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    CDL Medical

    DOT-Physical
    What Happens if I Don’t Pass the DOT Physical? 1000 734 Sandeep Jain, MD

    What Happens if I Don’t Pass the DOT Physical?

    The DOT physical is an official government-issued exam that certifies a commercial driver is fit to perform the duties of their job. The physical was created by the Department of Transportation to keep truck drivers safe, as well as other people on the road. The best case scenario for every commercial driver is that they pass their DOT physical, receive their certification from the medical examiner and return to pass the test again every two years.

    Unfortunately, sometimes drivers do fail their DOT physical. For a variety of reasons, medical examiners may determine that you do not have the required fitness to complete your job safely. If this happens to you, don’t worry. You have options. Let’s explore what you can do next.

    Reasons Drivers Fail a DOT Physical

    The DOT physical covers all areas of your basic health, but there are certain areas that you should pay particular attention to in order to maintain your certification. While you don’t have to be the picture of perfect health in order to pass, you do need to make sure you have relatively good health in all these areas in order to pass.

    Vision

    Obviously, if you can’t see well, there’s no reason why you should be on the road, much less driving a commercial vehicle. You are permitted to wear your glasses during your DOT physical, however, so you aren’t required to have perfect eyesight to pass your test. If you wear glasses and you do fail the vision section of your DOT physical, it’s most likely because your prescription is outdated. Your medical examiner will refer you to a vision specialist to get a more accurate prescription before you take the test again.

    Statcare offers the required vision test to any commercial drivers who need to pass their DOT physical. Don’t worry about traveling to a different location or waiting weeks to get a new appointment. We’ll take care of everything while you’re at our locations to make your exam process quick and convenient for you. With the correct prescription glasses, you’ll be able to retake the DOT physical with more successful results.

    Hearing

    Similarly to the vision test, you will be required to take a hearing test, but you don’t have to rely strictly on your natural hearing. If you have a hearing aid, you are free to use it during the DOT physical. During the test, the medical examiner will check to see whether you are able to perceive a forced whisper from five feet away. Drivers who can’t hear the whisper will be given an Audiometry Test at no extra charge. If the audiometry discovers a hearing loss, drivers will be forced to comply with regulations and take additional hearing tests before they can pass their DOT physical. And just like with vision tests, Statcare staff will guide you to an Audiologist for the hearing section of your DOT physical. Once that is completed successfully, Statcare staff can generally take care of you the same day so that you’re back to work as soon as possible.

    Other Conditions

    During the DOT physical, the certified medical examiner will also look into your heart health, diabetes, sleep apnea and other brain conditions like epilepsy or strokes. These conditions require more than the use of a simple accessory to improve. If you have any of these conditions, you may be at risk of failing your DOT physical.

    For example, if you have diabetes and find that on the day of your DOT physical, you’re having a particularly difficult time getting your blood sugar levels under control, your medical examiner could be forced to fail you. If you have diabetes that isn’t well controlled, they will likely present you with a short-term certification so that you can take a couple weeks to get your diabetes under better control. Use this time to visit specialists, talk to your doctor and implement healthier choices. Once you feel ready, come back into your local Statcare location and one of our staff will test you again.

    The same scenario is true for heart conditions, weight problems, and other neurological issues. If you don’t have a good handle on controlling the symptoms of each condition, your medical examiner may need to fail you for the exam. Unfortunately, some cases may be too severe and our staff won’t be able to issue you a short-term medical certification. Depending on your specific situation, your medical examiner may be able to give you time to get a doctor’s note, new medication or improve your overall health so that you can keep your job and get back on the road as soon as possible.

    Short-Term Medical Certification

    DOT-Physical-Pass

    Short-term medical certifications are exactly what they sound like. Certified medical examiners give them to commercial drivers who could not pass their DOT physical but will likely be able to if given some extra time. Most short-term medical certifications are valid for three months and you are only allowed to have one short-term medical certification at a time.

    A normal medical certification is valid for 24 months, but if you are issued a short-term medical certification, you are required to get a DOT physical every year. It might sound like a hassle now, but remember, the goal of the DOT physical is to keep you safe while you’re on the road. A yearly checkup ensures that all of your current medical conditions remain controlled and any future conditions can be detected and treated early.

    If you are issued a short-term medical certification and cannot prove to your medical examiner that you are fit to perform the duties of your job after three months, you will fail the DOT physical and your commercial driving license will become invalid. To avoid a revoked license (and a loss of your job) make sure that you put your health first. Those who are given the extra time to get their medical condition under control should use it wisely. Don’t wait until the last two weeks to make changes. Implement new, healthier habits immediately so you can stay on the road.

