Though the DOT Physical Exam is a mandated requirement by the Department of Transportation, it may provide some important insight into your health. While the exam may test for obvious issues related to driving a truck such as hearing and vision, having the exam performed by a doctor or PA is an opportunity to check in on your overall state of health.
One of the more obvious ways this is accomplished is through the blood pressure screening. An MD/DO/PA/NP will be able to provide insight into high blood pressure and would also be able to recommend ways to lower it. This would be done through recommendations on lifestyle choices such as diet, exercise, and reducing stress. In other cases, the Doctor or PA would prescribe medication to bring the blood pressure to a healthy level.
Another benefit of going through a Healthcare Provider, is during the physical evaluation itself. A non-medical provider wouldn’t have the expertise to recognize certain issues when examining the lungs, heart or abdomen. Problems like masses or heart murmurs may be missed by a non-medical practitioner. A Chiropractor has knowledge of the Musculoskeletal system but may not have the background to interpret abnormal findings of organ systems. While all testing facilities may have the ability to check the urine, a doctor or PA would be able to better interpret any abnormal findings. Furthermore, a doctor or PA can provide further testing and insight, as to whether more steps are needed to ensure the driver is healthy. An experienced medical professional with experience outside of DOT Physicals will be able to formulate a health plan based on any abnormal findings.
To recap, while taking the DOT Physical Exam can be done by any DOT Certified Examiner, not doing so with a qualified Healthcare Provider is a missed opportunity to check in on your personal wellbeing. Taking the extra step to get your DOT card with an MD, DO, NP or PA enables you to not just get the DOT Medical Examiners Certificate, but also lets you check in on your physical wellbeing.
And remember, stay safe out there.