What is a DOT Certified Medical Examiner?
Medical certification is required for certain drivers. Those who drive CMVs, busses, and more need to show that they are healthy. DOT Certified Medical Examiners are those who have gone through the training and certification needed to be recognized by the Department of Transportation as a medical professional who can carry out the exams on these drivers.
Who Can Become a DOT Certified Medical Examiner?
Not anyone can become a DOT Certified Medical Examiner. Those who are eligible for this need to meet certain professional requirements. They must be certified, licensed, or registered in their state as a:
- medical doctor
- doctor of chiropractic
- nurse practitioner
- doctor of osteopathy
- physician's assistant
- or other authorized medical professional
What DOT Medical Training is Required?
In addition to the training that these medical professionals go through to get into their field, there is more specific training that is required to become a DOT Certified Medical Examiner. The training one must receive before sitting for the FMCSA Medical Examiner Certification Test includes reviewing of FMCSA-specific information and knowledge about the mental and physical requirements of CMV drivers and their jobs. Some of the things training goes over includes:
- CMV driver physical standards
- Medical examiner responsibilities
- Medical guidelines for CMV drivers
Training can take place at any accrediting organization. This means that there are a number of training options for most who are considering becoming DOT certified.
Where Can You Find DOT Certified Medical Examiners
If you are in need of your annual exam (also known as a DOT physical or DOT exam), a DOT Certified Medical Examiner with the proper certification is currently not difficult to find. Most occupational medicine clinics offer this exam. In fact, a large majority of doctor's offices in the country have at least one, if not more, certified examiners. One of the best things you can do is call your primary care physician's office, and find out if they offer the exam. In most cases, you should be able to get your exam without any trouble.
All this said, in May 2014, the federal laws are changing and many of the currently Certified Medical
Examiner's will lose their status and will need to reapply. The DOT will be tracking all drivers and their exam status with only a select number of providers - likely a few thousand nationwide.
How Long Does Certification Last?
Once a medical professional is certified as a DOT Certified Medical Examiner, their certification is valid for 10 years. However, the current standard also requires that those who are certified get periodic training every 5 years. Because the certification is for 10 years, doctors and other medical professionals who are certified will need to renew their certification by taking a new test each 10 years. This ensures that DOT Certified Medical Examiners have the best information and training available. In addition, there are documents available any time an Examiner wishes to further or refresh their knowledge.
All CMV drivers, and many others who drive large vehicles, need to have a medical examination. These exams are done by medical professionals certified by the Department of Transportation. When getting certified, it's important to adhere to all training materials, to ensure that those who get the exams done are physically and mentally able to withstand the demands their jobs require.