In the zinc, lead and silver ore mine of Maarmorilik, Greenland 1,061 episodes of illness in the first year of employment were studied in 421 persons. Despite the fact that about 80% of the employees were of Scandinavian origin, the patterns of illness were considerably different from the health problems in primary health care units in Denmark. Urogenital problems were the only group of illnesses representing overweight of multiple contact episodes. All other groups of diagnoses were dominated by episodes of single contact. Dental problems, traumatic and urogenital episodes appeared more frequently compared to Danish primary health care units. The lower frequency of traumatic episodes in women reflected their employment in service jobs only. Despite a health examination before employment the total amount of episodes of illness corresponded to that of primary health care units in Denmark, and the age specific contact rate for males was higher than in other morbidity studies from Greenland. Possible explanations were: sick leave required documentation of the doctor, the workload was heavy and prolonged, the spare time possibilities were few, the buildings were inadequate, the employees were isolated from their families for months and the consumption of alcohol was considerable. Because the doctor was the only person with health education in the mining village, knowledge about dental treatment and considerable experience in traumatology and diagnosis of venereal disease were necessary.