Commercial truck drivers work under difficult conditions. The boredom of long hours on the road can lead to inattentiveness, which can cause a fatal accident. The prolonged periods of sitting down aren’t healthy, either. To ensure the safety of everyone on the nation’s roadways, commercial truck drivers must have regular DOT physicals. Without a DOT medical card issued by a qualified medical examiner, commercial drivers are not legally able to perform interstate transportation.
Can I Visit Any Doctor for a Physical?
No. You must visit a medical provider who is certified to perform these exams by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). All of our Providers at Paramount Urgent Care are certified to perform the DOT exam.
What Happens During a DOT Physical?
The main purpose of this exam is to assess whether you’re healthy enough to operate a big rig. During your physical, the doctor will:
- Check your blood pressure
- Examine your spine for deformities
- Examine your ears, eyes, mouth, and throat
- Do a vision screening
- Do a neurological exam
- Palpate your abdomen
- Do a hernia check
- Listen to your lungs and heartbeat
How Long Will the Exam Be Valid?
In most cases, you won’t need another exam for 24 months. In some situations, your doctor may issue a short-term medical examiner’s certificate. This is done in order to monitor certain health problems, including high blood pressure.
Will I Fail the Exam if I Have a Chronic Medical Condition?
It depends on the health issue you have. You need to disclose your full health history to the medical examiner. Medical conditions that will disqualify you from driving commercially include hearing impairment, vision loss, epilepsy, and diabetes.
Are There Any Exemptions?
Yes. If you have a disqualifying condition, you may apply for an exemption that would allow you to drive a commercial truck.
Do I Need Another DOT Physical if I Take a Job With a Different Company?
Not unless your DOT medical card is already up for renewal. It’s valid nationwide and transfers to other companies. However, your new employer has the right to require new employees to complete a physical exam by the company doctor, as per company policy.