Physical Exam

The DOT Physical Exam
At Dr. Kalitenko’s Office, we’re pleased to offer the DOT physical exam, a required health check for commercial motor vehicle drivers. We are located conveniently in Brooklyn, New York, and have the expertise to help you successfully navigate this important test. This page describes what we look for in the DOT physical and gives you helpful tips so you can arrive prepared for your appointment.

DOT Physical Basics
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the government agency that sets safety and health standards for driving commercial motor vehicles (CMV) like buses and large trucks. The FMCSA has designed the Department of Transportation (DOT) Physical to make sure that all commercial drivers have the physical and mental capacity to safely operate large vehicles on the road. Only doctors (called “medical examiners”) who are on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners can perform a valid DOT physical.

Sergey Kalitenko MD, the certified medical examiner at Dr. Kalitenko’s Office, understands the complex FMCSA standards and can answer any questions you have during your exam. Dr. Kalitenko’s Office is your choice if you need a DOT physical near Brookly, New York, whether you need first-time certification or re-certification.

Do I need a DOT Physical Exam?
Drivers of certain commercial and large vehicles need a DOT physical to verify that they can safely handle the mental and physical aspects of driving a large vehicle. When certain health conditions are neglected, they can lead to dangerous situations for drivers, passengers, and fellow travelers. Making sure drivers have healthy blood sugar, a healthy heart, good vision and hearing, and the physical strength to operate a vehicle goes a long way toward keeping drivers and highways safe.

Driving situations that require a DOT physical:
• Transporting hazardous materials that require a vehicle placard.
• Driving vehicles over 10,000 pounds (5 tons) on the interstate.
• Getting paid to drive a vehicle with 8+ passengers.
• Driving any vehicle with 15+ passengers.

Medical Examiner Certificate (MEC)
After successfully passing your DOT physical, the medical examiner will give you your DOT medical card, also called the medical examiner certificate. This is the proof that you have passed the physical and, together with your commercial driver’s license (CDL), is what gives you the permission to drive commercially. The DOT medical card is typically valid for 2 years. If you have a health condition, like diabetes, hypertension, or heart disease, you may need to take the physical more often to ensure that your condition is being managed and that it remains safe for you to drive.

Having a health condition does not necessarily prevent you from being qualified to drive commercially. If you fail a part of your physical exam, it’s possible to get an exemption or waiver. FMCSA will want to see that you’re able to manage your health condition, so they know you’re safe to drive. Your DOT physical medical examiner can help guide you into the treatment options that meet FMCSA’s requirements on testing, managing, and documenting various health conditions.

What Does the DOT Physical Exam Involve?
Your DOT physical is a thorough health evaluation consisting of the following parts:
• Vision: FMCSA requires your vision in both eyes to be least 20/40, with or without corrective lenses, along with 70 degrees or more of peripheral vision in both eyes.
• Hearing: To pass the hearing test, you will need to be able to hear a “forced whisper” from a distance of 5 feet or less, with or without a hearing aid. People with hearing loss greater than about 40 dB will not be able to pass this test without a hearing aid.
• Heart and blood pressure: Hypertension and arrhythmias can be a sign of serious health problems that might affect your driving.
• Urinalysis: A urine test will be collected to check for kidney diseases or diabetes. Although a drug test is not an official part of the DOT physical, some employers may request that you have one done with your DOT physical.
• Physical exam: The physical examination will assess your height, your weight, and your overall physical health. Commercial drivers need to have enough strength and stamina to operate large vehicles for long periods of time, so the medical examiner will check that you have sufficient physical strength and mobility.

During your DOT physical, your medical examiner will discuss aspects of your medical history that may be relevant to your ability to drive safely. These may include your prescription medicines, health symptoms, sleep patterns, past surgeries, tobacco and alcohol use, and your past medical or psychological conditions.

DOT Exam Preparation
Prepare ahead of time for your DOT physical:
• Glasses and hearing aids: If you normally wear prescription glasses, contacts, or hearing aids, wear them to your DOT physical. They will be needed to pass the vision test and hearing test.
• Eat healthy: Improving your diet improves your health. Make conscious food choices before your physical, and keep up the habit afterwards too! Eat regular meals of nutritious foods rather than snacks high in salt, sugar, and fat.

• Medication: If you have prescription medications, take them as prescribed in the weeks or days before your physical. Skipping medications could affect your test results.
• Healthy habits: Caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco are drugs that can influence your blood pressure, blood sugar, and other health indicators, so avoid too much of these before your appointment. Physical activity, even if it’s just walking or stretching, improves your physical and mental health. A good night’s sleep can help regulate your blood pressure and stress levels.
• Prepare supporting documents: You should document your medical history, including past surgeries, health conditions, and medications. If you have current health conditions, you will need to show that you are monitoring them and have them under control. For example, if you have sleep apnea, you should be prepared to provide a record of the data from your CPAP machine that shows consistent, correct usage over a period of time. If you have diabetes, you will need to show that your blood sugar level is being properly managed. There are different documentation requirements for different conditions, and these can be found on the FMCSA website. Knowing what your health condition requires will help you arrive prepared for your DOT physical.

Getting Your DOT Physical at Dr. Kalitenko’s Office
Everyone’s health is different, and at Dr. Kalitenko’s Office, we offer a comprehensive DOT physical tailored to address your unique health status. Our certified medical examiner, Sergey Kalitenko MD, keeps up to date with the FMCSA regulations and can answer all your questions.

Your DOT physical is important for your job, but it’s also a great opportunity for Dr. Kalitenko’s Office to help you on your journey to good health and well-being. If you need a DOT physical near Brookly, NY, we’re ready with the health support you need to get you on the road as soon as possible!
Call us today at (718) 382 9200 to schedule an appointment.
Dr. Kalitenko’s Office
1701 Quentin Road A7
Brooklyn, NY 11229