subjects must describe the following:

  • Institutional Review Board (IRB) interactions
  • Consent processes
  • Participation incentives
  • Recruitment procedures, description of outreach, etc.

Further instructions about how IRB and Human Subjects Protection considerations apply to a particular manuscript are described in PRiMER’s Quality Guidelines.

Study subjects’ identifying information should never be included in manuscript text or accompanying materials (eg, figures, tables, appendices) unless it is essential for purpose of the study and the subjects have given written informed consent for publication. In any case where subjects’ identifying information is included in a submission, the corresponding author may be asked to provide documentation of informed consent.

Ethical Responsibilities of Editors and Reviewers

PRiMER editors and reviewers must not disclose or discuss unpublished materials in a submitted manuscript with anyone other than the corresponding author, reviewers, or members of the PRiMER editorial team. PRiMER reviewers are expected to declare their conflicts of interest and recuse themselves from the peer-review process if a conflict exists for a manuscript they have been invited to review. Reviewers and associate editors are expected and encouraged to notify the editor in chief of suspected plagiarism, duplicate publication, and ethical concerns such as conflicts of interest among authors. Details regarding reviewer expectations and duties are outlined on this page: https://journals.stfm.org/primer/reviewers/#Be_a_Reviewer.

Corrections, Retractions, and Expressions of Concern

If a substantive error is identified in a published article, the editor in chief and associate editors will decide whether to publish a formal correction, retraction, or expression of concern statement, or initiate a published discussion via letters to the editor. Substantive errors are confirmed errors that significantly affect the integrity of the publication or the interpretation of its results (eg, falsified, fabricated, or omitted data; plagiarism; undisclosed conflicts of interest). In such rare cases, a new document will be published in PRiMER describing the nature of the error, and will provide a link back to the published article containing the error. A prominent corresponding link to the error statement will be added to the article containing the error. In the rare event of a retraction, a prominent mark and statement will be added to the the published article identifying it as retracted, in addition to the link to the editorial retraction statement. For errors that are disputed or pending further investigation, the PRiMER editors reserve the right to determine whether they will be handled by a series of letters to the editor and subsequent author replies, or by the publication of an expression of concern letter, linked to the article in question in the same manner as corrections/retractions.

Copyright and Permissions

Prior to publication, all authors are required to sign a copyright release form, transferring copyright to the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM).

Unless otherwise noted, all PRiMER content is copyrighted by STFM, and may not be reproduced without the written permission of STFM. If you would like to reproduce, reprint, or adapt material from PRiMER for purposes other than nonprofit educational purposes, you must seek permission from the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine. A permission fee is charged when material is to be used in another form of publication (eg, newsletter, textbook, manual, journal/magazine, etc). The fee will be determined once request has been reviewed. Email your permission request to sgrammer@stfm.org.

Advertising Guidelines

Although advertisements are not currently featured in PRiMER, STFM does accept advertisements for its print journal, Family Medicine, according to advertising principles set by the STFM Communications Committee. 

These advertising principles are applied by the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM) to ensure adherence to the highest ethical standards of advertising and to determine the eligibility of products and services for advertising in the STFM print and digital publications. Advertising revenue is used to support the activities of STFM.

As a matter of policy, the STFM will sell advertising space in its publications when the inclusion of advertising does not interfere with the mission or objectives of STFM or its publications. To maintain the integrity of STFM publications, advertising (ie, promotional material, advertising representatives, companies, or manufacturers) cannot influence editorial decisions or editorial content. Decisions to sell advertising space are made independently of and without information pertinent to specific editorial content. STFM publications’ advertising sales representatives have no prior knowledge of specific editorial content before it is published. Placement of advertising adjacent to (ie, next to or within) editorial content on the same topic is prohibited. Complete policy details, including a list of advertising types that are and are not acceptable, can be found here (pdf).