• FAQs About DOT Physicals

    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.

    Need a DOT physical and live near Orlando? Stop by one of the convenient locations of Paramount Urgent Care. For more information, please visit www.paramounturgentcare.com.

  • What to Expect from a DOT Physical

    Under Florida law, all commercial drivers with a CDL license must undergo a DOT physical exam to obtain a valid DOT medical card. There are a few exceptions, depending on the category of license. In most cases, DOT physicals are only needed every 2 years. In some cases, the doctor may issue a certificate that is valid for less than 2 years if the driver requires monitoring for a medical condition, such as hypertension.

    Medical History

    The review of your medical history will comprise a significant portion of your DOT physical. This is because there are strict regulations regarding chronic health conditions among commercial drivers. Every driver should be aware that failing to answer these questions truthfully could result in legal consequences in the future. The medical examiner will need to know whether you have any underlying medical conditions, including the following:

    • Seizure disorders
    • Brain injuries
    • Heart disease
    • Kidney disease
    • Psychiatric disorders
    • Dizziness or fainting
    • Spinal cord injuries
    • Chronic pain
    • Loss of hearing
    • Visual impairment
    • Paralysis
    • Missing limbs
    • Stroke
    • Digestive disorders

    You’ll also be required to provide a complete, up-to-date list of all medications you’re currently taking.

    Physical Exam

    Next, the healthcare provider will perform a thorough physical exam. He or she will evaluate your general appearance, which can provide clues to problematic health conditions like alcoholism. The provider will check for spinal deformities, and unusual sounds of the heart and lungs. You’ll have your ears, eyes, throat, and mouth examined. The doctor will likely palpate your abdomen to check whether anything feels abnormal.

    Health Screenings

    DOT physicals include several health screenings. Screenings are exams performed to check for signs of possible health conditions, even if the patient hasn’t experienced symptoms. Your physical is likely to include the following health screenings:

    • Vision test
    • Hearing test
    • Hernia check
    • Neurological exam
    • Blood pressure and pulse check
    • Blood glucose measurement
    • Drug and alcohol testing

    Paramount Urgent Care is a leading provider of DOT physicals in Orlando, Oviedo, Lady Lake and Clermont. We also provide other corporate medicine services, including wellness management, drug and alcohol testing, and smoking cessation counseling. If you have any questions, you can call our walk-in clinic at (407) 226-1906.