If Here, you’ll find tips from Dr. Bratcher to make your DOT physical exam as quick, simple, and hassle-free as possible.
DOT Physical Exam: Things to Plan in Advance
If you have a medical condition you’re going to need some paperwork:
- Diabetic Condition – Bring a list of medications with the name of prescribing doctor and an A1C report, from within the last 90 days.
- High Blood Pressure – Bring a list of medications with the name of prescribing doctor.
- Heart Condition – If you’ve had a heart attack or cardiovascular disease, bring a letter from your doctor confirming your ability to operate a commercial vehicle.
- Sleep Apnea – If using a CPAP, bring a copy of your report for the last 30 days. If not using a CPAP, bring a letter from your doctor stating a CPAP is not required and does not affect your ability to operate a commercial vehicle. Bring a copy of your latest sleep test results, if you have one.
- Medications – List all the prescription medicines you take including: dosage, strength and prescribing doctor name. If you regularly take over-the counter medications, such as antacids or allergy pills, list them, too.
- Contact information – Have names and phone numbers of your doctors in case you need to call and have them fax missing information.
DOT Physical Exam: Things To Do to Manage Your Blood Pressure
- Make sure you don’t run out of your prescribed blood-pressure medication.
- Remember to take your medication on schedule. If you forget, most doctors recommend taking your medication as soon as possible.
- If you’re significantly late taking your medication, tell the doctor conducting the DOT physical you forgot to take your regular medication. If your blood pressure is too high, ask to have it rechecked later that day – or even the following day.
- Cutting back on caffeine and nicotine can help improve your blood pressure.
- Reducing the amount of salty foods you eat and avoiding adding salt to your food can also help to lower your blood pressure.
- The week before your DOT physical exam, cut back on coffee, sodas, energy drinks, potato "chips", etc, and don’t add salt to your food. Also reduce your use of nicotine as much as possible. Doing this can help lower your blood pressure reading.
The Day of the DOT Physical Exam:
- Remember to bring the medical records you’ve prepared in advance, including your list of medications.
- Remember to bring eye glasses (it’s surprising how many people forget this).
- Drink plenty of water for your urine specimen collection.
Getting Past ‘White Coat’ Syndrome:
- First off, we understand that this is a very real concern for some drivers.
- Secondly, we work with drivers all day long. We understand that passing your DOT physical exam is important to your continued career and your livelihood, and we’re here to do everything we can to help you.