What’s the main difference between a DOT Doctor and a Medical Examiner?

What’s the main difference between a DOT Doctor and a Medical Examiner

Certain drivers should provide medical certification. For example, those who drive busses, CMVs, and more should prove they are healthy. DOT Certified Medical Examiners are those whom drivers should get to be recognized by the Department of Transportation.

This blog intends to investigate what a medical examiner does, highlighting the differences and similarities between a DOT doctor and a medical examiner.

Who can serve as a Medical Examiner to perform DOT physical exams?

Federal Motor Carrier Safety (FMCSA) Regulations define Medical Examiner as a certified, licensed, or registered according to applicable State laws and regulations to perform physical examinations. The term “medical examiner” includes but is not limited to:

  • Doctors of medicine
  • Doctors of osteopathy
  • Physician assistants
  • Advanced practice nurses
  • Doctors of chiropractic

The mentioned jobs can apply for the Medical Examiner training course.


Who Can work as a DOT Certified Medical Examiner?

Only eligible applicants may obtain a DOT Certified Medical Examiner. They must be certified, licensed, or registered as a:

  • Medical doctor
  • Doctor of chiropractic
  • Physician’s assistant
  • Nurse practitioner
  • Doctor of osteopathy

Or other authorized medical professionals.


DOT Medical Training

In addition to the relevant medical training, these doctors pass, more specific training is required to become a DOT Certified Medical Examiner. The training these doctors receive before taking the FMCSA Test includes the knowledge about the mental and physical requirements of CMV drivers. Some other areas of concern include:

  • Medical examiner responsibilities
  • CMV driver physical standards
  • Medical CMV drivers guidelines

Medical training can occur at any accrediting company, meaning there are several training options for those who consider becoming DOT certified.


Where to Find DOT Certified Medical Examiners

If you need to take your annual exam as a driver, a medical examiner is not hard to find. The occupational medicine centers offer this exam. However, the majority of doctors’ offices in the US have at least one certified examiner. Another way to find them is to call your primary care physician’s office and see whether they offer the exam or not. In most cases, you will get your exam without being troubled.


How Long Does Certification Last?

Once a medical professional is DOT Certified, their certification will be valid for ten years. After that, however, the certified medical examiners must get periodic training every five years, as they’ll need to renew their certification, taking a new test every ten years.

This training course ensures that DOT Certified Medical Examiners have up-to-date information and training available.

All CMV drivers and those who drive large vehicles need to have a medical examination. The required exams are done by medical professionals who are certified by the Department of Transportation.

When getting certified, the medical examiner ensures that those who get the exams done are physically and mentally capable of withstanding the demands their jobs require.


What’s the difference between a DOT Doctor and a Medical Examiner?

Although some people may think the terms “DOT doctor” and “medical examiner” are different, they pretty much mean the same thing. The medical examiner is the doctor to take the DOT exam from certified drivers annually, whichever DOT doctors do. However, medical examiners can take other types of tests from people rather than certified drivers.


 Where can I get my DOT medical card?

There is a difference between interstate and intrastate drivers.


Interstate drivers

Commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers who travel across state lines must obtain Federal medical certificates from an examiner who is FMCSA National Registry Approved. (Find a CME that is registered.)


Intrastate drivers

Each state decides whether or not intrastate drivers must still be evaluated by a certified ME listed on the National Registry. We suggest that you find a registered CME to avoid further complications.


Can I get my DOT physical from my own doctor, or do I have to go to the company doctor?

The company’s policy will determine this. Your employer may ask you to perform your DOT physical by their company doctor. If this is not a requirement, you may consult with any medical examiner on the FMCSA National Registry.


What is the cost of a DOT physical exam without insurance?

Currently, DOT physicals can cost anywhere from $50 to $300. As a result of the new FMCSA Medical Examination Forms (2016) and reporting system, medical examiners have experienced an increase in administrative work and time, and DOT physical exam costs have increased.


How long does the DOT medical card last?

If there are no restrictions, a DOT medical card is valid for two years. However, a history of high blood pressure, the use of high blood pressure medications, insomnia, and the use of oral diabetes medications may limit the validity of the medical card to one year or less, depending on how often the condition requires monitoring.


Can I retake the DOT physical if I am disqualified?

This issue is entirely dependent on the reason for your disqualification.

People used to go doc shopping, but that is changing thanks to the DOT and FMCSA. If all medical examiners follow the guidelines and laws, you will be disqualified regardless of where you go if the same situation exists.

If the disqualification seems irrational, and you believe you are physically fit enough to drive a CMV safely, discuss the issue with the medical examiner and ask for alternatives that may help you be reviewed for certification.


Second opinion

A driver is always free to seek a second opinion. Suppose the qualification restrictions or disqualification seem irrational, and you believe you are physically fit enough to drive a CMV safely. In that case, you should seek a second opinion from a different clinic. The new examination decision overrides the previous examination decision.


Let’s recap!

Certified medical examiners pass a long way to take examinations from drivers and analyze them mentally and physically to reduce the risk of accidents on the road.

If you need to take a DOT exam, you should get to occupational health centers close to where you live. The Southern Nevada Occupational Health Center is one of the best options in Las Vegas.

Our professional physicians try to take care of you like your own family. We are certified, and experts and will get to your need ASAP. To know more about our services, take a look at our website, and to make a quick appointment, give us a call on (702) 874-4769.

Leave a Reply

Please rate*

Your email address will not be published.

Call Us

Patient Portal