If you drive a semi or other type of commercial vehicle, you’re required by law to undergo a commercial driver’s license exam, or DOT physical. At Pax Internal Medicine Associates in Akron, Ohio, board-certified internal medicine specialist Chimezie Amanambu, MD, regularly conducts commercial driver’s license exams for both men and women. To request your appointment today, call the office or click the online scheduling tool.
A commercial driver’s license exam, or DOT physical, is a work-related physical mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). It follows a set of strict guidelines to ensure commercial drivers are healthy enough to work safely.
Anyone who operates a commercial vehicle for a living must participate in a commercial driver’s license exam every two years.
Preparing for a DOT physical is easy and hassle-free. Simply write down a list of the medications, supplements, and vitamins you’re taking and fill out your health history questionnaire. If you wear glasses, contact lenses, or hearing aids, make sure to bring those as well.
If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes or heart disease, you should also bring the lab results from your most recent glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test and a letter from your cardiologist that indicates you’re healthy enough to work.
A commercial driver’s license exam checks in on all aspects of your health. First, Dr. Amanambu conducts a physical.
During this portion of the exam, he checks your pulse, blood pressure, and heart and respiration rate. He also tests your reflexes, palpates your organs, and asks you questions about any symptoms or problems you’re experiencing.
Next, Dr. Amanambu tests your vision and hearing. The FMCSA requires all commercial drivers to have at least 20/40 acuity in each eye (with or without glasses). All commercial drivers must also have good enough hearing to detect a “forced whisper” at a range of five feet or less.
Lastly, you provide a urine sample, or urinalysis. This detects the use of any illicit substances and can also alert you to potentially serious health problems like diabetes.
Sometimes, commercial drivers fail the hearing and/or vision portion of the DOT test. If this happens to you, don’t panic. Assuming you can correct the problem with eyeglasses, contacts, or hearing aids, you can undergo a second exam later on.
If you have further questions about what steps to take next, ask Dr. Amanambu or reach out to your employer.
Is it time to schedule your commercial driver’s license exam? If so, request an appointment at Pax Internal Medicine Associates today by calling the office or clicking the online scheduling tool.