    Getting a Second Opinion After Failing the DOT Physical

    No medical examiner wants you to fail the DOT physical. We all understand how important your job is to you. We also understand that your safety and the safety of others is at stake if we don’t adhere to the strict standards set by the Department of Transportation.

    Because the DOT physical is a standardized medical exam, each medical examiner should arrive at the same conclusion. No matter what location you take the test, what time of day it is or your relationship to that doctor, the results should be the same. However, the Department of Transportation does allow for drivers to get a second opinion if they think something went wrong during their exam that cause them to fail their DOT physical. All pass or fail results are submitted into a federal database by the DOT medical examiners.

    We don’t encourage you to “shop” around for a more lenient medical examiner, however. You likely won’t find one. Statcare doctors are especially concerned with a fair, quality exam. Not only do we want you to stay safe while on the road, we’re also doing our part to keep our neighborhood streets and highways safe, too.

    Tips to Avoid Failing the DOT Physical

    The best way to avoid failing a DOT physical is to take care of your health. Listen to your doctor’s advice and make the healthy choices we all know we should be making. That may include eating right, stretching after driving long distances, and taking a break during a long haul to get your heart rate up. You don’t have to be in perfect health to pass a DOT physical, but it never hurts to stay on top of your health as much as possible.

    In addition to keeping an eye on your general health, if you have specific medical concerns, always be transparent during your DOT physical exam. Make sure that you arrive at your appointment with all of your necessary paperwork. If you have a note from your primary care doctor, or a specialist, regarding your current condition that explains why it will not prevent you from completing your daily work tasks, bring it to your appointment. Give your medical examiner all the information about your health and fitness upfront so that they have no reason to fail you.

    You’re also welcome to come into any Statcare location to talk to one of our doctors on staff about any medical concern you’re having before your DOT physical. If you notice that you’re experiencing a change in your health, before or after the exam, we encourage you to stop by our urgent care. Let our trained medical staff determine what might be wrong and the ways to treat you. Don’t feel like you have to wait until your next DOT physical to take control of your health. Our Statcare doctors are always ready and willing to help you.

     

    DOT-physical
    4 Things to Prepare for Your DOT Physical 1000 669 Sandeep Jain, MD

    4 Things to Prepare for Your DOT Physical

    The most important part of commercial driving is the safety and health of you, the driver. In order to keep you, and others, safe while on the road the Department of Transportation mandates that you must complete a DOT physical every 24 months. It’s a universal fitness test that determines whether you’re fit to complete the tasks of your job. The whole process is typically very quick, but critically important. Let’s talk about what to expect and how to prepare for your DOT physical.

    What Is a DOT Physical?

    A DOT physical is the test all commercial drivers must pass in order to prove their fitness for the job. Without a current certificate from an approved DOT medical examiner, your commercial driver’s license is invalid. Statcare has DOT certified medical examiners available for DOT physicals 7 days a week, including holidays. After a successful DOT physical, you will be issued a medical certificate and a wallet-sized laminated CDL Card that is valid for 24 months. You are responsible for keeping your certificate and your CDL card up to date.

    What tests are done a DOT Physical?

    The DOT physical exam requires only a urine test. It is a good idea not to empty your bladder before the DOT Physical else you will have to drink enough water to enable you to give an adequate urine sample. For a DOT Physical, you do not need blood tests or sugar checks. Whether you are coming in for your first DOT Physical or a renewal of your CDL medical certification, no drug testing is required. The only time a drug test is done is when the employer requires you to have one. In that case, Statcare’s staff will discuss it with you, take your consent for the urine drug screen and then collect the urine sample in compliance with federal rules so that a proper drug testing can be done.

    The urine test for a DOT Physical only involves testing for urine sugar, urine protein, blood in the urine and specific gravity or density of the urine sample.

    What Does a DOT Physical Cover?

    Each DOT physical should be the same, as the Department of Transportation standardized the physical examination. This enables each CDL driver to know exactly what to expect when they take their test. Standardization also means that a certificate from one of Statcare’s DOT approved medical examiners is valid in each of the 50 states.

    The DOT physical itself covers a physical examination, vision, hearing, blood pressure and required urine samples. During the physical examination, your medical examiner will also cover everything from general appearance, respiratory function, vascular health, musculoskeletal condition and any neurological conditions.

    It’s important to remember that you aren’t required to be the picture of perfect health to pass your DOT physical. The medical examiner is only looking for signs that you wouldn’t be able to complete the tasks of your job safely. If, for example, you have high blood pressure, you may not automatically fail your physical. Your job is only at risk if your condition is severe enough that it would prohibit you from safely doing your job without treatment.

