After a long career of treating coal miners for black lung disease, Edward Petsonk, MD, can’t forget a particular call from a patient’s wife. “She said, ‘Thanks a lot, Dr Petsonk. Now my husband has no job and we have nothing,’” he recalled.
Currently a professor of medicine at the West Virginia University School of Medicine, Petsonk had encouraged the woman’s husband, a miner, to get a chest x-ray to check for mining-related lung disease. The chance that he might file a worker’s compensation claim if occupational lung disease was diagnosed was enough for the miner to lose his job.
Voelker R. Black Lung Resurgence Raises New Challenges for Coal Country Physicians. JAMA. 2019;321(1):17–19. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.15966
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