Here’s how to prepare for your next DOT physical

If you’re facing a Department of Transportation physical, one medical professional has a bit of advice: Do you homework ahead of time.

Chris Pickering, a certified medical examiner and nurse practitioner at The Little Clinic, spoke at the 2016 Mid-America Trucking Show last week about how drivers should prepare for their medical evaluations.

His advice can be boiled down to two words: Be prepared. Pickering told drivers to compile their medical history and a list of  medications ahead of time, and bring along any additional paperwork, like medical releases from a specialist.

“Our goal with these DOT physicals is certification,” Pickering said. “We want to pass you as much as you need to be passed. The main thing is being prepared, not waiting until the last minute. So if it’s due tomorrow or the next day, that might be a problem, so give us a couple weeks so we can take care of things.”

Pickering’s advice included:

  • Don’t wait until the last minute
  • Know your health history
  • Have a release from a specialist for special conditions
  • Have a list of your current medications, dosage and information about the prescribing practitioner
  • Bring recent lab work and other data (CPAP machines have printable data, diabetes meters, blood thinners, EKG, etc.)
  • Refrain from tobacco and caffeine use immediately before the exam, especially if you have high blood pressure
  • Come with a full bladder for urine checks
  • Live a healthy lifestyle all the time