The Department of Transportation requires certain commercial drivers to take a physical to ensure that they are in top medical form in order to perform their jobs. If you are employed by a company that requires you to follow the DOT procedures in safely operating a truck or motor vehicle, then you should know that the physical in question follows strict guidelines. Here is what you can expect if you have to take the DOT physical.
There are a few things you will need to bring with you when you take the physical and one of these items is your medical history. This includes your complete list of medications – should you take any, including their doses, your doctor's name, and address and you may have to fill out a health history form before coming to the clinic.
If you wear glasses bring them with you, along with hearing aids. If you are diabetic, bring your most recent lab results from your Hemoglobin test and include your blood sugar logs. If you have heart issues, bring a letter from your doctor or cardiologist that gives your heart history and current medications.
There are a number of things that will be tested during the DOT physical. You will have your vision tested and you are required to pass a certain level of visual acuity in order to be deemed safe. Your hearing will be tested and you must be able to hear what is known as a "forced whisper" over a few feet distance in order to pass. This can be done with or without a hearing aid. Your blood pressure and pulse rate will be tested. The doctor is looking for irregular heartbeats and that your blood pressure is normal. You can also expect that your urine will be tested for diabetes or any other underlying medical issues.
The physical is very comprehensive with the doctor examining your general appearance as a whole. They will look for cataracts or glaucoma, check for any potential breathing problems or trouble swallowing, check out your lungs for any problems, and they will examine your chest for issues. You will be checked for liver problems, abdomen or muscle weakness, and hernias. The doctor will examine you for limitation of motion or soreness in your limbs and also if you have speech pattern problems or any neurological impairment.
Your DOT physical can only be done by a medical examiner who is certified by the FMCSA. They are the ones who will determine whether or not your physical condition meets the required standards to do your job. Speak to a representative from businesses like the DOT Medical Examiner for more information.