     

    DOT-physical-coverage

    The documentation you need for your DOT physical depends largely on your personal health. Everyone who takes a DOT physical must bring a list of their current medications, including doses and the name of the medical doctor who prescribed them, as well as their address. For any chronic medical conditions you may have, you must bring extra documentation. You should bring anything that will help prove to the medical examiner that you are fit to perform the duties of your job as required by the FMCSA. Here are some examples of varying types of documentation and equipment that may be helpful, depending on your health conditions.

    CDL Drivers with Vision and Hearing Problems

    If you wear glasses or contacts, you are permitted to use them during the DOT physical, so don’t forget to bring them. Additionally, if you require hearing aids, bring those to the physical as well. Your DOT physical requires you to pass a vision, color vision, and hearing test, so having these on hand is extremely important if you rely on them. If you had a recent hearing test, it is a good idea to bring the results with you.

    CDL Drivers with Diabetes

    Commercial drivers who have diabetes must prove that they have their blood sugar under control and it will not interfere with their performance on the job. Bring your most recent results of a Hemoglobin A1C (HgbA1C) test, your medicines and your blood sugar logs to the physical so your medical examiner has confidence in your ability to control your diabetes.

    CDL Drivers with Sleep Apnea

    Your DOT physical will not include a sleep test, but it is important to tell your DOT doctor if you have sleep apnea or use a CPAP machine. If so, be sure to bring data and readings from your machine (the sleep log) that proves your use of the CPAP machine and your health. The more historical data you have, the more confidence your medical examiner will have that you are fit to do your job as required by the FMCSA.

    CDL Drivers with Heart Issues

    Heart issues tend to be one of the more nerve-wracking conditions for commercial drivers. They don’t immediately disqualify you from passing your DOT physical, but it’s important to bring as much documentation to your physical as possible. You should bring a letter from your heart specialist that explains your medical history, and be prepared to bring results from a recent stress test or an Echocardiogram.

    CDL Drivers with Lost Limbs

    In the event that you’ve lost use of an arm, leg, foot or hand, you may still be able to secure a DOT medical certificate. As with everything, though, it requires additional documentation. Bring a note from your physician that explains the condition or injury and clears you of any work-related restrictions. Certain injuries may require a Skilled Performance Examination in order to pass the DOT physical, but your medical examiner will talk you through that on the day of the exam.

    Remember, your medical examiner will try to work with you, but only if you bring the proper documentation to prove that you’re fit for the job. Do your part to bring the right information with you and your DOT physical should be efficient and successful.

    What if You Fail Your DOT Physical?

    The DOT Physical is typically a pass or fail test. Quite like the NY State Vehicle Safety Emissions test. And unfortunately, some drivers will not pass their DOT physical and this determination can only be made by the medical examiner, not the medical office staff. The medical examiner’s office also cannot coach you or screen you whether you can pass or fail the test. The federal rule is that you need to check in to the office and your current CDL Card and CDL medical certificate becomes invalid from the time you check in. The medical examiner will ask you for your existing certificate and dispose of it – this is quite akin to how a car or a trucks existing inspection becomes invalid and has to be removed from the windshield when you take your vehicle in for a NY State inspection. The safety of the driver and other people on the road is too important to compromise, so Statcare’s medical examiners must be consistent and strictly comply with all the DOT physical requirements. However, it is possible to receive your certification even if you fail your initial DOT physical.

    As of June 2018, medical examiners were authorized to issue short-term medical certifications to commercial drivers who needed a little more time to control their medical condition. Health concerns like high blood pressure or diabetes can often be better managed within a few weeks, and the Department of Transportation made it possible to account for that.

    The length of the short-term certificate is up to the medical examiner, but will generally be far less than 24 months, many a time it may just be for a few months until the condition is well controlled at which time the date on the medical certification can be extended by the medical examiner. Statcare’s DOT approved medical examiners goal is to help you get certified while keeping the safety of the public in mind and complying with federal laws. More often than not, the commercial driver must return to take an additional DOT physical when they’re in better health and can pass the test. If you fail to pass at that time, you won’t be issued a certificate and your CDL will be rendered invalid.

