By AuntMinnie.com staff writers

September 12, 2019 -- The U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has selected the American College of Radiology (ACR) Education Center to provide training to increase the number of B readers available in the U.S. to read black lung screening exams.

B readers are physicians qualified to identify and classify pneumoconiosis on chest x-rays. NIOSH runs a national program of health surveillance for coal miners, which includes periodic chest x-ray exams to identify early interstitial lung disease; B readers classify chest x-rays for the presence and severity of pneumoconiosis.

Demand for B readers has increased, but the population of readers has not kept pace: In the mid-2000s there were nearly 400, and today there are only 165, the ACR said. The college plans to provide two courses to qualify at least 80 physicians to become certified B readers by August 2020. The first course will be held January 30 through February 1, 2020, and registration is now open.


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