Q:

What should you expect in a DOT physical?

A:

Quick Answer

During a DOT physical the medical examiner checks blood pressure and pulse, listens to the heart and lungs, performs a neurological exam, checks the abdomen and spine for abnormalities, and examines the eyes, mouth, ears and throat. The physical should only be performed by a qualified medical examiner.

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Full Answer

Once an individual completes his physical, the medical examiner goes over any potential hazards stemming from his medical condition or history of health. Those hazards are written on the DOT physical form and are used to determine whether or not the individual is eligible to receive a medical certificate. Once a medical certificate is received, it is valid for three months, six months, one year or two years.

DOT physicals are required for drivers who operate vehicles that carry nine to 15 passengers, transport hazardous materials and vehicles that have a total combination weight of at least 10,001 pounds. The physicals are performed to ensure the driver can safely operate the vehicle and perform his job. Conditions that may prevent an individual from passing his DOT physical and earning a commercial driver's license include taking injectable insulin for diabetes, using narcotics or other habit-forming drugs, and not having correctable vision that's at least 20/40. Drivers are allowed to wear contacts and corrective lenses if necessary.

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