    At Statcare, we make it easy to stay on top of these dates so that you never have to worry about your certificate lapsing. Statcare has one of the largest group of federally certified DOT examiners and many large trucking companies rely on Statcare to call back the drivers when it is time for a recertification. You can rest assured, that our staff will keep track of your records and remind you when you are due for renewal of your CDL medical certificate through a DOT physical. You will get a text message reminder as well as an email followed by a phone call when your next CDL card renewal is up. At that time, you can make an appointment, or you can stop by during our extended hours. We’re open every day so that you can come in when it’s convenient for you.

    Paying for a DOT Physical

    Statcare also wants to make paying for the DOT physical something that’s easy and quick for commercial drivers. Our standard cost is $99 for a DOT physical. That includes a vision check, a urine test and the physical. If you end up needing a special hearing test, Statcare providers will perform the Audiometry testing for hearing loss at no extra cost. Often, we run specials from time to time and then you can get the DOT physical at a discounted price. We believe in taking care of the people who work so hard to keep us safe and deliver the goods we rely on. Right now, you can come into any one of our locations and get a DOT physical for only $85! Check back to our page regularly to see if we have any specials or coupons you can take advantage of. Ask us about our driver referral program when you come in to be seen. Those incentives could very well significantly reduce your own cost for a renewal of the CDL medical card the next time around.

    As you can see, what you should bring to your DOT physical depends largely on who you are and what your past medical history is. In general, the 4 things you need to bring no matter what are:

    • A list of current medications, including doses, doctors names, and addresses
    • Any additional medical documentation that might explain your current health
    • $99 to pay for your DOT physical
    • Glasses, hearing aids or other accessories that will help you pass your examination

    We recommend keeping all of your medical documentation in a safe place that you won’t easily forget. Remember, you’ll need to access these files every two years, at a minimum. Keep yourself organized and you will cut down on the time you need to spend locating the right files and making sure you have all the right information.

    If you have any additional questions about the DOT physical, Statcare’s medical examiners, or the best times to drop in to take your CDL physical, visit our website. You can check yourself in online and get seen on time. We’ll give you all the information that you need. And, as always, you’re welcome to come by without a scheduled appointment, too. We’re open 7 days a week, including weekends and holidays.

    DOT-Physical-Exam
    What Are The DOT Physical Exam Requirements? 1000 667 Sandeep Jain, MD

    What Are The DOT Physical Exam Requirements?

    The physical demands of driving a commercial vehicle are incredibly high. As a commercial driver, you make long hauls across the country carrying important cargo and you must deliver everything on time. Even if you’re strictly a local driver, the amount of physical labor you are asked to perform every day can be taxing on your body. A DOT physical exam is necessary to make sure that as a driver, you are healthy and can safely perform your job day in and day out.

    Driving without a current DOT physical certification has major consequences, including job loss, fines, and even vehicle impoundment. We know that your time is valuable as a commercial driver, so we try to make the process of getting a DOT physical exam as seamless as possible. To ensure that you are as prepared as possible when you arrive for your DOT physical, we’ve created a checklist for you.

    DOT Physical Exam Basics

    A DOT physical exam is a required evaluation of any commercial driver’s health. Often, it is referred to as a “medical fitness for duty” test, which confirms that the driver is capable and healthy enough to complete the specific duties of commercial driving — one of the toughest jobs in America. Because of the difficulty of the job, it’s important to keep a close eye on a driver’s fitness. This ensures their safety as well as everyone else’s safety while on the road.

    The standards of the DOT physical exam are determined by The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a department of the United States Department of Transportation that regulates the trucking industry. To ensure the same standards are enforced across all states, each DOT physical exam must be conducted by a certified medical professional.

    When you arrive to take your DOT physical, be prepared with your medical history and glasses if you wear them. All applicable forms will be provided by Statcare when you arrive for your appointment. It’s important to be transparent about your medical history when taking the DOT physical exam. Many commercial drivers worry that being overweight will automatically lead to a failed DOT physical, but that is not necessarily the case. The DOT physical is only designed to determine if you have any restrictive medical conditions. A healthy lifestyle is important, but not a requirement to pass the test. The same goes for STDs. They won’t prohibit you from passing a DOT physical exam as long as they don’t affect your ability to perform your driving duties.

    Although maintaining a current DOT certification is very important, the actual DOT physical exam should not feel like a big deal. Statcare works to make sure that it is a quick and painless experience for you so that you can get back on the road as soon as possible.

    The DOT Physical Exam

    DOT-Physical-Exam-What-To-Expect

    The DOT physical exam itself should not take more than 30 minutes to complete. Again, the main point is for the DOT medical examiner to assess your current health (both mental and physical) and decide if you can safely meet the needs of the job. Statcare DOT Medical examiners are looking at your current health as well as what your health might look like over the next year, while your DOT medical card is valid. They are also ensuring that nothing in your medical history has the potential to impact the way you perform your duties currently. It helps to remember that these doctors are not looking to fail you during your DOT physical, only to keep you safe while you’re on the road for long hours.

