How to Prepare for Your DOT Physical

How to Prepare for Your DOT Physical

If you operate a commercial vehicle, you will need to pass a federally required Department of Transportation (DOT) physical. The test establishes your physical, mental, and emotional health, all of which are essential for the stressful and impactful job of operating large commercial vehicles. At High Rock Internal Medicine, we’re here to support you in passing this exam. Here’s what you should do to prepare for your DOT physical.

Before your physical:

  • Cut back on salt, ideally for the whole week before your physical, to lower your blood pressure.
  • Avoid or cut back on coffee, tobacco, and energy drinks for 24 hours before your physical. This will also significantly lower your blood pressure, as well as improving your overall baseline health.
  • Minimize pre-appointment stress by gathering everything you’ll need ahead of time. Plan extra time into your trip to the doctor for your physical, just in case.
  • Get plenty of sleep, letting your body rest so that you’re at peak condition for your appointment.

On exam day:

  • Take any medication as soon as you wake up, so that it will be in full effect by the time of your appointment.
  • Don’t eat a big meal before your physical, especially if you have diabetes.
  • Hygiene is always helpful!
  • Drink plenty of water before your physical, so that you’ll be able to provide the required urine sample.

What to bring:

If you have pre-existing conditions, bring your medical documentation with you to the physical. We’ll review your medical history and ask about medications you take, so make sure you have that information as well. Here’s a list of conditions that may require additional paperwork:

  • Heart-related issues will mean a letter from your cardiologist giving an overview of your case and medications. If you’ve had a previous heart attack or heart surgery, you’ll need a copy of your most recent stress test.
  • Diabetes and high blood pressure will require a list of all current medications, with dosage information, and contact information from your doctor.
  • If you’re in treatment for mental illness, you’ll need to bring a list of all medications and a medical opinion letter from your doctor.
  • If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, bring the reports from your most recent sleep study. If you have a CPAP, bring that, and your compliance letter, as well.

Keep a positive attitude! Anxiety about the physical can raise your blood pressure. The exam will be minimally invasive, so there’s no reason to be concerned. You have the right to a second opinion if you don’t pass, and you should be clear if you are looking for one if you’re initially disqualified.

Several of our team members here at High Rock Internal Medicine are qualified to perform the DOT exam and qualify you for your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). We should be able to see you promptly and may be even be able to accommodate same-day appointments. To schedule a DOT physical exam at our Lexington, North Carolina office, call or book online now.

5 thoughts on “How to Prepare for Your DOT Physical”