According to the United States Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the physical consists of evaluating all health conditions listed in Section 391.43 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. As detailed in the Code of Federal Regulations, the physical consists of examinations of the head, eyes, ears, throat, heart, blood pressure, lungs, abdomen and viscera, genital-urinary and rectal areas, spine, extremities, and diabetic needs if applicable.
During the physical examination for the Department of Transportation, the physician evaluates a patient's appearance for any issues with posture, limping or tremors, looking for evidence of such conditions as alcoholism or thyroid defects, which is explained in Section 391.43 (f) of the federal regulations. During the examination, the patient undergoes a hearing test and a check for signs of vertigo. While checking the blood pressure, the physician looks for signs of hypertension and prescribes treatment options if necessary. Physicians also look for breathing problems, issuing additional pulmonary tests or X-rays if an issue is detected. The doctor also checks that all of the patient's extremities are fully functional. If problems are present, the physician certifies whether the patient is capable of operating the pedals unimpaired. For diabetic patients, the doctor determines whether the treatment options still permit the patient to receive medical certification.