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Physicians Providing Driver Exams Face New Federal Regulations
Final Rule Calls for National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners
By News Staff
The rule is intended to improve highway safety and driver health. According to background information in the final rule, previously there was no required training program for medical professionals who conducted driver physicals nor was specific knowledge of the FMCSA's physical qualification standards required.
- New federal regulations call for the creation of a training, testing and registration program for health professionals who provide physicals for drivers of commercial vehicles.
- The new rule is intended to improve highway safety and driver health.
- The regulation calls for medical examiners to recertify every 10 years and comply with additional reporting requirements.
The new regulation also calls for the establishment of a national registry of all medical examiners who have been tested and certified to conduct medical examinations. Medical professionals eligible to apply for medical examiner certification include medical doctors, osteopathic doctors, chiropractors, advanced practice nurses and physician assistants.
Once the new testing program is in place, potential medical examiners will need to attend an accredited training program -- with fees to be set by individual testing programs -- and pass a recertification test every 10 years. Continuous training will be available via refresher courses at five-year intervals along with e-mail and web updates from the FMCSA.
On a monthly basis, certified medical examiners also will need to electronically transmit certain information about completed medical examination reports of drivers who have undergone a medical exam.
Additionally, the final rule requires medical examiners to provide copies of medical reports and certificates to the safety agency within 48 hours of a request from enforcement personnel. "This level of responsiveness is required to enable FMCSA to investigate patterns of errors or improper certification by medical examiners," says the final rule.
The new regulations will be implemented by May 21, 2014.
Questions about the final rule can be sent by e-mail to the FMCSA.
American Family Physician: "The Commercial Motor Vehicle Driver Medical Examination: Practical Issues"
(April 15, 2010)