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How to Prepare for Your DOT Physical

How to Prepare for Your DOT Physical

Department of Transportation (DOT) physical exams ensure that professional drivers operating big rigs and heavy vehicles are in good health and safe to drive. If you’re applying for a commercial driver's license (CDL), you may be required to include documentation for a DOT physical exam with a medical professional.

At Monrovia Internal Medicine & Primary Care in Duarte, California, Dr. Ulin Sargeant and her team perform several types of physical evaluations you may need, including DOT exams. Here’s the information you need on what to expect from your DOT physical, how to prepare, and next steps after your exam.

Getting healthy for your DOT physical

Before your exam appointment, you can take steps to improve your health and ensure you’ll pass your DOT physical.

Reduce your sodium intake

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a major problem for many Americans and is often associated with a high-sodium diet. You can improve your blood pressure by cutting back on salt in the weeks before your DOT physical.

Get plenty of rest

Insomnia and sleeplessness pose real risks for commercial drivers. Before your DOT physical, practice good sleep hygiene, getting your sleep cycle on track and keeping your body well-rested. Both your physical and mental health benefit from getting enough regular rest.

Deal with stress

Stress is an everyday reality for commercial drivers. But did you know that chronic stress can have serious negative impacts on your long-term health and wellness?

It may be time to take a look at your stress management habits, and you might consider adopting some new or improved stress relief techniques. Mindfulness, meditation, and gentle exercise are all healthy ways to cope with stress.

When you take good care of your physical and emotional health, your DOT physical reflects and documents that, certifying you as road-ready.

What to bring to your DOT physical

Plan on bringing a few types of documentation with you to your DOT physical exam appointment. This includes:

If you have qualifying pre-existing medical conditions, you also need to bring specific documentation from your health care provider. These conditions include heart issues like a prior heart attack or heart surgery, diabetes, high blood pressure, mental illness, and sleep apnea.

Depending on your condition, required documentation can include information on medication management and compliance, stress tests, or sleep study results.

What to expect during and after your exam

Your provider at MIMPC complies with federal regulations. We check your current physical condition, evaluate your health, treatments, and management strategies, and screen for drug regulation compliance. You need to produce a urine sample at your appointment, so be sure to arrive well-hydrated.

After your exam is complete, you receive the paperwork you need to complete the process of getting your CDL. If you don’t pass, federal regulations entitle you to a second opinion.

If you have any questions about what you need to do to prepare for your DOT physical, contact the team at Monrovia Internal Medicine & Primary Care for support. You can schedule an exam by calling us now or by visiting our virtual office to book online.

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