What to Bring to your DOT Physical Exam:
Bring your driver’s license
Bring a complete list of medications
Arrive with a full bladder
Drivers Who Require Eye Glasses, Contact Lenses, or Hearing Aids:
Bring your glasses, contacts, or hearing aids
Drivers Granted a Federal Exemption Waiver:
Bring your waiver
Drivers Who Have Nighttime Sleep Disturbance (Sleep Apnea) and Use a CPAP Machine:
Bring a reading from your machine indicating you have used it appropriately
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (DOT) EXAM
At our office your DOT exam will be thorough, quick and efficient getting you back on the road. Upon passing your exam you will receive your laminated medical certificate. A passing DOT certification is valid for up to 24 months. The medical examiner may also issue a medical examiner’s certificate for less than 24 months when it is desirable to monitor a condition, such as high blood pressure.
The $90.00 charge includes the DOT physical examination, visual acuity, basic hearing test, urinalysis (blood, sugar and protein) and a laminated medical certificate. The urinalysis test is not a drug test. The DOT medical certificate will be completed at the end of your DOT physical exam.
DOT MEDICAL EXAM & CMV CERTIFICATION
The National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) program. It requires all medical examiners (MEs) who wish to perform physical examinations for interstate commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers to be trained and certified in FMCSA physical qualification standards. Medical examiners who have completed the training and successfully passed the test are included in an online directory on the National Registry website.
A Department of Transportation (DOT) physical examination is conducted by a licensed “medical examiner.” The term includes, but is not limited to, doctors of medicine (MD), doctors of chiropractic (DC), doctors of osteopathy (DO), advanced practice nurses (APN) and physician assistants (PA). At Arkansas Center for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation our physicians are FMCSA National Registry Certified Medical Examiners, which offer DOT/CDL examinations.
WHAT TO EXPECT ON YOUR VISIT
While we make every effort to accommodate walk-ins those with appointments will be given a priority. We have all of the necessary forms that are required. You need only bring a valid driver’s license, and be prepared for the urine test. The DOT physical examination takes approximately 20 to 30 minutes.
You will be examined according to the Federal regulations that are listed on the bottom of this page but you may expect the DOT Physical to include: Vision, traffic signal colors, blood pressure, pulse, eye movements, ears, peripheral vision, back of the mouth, neck lymph nodes, spine for tenderness, spasm, range of motion, abdomen for tenderness, hearing, reflexes, balance, neurological checks and a hernia check.
We will complete your Medical Examination Report for Commercial Driver Fitness Determination form, give you a summary of your exam and provide a Medical Examiner’s Certificate, which is commonly known at the DOT Health Card.
Insurance is not accepted for your Department of Transportation (DOT) physical exam.
WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOUR VISIT
While many people tell us this is one of the best physicals they have had it is not intended to substitute for routine health evaluations by your primary care provider. We cannot prescribe or refill prescriptions during this visit.
PLEASE ARRIVE AT YOUR EXAM WITH ALL NECESSARY INFORMATION. IF YOU HAVE MEDICAL CONDITIONS YOU NEED SOME PAPERWORK:
Diabetic Condition – Bring a list of medications and name of the prescribing doctor. Diabetic truckers, if available, need to bring in a recent copy of your blood sugar results or hemoglobin A1C (a test that shows what the average blood sugar level over the past 3 months.)
High Blood Pressure – Bring a list of medications, dosage and name of prescribing doctor.
Heart Condition – If you’ve had a heart attack or cardiovascular disease, you’ll need to bring a copy of your last stress test or release from your cardiologist.
Sleep Apnea – Bring a copy of your latest sleep test results, if you have one.
Medications – Bring a list all the prescription medicines you take, including strength and dosage. If you regularly take over-the counter medications, such as antacids or allergy pills, list them, too. List all vitamins and herbs you take including dosage and frequency.
Contact information – Have the names and phone numbers of your doctors you have seen in the past 2 years in case we need to call and have them fax missing information.
THE DAY OF THE DOT PHYSICAL EXAM
Remember to bring the medical records you’ve prepared in advance, including your list of medications.
Remember to bring eye glasses (it’s surprising how many people forget this).
Drink water. You’ll need to provide a sample urinalysis. This is to check for blood, protein, specific gravity and sugar. This is not a drug test.
GETTING PAST ‘WHITE COAT’ SYNDROME
We understand this is a very real concern for some drivers. We work with drivers all day long. We understand that passing your DOT physical exam is important to your continued career and your livelihood, and we’re here to do everything we can to help you. Our doctors will work with you to overcome any anxiety caused by the “White Coat Syndrome.”
THINGS TO DO TO MANAGE YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE
Make sure you don’t run out of your prescribed blood-pressure medication.
Remember to take your medication on schedule. If you forget, most doctors recommend taking your medication as soon as possible.
If you’re significantly late taking your medication, tell the doctor conducting the DOT physical you forgot to take your regular medication. If your blood pressure is too high, ask to have it rechecked later that day – or even the following day.
Cutting back on caffeine and nicotine can help improve your blood pressure.
Reducing the amount of salty foods you eat and avoiding adding salt to your food can also help to lower your blood pressure. (30 percent of idiopathic hypertension [high blood pressure] is related to reduced potassium levels – Ask your physician.)
Invest in a blood pressure cuff- you would not drive without gauges working in your truck. A blood pressure cuff is a gauge for your body.
Cut back on coffee, sodas, energy drinks, potato chips, etc, and don’t add salt to your food. Also reduce your use of nicotine as much as possible. Doing this can help lower your blood pressure reading.