Friday, 31 August 2012

Two Facts You Have to Know about the CDL Physical Exam

In today’s economy the job market can be tough, but one job that’s not suffering from the effects of the economic downturn is that of the commercial driver. Commercial drivers, including truckers and bus drivers, enjoy job security even during recessions. Commercial drivers also earn a good living wage with relatively little training or experience, and have the chance to travel across the country. If the life of a commercial driver sounds like something of interest to you, the first step is getting your commercial CDL license. But before you can even do that, you need to pass the Department of Transportation’s physical exam, which makes you eligible for certification. Here’s some important information about the requirements of the exam.

Firstly, you may be interested in what kind of questions and health conditions a CDL physical exam will address. The Department of Transportation issues a standardized form to be completed by an internist during a commercial CDL license physical, and the patient is required to print out this form and bring it to his or her exam, so you can probably get a good idea of what to expect just by looking over the paperwork. First the driver completes a medical history section of the form which asks questions about past injuries, diseases, psychological disorders, hearing and vision problems, and other undiagnosed symptoms like dizziness or lower back pain that could be detrimental to a patient’s performance as the operator of a commercial vehicle.  It is important that the patient discusses this part of the form with the walk in clinic doctor, even though the doctor does not need to sign off on this part of the paperwork.  Next a doctor will perform a vision exam, arguably the most important part of the test for any driver. The driver must have vision in both eyes, and be able to read traffic signs as well as differentiate between colors.  A hearing test is also given, for which a driver must be able to hear a forced whisper at a distance greater than or equal to 5 feet. The doctor then tests the patient’s blood pressure. If the patient has high blood pressure (greater than 140 mmHG) he or she can only be certified for one year. If it’s higher than 160, the doctor may only issue a three or six month certification. A urine test is required to test for the health of the kidneys and be sure there are no illegal substances in the system. The doctor than performs a routine physical exam, visually inspecting all the body parts and listening to the prospective CDL heart and lungs.

Secondly, there are four possible outcomes of your CDL physical exam. The doctor can approve you for the ability to operate a commercial motor vehicle; the approval certification generally lasts for two years. If the doctor has some reservations as to the patient’s ability to operate a motor vehicle, he can approve the applicant, but under the condition of periodic medical monitoring for a specific condition. These certifications with reservations can be issued for three months, six months, a year, or another unit of time as specified by the physician on the certification form. Thirdly, the doctor can temporarily disqualify a driver for a period of time due to a specific medical condition or medication being used.  In this case, the doctor will suggest a time when the patient can return for another medical examination. Finally, the doctor can disqualify the patient, offering a specific medical reason why he or she does not meet the standards of health required for obtaining a commercial CDL license.

If you’re in the New York City area and need to get your Department of Transportation CDL physical exam in NYC, stop into the Physical Exam Center NYC, right in midtown Manhattan.  The New York City Physical Exam Center offers same day certification for Department of Transportation physical exams, with convenient appointment times and discounts for people without health insurance. Make an appointment today online at doctor NYC and get on the road to getting your commercial CDL license!


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  2. But before you can even do that, you need to pass the Department of Transportation’s physical exam, which makes you eligible for certification. Pass the CDL test