During a D.O.T. exam, the doctor evaluates a patient to determine if they are healthy enough for commercial vehicle operation. Careers in trucking and public transportation often require an exam of this type to begin and maintain employment. If you’re getting ready for your D.O.T. exam, here’s what you need to know.
Before Your Appointment
If you take any medications, make sure you are taking them as directed prior to your appointment, unless otherwise instructed by your doctor. Bring a list of medications as well as your photo ID and any medical aids or devices like glasses, contacts or hearing aids.
You should get plenty of sleep the night before so you’re feeling your best, and wear comfortable clothing. If you have a complex family medical history, it can be helpful to write it down beforehand and bring the list with you to avoid leaving out pertinent information at the appointment.
What to Expect at the D.O.T. Exam
The doctor or a nurse or assistant will first write down your personal and family medical history, along with your height, weight, and vital signs. They will also take a urine sample and possibly perform a blood test.
The physical exam will be similar to regular physical from your primary care doctor. They will listen to your heart and lungs, check your eyes, ears, nose, and throat and palpate your abdomen. You should discuss any concerns you may have about potential occupational hazards and your health. The doctor may be able to offer strategies to help you stay happy and healthy on the job.
A D.O.T. exam is usually good for two years unless a medical issue is revealed and the doctor wants to see you again within a shorter time frame. If you are deemed healthy enough to perform the job, the doctor will issue you a certificate and you’ll be on your way.
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