How to Prepare for Your DOT Physical

Your DOT physical is not like your yearly preventive check-up with your doctor. This physical is required for commercial motor vehicle drivers, and it’s necessary to ensure you are healthy enough to continue working.

Douglas P. Schoenberger, M.D., and Joseph Daday, M.D. and the team at Coopersburg Family Practice provide DOT physicals for people working in the transportation industry. We want you to pass with flying colors and get back to work. 

Here are some tips to help you prepare for and pass your DOT physical exam. 

Watch what you eat and drink 

In the days leading up to your physical, avoid consuming higher-than-normal amounts of sugar, carbohydrates, salt, and caffeine. All of these can have a negative impact on your blood sugar and blood pressure tests. You don’t want to inflate these results artificially.

For instance, don’t head out for a huge buffet breakfast or lunch right before your exam. This can temporarily increase the sugar in your urine, causing diabetes warning bells to go off even if you don't have diabetes. Instead, eat something light and healthy before your exam. You should also drink plenty of water.

Check your medications 

Take all of your medications on time and consistently. This ensures that they’re as effective as possible and that you have accurate results during your DOT physical. 

If you take medications that can affect your ability to drive or your alertness, you need to talk to your doctor about this before your exam. You don’t want to find out during your DOT physical that your much-needed medication is affecting your ability to do your job.

Bring your aids 

If you wear hearing aids, glasses, or contacts, bring them with you. While you’re gathering your these items, check when you last had them tested and updated.

For example, if your contact lens prescription is out of date, you may not have the best eyesight possible, and it could affect your vision test. Have your prescriptions updated before your DOT physical if necessary.

Document your medical conditions 

If you have an existing medical condition, bring documentation of it to your DOT exam along with any required forms or notes from specialists. If you’re missing these documents, it could affect your clearance. These are some of the conditions for which you must supply documentation:

By providing documentation for your condition, you can apply for the exemption program. This allows you to continue to work with certain conditions. 

Maintain a healthy weight 

It can be tough to get enough physical exercise when you sit behind the wheel for a living. But drivers who are obese or morbidly obese are less likely to get a two-year certification. They’re also more likely to have back pain, hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, and sleep disorders. 

Keep your stress level down 

Don’t artificially raise your blood pressure by inducing stress. Schedule your test during a convenient time, and give yourself plenty of time to get to your appointment. If you feel yourself becoming anxious before your appointment, try taking some deep breaths. This helps lower your heart rate and your blood pressure.

Schedule your DOT physical today

Successfully completing your DOT physical ensures that you’re healthy enough to drive. Follow these tips, and get plenty of sleep leading up to your exam. With a little prep work on your part, the team at Coopersburg Family Practice can have you back out on the road in no time. 

Request an appointment for your DOT physical online or by calling our office in Coopersburg, Pennsylvania.