A physical examination is a routine test your primary care provider performs to check your overall health. A routine physical exam can be a good time to ask your PCP questions about your health or discuss any changes or health problems that you have noticed. However, depending on your personal medical history, the doctor may choose to focus on certain areas. You may receive additional laboratory tests based on your family history.


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What is A DOT Physical Exam?

Federal law requires drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) to receive regular physical examinations under the Department of Transportation. DOT physicals are very important for the drivers’ safety. The exam detects physical, mental, and emotional issues that can affect a driver’s ability to safely drive a commercial vehicle. Berea Walk-in Clinic’s DOT medical examiners know all of the regulations and they prevent drivers from being inappropriately disqualified.

What Does The DOT Physical Exam Cover?

Here at Berea Walk-in Clinic located in Berea, KY, our DOT physicals cover the following:

Vision Testing

Based on the Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations, good vision is one of the requirements for drivers to pass the DOT physical exam. Drivers must have 20/40 vision with or without corrective lenses. Therefore, you must be able to see at least 20/40 with both eyes, or at least 20/40 with either the right or left eye.

Hearing Testing

Recognizing a forced whisper at a 5ft distance or less is a must for drivers to pass the DOT physical exam. Drivers who use hearing aids can still be qualified as long as they pass the exam.

Drug Testing 

Drug testing may be performed to ensure commercial drivers do not use habit-forming substances such as drugs and alcohol, that compromise the safety of themselves and others while operating commercial vehicles.

Cardiovascular Screening Test

Good heart health is required to pass the DOT physical exam. Evidence suggests that drivers of commercial vehicles are more likely to suffer cardiovascular disease. Moreover, they might put themselves and others at risk for injury and death. Therefore, blood pressure readings may be taken to assess the risk of heart attack or heart disease. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of medical illness and sudden death in drivers who operate commercial motor vehicles. We may also check the driver’s blood pressure and pulse to look for high blood pressure and irregular heart rate.

Drivers with heart issues must bring a letter from their cardiologist to the DOT physical that outlines their medical history and list of heart medications. Therefore, those who have a history of serious heart problems or who use medical devices like defibrillators and pacemakers may be disqualified from receiving a DOT medical card.


The test looks for indications of underlying medical conditions such as diabetes.

How Often Do I Need A DOT Physical Exam?

Most medical certificates are good for two years. However, if you have low blood pressure or high blood pressure, or any other condition that may inhibit your ability to drive, you may receive a 1-year certificate. And if you have very high blood pressure or other treatable conditions, you may receive a 3-month certificate. After 3 months, if you show improvement in that condition, you’ll be eligible to get a 1 or 2-year certificate.

Unfortunately, sometimes drivers begin suffering from a condition (after receiving their certificate) that makes it unsafe to carry out their responsibilities on the job. If this is the case, you must stop driving, have the condition treated, and then take your DOT physical again to ensure your safety as well as that of fellow drivers.

Contact Us For More Information About The DOT Physical Exam

Berea Walk-in Clinic aims to give our patients and community the immediate, attentive health services they need at our facility. In addition, we are a walk-in clinic, that is fully-staffed with physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. We are located in Berea, KY, and can be reached at (859) 986-0375 for more information.