A career as a commercial driver can be rewarding in a number of ways, but a love of the open road isn’t the only requirement. Today’s CDL drivers must be mentally and physically up to the task.
While most CDL drivers have all experienced DOT physicals at some point in their careers, since the formation of the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners in May of 2014, drivers must visit a certified medical examiner belonging to the registry for their DOT/CDL exams.
Dr. Atkinson is proud to be an Arizona Chiropractor and FMCA Certified Medical Examiner with years of experience performing DOT medical exams for interstate commercial motor vehicle drivers. Located in the heart of Phoenix, Arizona, contact Dr. Atkinson to schedule an appointment for your exam today!
CDL Medical Requirements
Each state is responsible for managing the CDL application and testing process, but the Federal Motor Carrier Association mandates that CDL drivers who operate motor vehicles of a certain class, weight, or passenger capacity must undergo regular physical exams and carry a valid medical certificate issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
According to federal guidelines, in order to hold a commercial driver license, you must maintain a good driving record and undergo a physical exam every other year. You must also carry a copy of the medical certificate whenever you get behind the wheel.
Beyond the standard vision test required of all drivers, CDL drivers must also pass hearing tests and can be held up for hypertension, damage to a limb, epilepsy, and so on. You can also expect to answer questions regarding any alcohol and substance abuse. Rest assured, Dr. Atkinson has performed hundreds of DOT physical exams and will treat you with the respect and discreetness you deserve.
For the exam, please allow approximately 30 minutes and bring with you the following:
• Current driver’s license
• Any documents pertaining to any health issues you may suffer from
• A list of all medications you are currently taking
The FMCA requires CDL drivers to meet a certain number of health standards. For example, as far as vision is concerned, each eye must be 20/40 correctable vision or better. Glasses and contact lenses are perfectly fine.
Blood sugar levels must also be under 200 and your blood pressure must be 140-159/90-99 for a one year medical certificate or 160-179/100-109 for a three-month certificate. If your blood pressure exceeds 180/110, you will unfortunately be disqualified. However, blood pressure medications are allowed.
No current diagnosis of cardiac congestive failure, collapse, or any type of cardiac insufficiency or disease is allowed. If you have suffered from previous cardiac issues, you must perform an annual stress test and have a physician sign a release stating you are capable of safely operating a commercial motor vehicle.
If you are diabetic, insulin injections aren’t allowed for CDL drivers. The condition must be controllable only through diet and/or oral medication.
Applicants must also pass a drug test and be clear of any narcotics, amphetamines, and Schedule 1 drugs.
While insurance companies do not cover the cost of the exam, Dr. Atkinson only charges an $89.99 fee for this service. Once cleared, you’ll have your mandatory medical certification in hand and be able to log some miles.
Who Needs a DOT CDL Physical Exam?
Nearly every commercial driver needs a DOT CDL exam, including:
• Anyone operating a commercial vehicle with a combined gross vehicle weight over 10,000 lbs.
• Anyone operating a commercial vehicle and receiving compensation to transport 9-15 passengers.
• Anyone operating a commercial vehicle to transport more than 15 people, regardless of whether they’re receiving compensation or not.
• Anyone transporting hazardous materials requiring placarding according to hazardous materials regulations.
How Often Do Drivers Need To Be Examined?
Most drivers must renew their medical certificate by getting a CDL physical exam every two years. However, drivers must also be examined whenever they return from an injury or illness affecting their driving ability, regardless of whether or not the medical examiner’s certificate has expired.
Medical examiners are responsible for only certifying drivers meeting the minimum medical qualification standards. Although all drivers must renew their certification every two years, certification for some drivers may be less than two years. This is at the medical examiners discretion.
Can I Still Receive a Medical Certificate If I’m Being Treated by a Physician for a Pre-Existing Condition?
Once again, this is at the sole discretion of your medical examiner. Dr. Atkinson may request information regarding your medical condition from your physician. In most cases, certification is granted for drivers who do not have a condition, receive treatment, or use medication capable of impairing safe driving.
Why Is The Diagnosis and Treatment of Hypertension So Vital?
Clinical evidence shows that hypertension leads to a greater risk of cardiovascular disease. Fortunately, effective treatment can reduce this risk. If you suffer from hypertension and wish to gain your medical certification, you should undergo ongoing hypertension management and not suffer from any side effects capable of impairing safe driving.
Will My Employer Be Able To Access My Medical Evaluation?
While the FMCA doesn’t require medical examiners to provide employers with medical examination reports, it does allow employers to access copies of drivers’ medical examination forms. In order to have access, however, drivers must sign a release form.
Employers must comply with all state and federal laws pertaining to the maintenance and privacy of employee medical records and information. To receive further information about Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information rule enacted by the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act of 1996, visit the HIPPA website or call their information line at 1-866-627-7748.
Why Choose Us?
Dr. Jim Atkinson is an Arizona chiropractor committed to excellence and patient care. As a graduate of the National College of Chiropractic Medicine in Lombard, Illinois, he has been a licensed chiropractor in the state of Arizona since 1999.
Although Dr. Atkinson and his dedicated staff primarily help people in need of chiropractic spinal correction and pain relief from sports injuries and auto or work accidents, he and his staff at Advanced Chiropractic also perform weight loss counseling and DOT physical exams.
Here’s a few of the many reasons to choose Dr. Atkinson and Advanced Chiropractic for your DOT physical exam:
• Convenient location
• Years of experience
• Friendly and courteous staff
• “No Wait Policy”
• Professional yet comfortable atmosphere
• We handle all of the paperwork!
If you’re in need of a DOT physical, give Advanced Chiropractic a call at (602) 242-0000 and receive your medical certificate today!
Consult with an Arizona Back Pain Chiropractor Today
Postponing a chiropractic treatment may only worsen the pain. And that would require longer therapy. Aside from basic chiropractic care, patients with severe conditions may also require supplementary services such as extensive corrective exercises, massage therapy, and spinal and postural screening.
Initially, chiropractors will conduct a diagnosis of a patient’s back pain to determine what causes it. Potentially serious back pains may no longer be under the scope of a chiropractor. If the back pain were caused by severe fracture, tumor, infection, neurological problems, open wounds or burns, prolonged bleeding, and joint infection, then the patient would be referred to a medical specialist that can help them best. This is another reason why it is necessary for back pains to be addressed immediately. Once it has worsened, help from a chiropractor alone may no longer be sufficient.
Help from the Experts
Seek help from the Advanced Chiropractic & Wellness Center for all your back pain issues. We take pride in providing the finest chiropractic health care to every patient. We use state-of-the-art chiropractic techniques to offer patients a safe, comfortable, and effective treatment package. Our experts don’t just treat back pain; they also offer preventive care for total health and wellness.
Additionally, our experts are highly knowledgeable in corrective exercises that could help strengthen the body and correct any irregularity. They also provide nutritional counseling to achieve one’s total health and balance. Our massage therapies don’t just make a person feel good. They are specially provided to relieve a wide range of musculoskeletal pains. To further ensure the prevention of injuries and other diseases, we also provide posture and spinal screening, as well as lifestyle advice. It is our goal to make sure that every patient comes out of our facility fully cured, healthy, and balanced.