DOT Physicals and What You Need To KnowJackie Boucher, PA, dot physicals

The Department of Transportation requires all commercial driver’s license holders (CDL) to receive periodic physical exams to ensure the ability of the driver to safely operate a commercial vehicle. As of May 2014 the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrators (FMCSA) mandated those examinations to be performed by a certified medical examiner only. Medical examiners must be licensed as a M.D., D.O., PA-C, or NP. These individuals are required to complete a training program, pass a national certification exam and recertify every 5 years. The focus of the DOT training program is to teach physicians to spot certain medical problems including eye problems, hypertension, sleep apnea, diabetes, obesity and many other chronic health issues. The DOT theorizes that these new regulations will end doctor shopping, create transparency and stream line the process of securing the mandatory medical exam. It is the mission of the FMCSA to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks and buses.
For commercial motor vehicle drivers (CMV), the most important safety feature is the driver. The physical exam the driver takes for their medical certificate confirms that they are healthy enough to safely perform the demanding job of a CMV driver and keep our Nation’s roads safe.
What is a DOT physical?
It is a medical history and physical examination performed by a certified medical examiner. The FMCSA requires this examination every 2 years.
There are certain requirements that must be met during this examination including:
Vision measured at an acuity of 20/40 in both eyes with or without correction, 70 degrees of peripheral vision and the ability to distinguish colors red, green, and amber.
Hearing is another requirement and the individual must be able to perceive a forced whisper voice at e5 feet.
Blood pressure is another important requirement and must be less than or equal to 140/90.
Drug screening and urinalysis will also be utilized to clear a driver and rule out underlying conditions.
There are certain medical conditions that would disqualify a CMV driver like having epilepsy/ seizures, diabetes requiring insulin, loss of limp, having a cardiac defibrillator and taking certain medication.
Having a chronic medical condition will not automatically disqualify a driver, especially if the problem is being properly controlled and monitored by a health care provider. Additional information on the required medical examination can be found on the FMCSA website.
Make Total Health Systems your preferred provider for CMV/DOT examinations. We provide certified and nationally registered medical examiners, 3 convenient locations in Macomb County, and weekend appointments. Call for your appointment today.