    The physical exam includes a urine test to check the health of your kidneys. Typically, DOT medical examiners are looking for early signs of high blood pressure, diabetes or kidney infections. It is also possible that they will include a drug and alcohol component to the urine test. Again, it’s a quick test that you should not feel intimidated by.

    Commercial Drivers will also need to complete a vision test for acuity and color vision. You are allowed to use your glasses for this test, so don’t forget to bring them with you on the day of your DOT physical exam. Your hearing will be tested as well as an EKG to test your heart, especially if you have a history of heart trouble.

    The DOT medical examiner will be able to determine your level of fitness on the same day as your DOT physical exam. If you pass the required standards, you will leave your appointment with your DOT medical card that will remain valid for two years. After that, you’ll be required to stay up to date with your DOT physical schedule. Between tests, do what you can each year to maintain a healthy lifestyle so that nothing interferes with your DOT certification next time. If you have any questions about how you can attain health standards, feel free to ask your DOT medical examiner questions.

    In the event that you do not pass your DOT physical exam, you have a few options. Some drivers find that the hearing section of their DOT physical is hard to pass. In that case, Statcare offers an audiometry screening test for free. It’s an added value of $60 that you won’t find many other places. The hope is that with the help of our DOT medical examiners, you will identify a solution and get back on the road as quickly as possible. In some cases, the DOT medical examiner will issue a short-term DOT medical card to give you time to fix the issue that caused the restriction during your DOT physical. The rules on these short-term DOT medical cards are strict, and if you do not take the time to address the issue, your DOT medical examiner can refuse to issue you a two-year DOT medical card.

    If, for some reason, you fail to pass the DOT physical exam and you feel strongly that your DOT medical examiner is incorrect, you are allowed to get a second opinion. However, since 2016 the FMCSA reporting system with the National Registry has been flagging commercial driving license holders who seek multiple exams. The DOT physicals should be standardized, meaning if you fail at one location, you will likely hear the same answers at any other medical examiner. But if you feel a strong need for a second DOT physical exam and an additional medical opinion, we encourage you to do so.

    When you receive your DOT medical card, you will also get a copy of the Medical Examination Report. We are required to keep a copy of both documents for three years, so if you lose them, you can always contact Statcare for a copy. After you collect your DOT certification, you’ll be on your way.

    Choosing Statcare for Your DOT Physical Exam

    While it is true that regulations dictate that all DOT medical examiners must follow the same standards, there is a superior level of service offered at Statcare. We know that your time is valuable and that the extra expense of a DOT physical exam is not something you look forward to. We do our best to make the entire experience as cost-effective and seamless as possible.

    One of the many benefits of completing your DOT physical exam at Statcare is that we are open seven days a week including holidays. We also welcome walk-in appointments. That means if you find an opening in your schedule, you can stop by any Statcare location and get your DOT physical exam completed, even if it’s a Sunday afternoon. Our DOT medical examiners will be there, ready to help. Drivers also appreciate that our team submits their DOT medical cards to FMCSA and the NYS DMV during their visit. We know the last thing you want to do is waste time at the DMV, so we take care of it for you.

    It’s also important to us that a DOT physical doesn’t hurt your wallet. Insurance won’t cover the DOT physical exam so we try to keep the costs as low as possible for you. You can get your DOT physical with an added hearing test all for $85. Compare that to the average cost at other locations and you’re saving at least $25 per DOT physical. Over time, those savings add up! And as a final courtesy, Statcare will call and remind you to renew your DOT medical card before it expires so that you don’t even have to think about it in the future. You can spend your time focusing on other important things and we’ll call you when it’s time to start scheduling your next DOT physical exam. You can visit any of our five locations in Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Long Island any day of the week and get our award-winning service.

    Statcare doesn’t just serve commercial drivers, either. We have an urgent care that is open seven days a week, including holidays that can offer fast medical treatment when you need it most. And if you just can’t make it out of bed because of a major cold, we encourage you to try our Telemedicine where you can talk to a doctor using your laptop or smartphone. No interruptions, no wasted time in a waiting room. Just expert medical advice from the comfort of your own home. You can read more about our services here.

     

    If you are vision-impaired or have some other impairment covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act or a similar law, and you wish to discuss potential accommodations related to using this website, please contact Sharad Suri at service@statcarewalkin.com or by phone at 855-936-7362 Extension 288.

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