Hello, med examiner here

Discussion in 'The Welcome Wagon' started by KenleighMD, Aug 7, 2019.

  1. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

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    At least he is a doctor checking blood pressure. Some of those people checking blood pressure seem to be temp service workers that were rejected from stocking shelves at Walmart. A real doctor or nurse knows how to do a proper blood pressure check.
     
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  3. G13Tomcat

    G13Tomcat Road Train Member

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    Truly spoken, and duly noted. Spammed again, aren't we. :(
     
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  4. quatto

    quatto Medium Load Member

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    I agree with what you have said. However, there is an argument to be made that a single solitary reading of blood pressure which fluctuates dramatically during the day and is influenced by food intake, physical position, emotional state, poor measurement techniques, and who knows what else, should not be a final determining measure of a drivers fitness for work. That plus the very method by which blood is measured in 99% of medical offices has been scientifically proven to be of questionable accuracy.

    Whenever Im forced to submit to this process I insist on being able to lie down for 20 minutes in a darkened room prior to measurement. If the first measurement isn't satisfactory I insist upon a second, third, or even fourth measurement by different people.

    Just so everyone is aware, if you receive a 90 day certificate for high blood pressure (140 or higher systolic) you can go immediately to a different place and get a second opinion. If that second opinion is that your pressure is good it automatically trumps the first opinion.
     
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  5. quatto

    quatto Medium Load Member

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    Your saying he was a truck driver?? ;-)
     
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  6. mwonch

    mwonch Light Load Member

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    I know this is kind of an old thread, but I'd like to chime in. I have quite a bit of experience with this very thing. Please bear with me; I'll keep this as short as I can.

    January 2015, I arrived at Prime to begin CDL student stuff. A big part of that is, of course, the physical. Mine didn't go well. First tie, BP was too high. Second time, the same. Come the third time, they passed me. They shouldn't have. I will explain below.

    I went through training just fine. I was set loose as a solo driver in, I think, March 2015. Come May, I parked the truck in a primo spot and soon after setting the brake...I had a stroke. Within 20 minutes, I was in an emergency room to begin my treatment. After one week ICU and another week physical therapy, I walked out of the hospital. FMCSA regs state stroke victims are disqualified for a full year from the date of the initial incident. CDL holder may only requalify/certify IF a new DOT exam was passed. I was fortunate. I passed the next exam one year later. Since I had such an incident, I would now forever have to get an annual DOT physical. In 2016 I went back to driving.

    What I found through all of that is Prime's medical should never have approved me until I was properly diagnosed and the hypertension was under control. I didn't know at that time where I was headed. Prime's medical should have, but also seemed not to know. Perhaps they were under the impression I had "white coat" syndrome. I didn't. I was as calm as a sleeping kitten. Even after the stroke, I wanted to go back when regulations allowed. But, by then they must have caught on to their obvious mistake. They told me I'd have to wait 5 years. LOL Really? May 2020? Really??? Glad they said that, because I've worked other places since and done a bit better. I still like and would recommend Prime for rookies, but I won't go back. So their butt-covering at setting a 5 year mark for any possible return did me a favor. Anyway, I digress...

    Come 2017, my new primary care physician (who also did my DOT exams from then until now) required I get a clearance letter from a Neurologist. Regs had changed, so I was stuck with doing that on short notice. It's hard to see such a specialist on short notice, even with a referral, but I was lucky and got in. Since my regular DOT examiner was also my primary care physician, she knew I was stable and keeping up with what I was advised to do. As such, no new specialist clearance was needed.

    Now, skip to this year. As in right NOW. I recently moved to Texas. I am in the process of seeing a new primary care physician. I am also due for my annual DOT physical. I just went in, and was told I'll need some type of verification that I'm safe to be put on the road. The new Primary care physican does not do DOT exams, so I now have TWO doctors. The new DOT examiner did issue a 90 day card, since I passed everything just fine. He just needs someone to sign off that my treatment is still effective. He gave me a simple form that is easy enough to understand to give to my regular doctor. So, when I go in to see the new Primary Care doc in a few weeks, I'll hand him that form, explain the situation (if necessary). If he feels comfortable saying I'm not totally brain-dead and a danger, then the form gets checked, signed, and returned to the DOT people. If not, then there is time to get a referral to a local Neurologist who will then perform a standard physical that a regular family doctor can do. It's a pain in the ###, but at least the DOT doc gave me 90 days to see everyone needed. I'll be fine.

    This must be done every year. Since my primary care is no longer the same as the DOT doc, this will have to be done every year until I find a primary care physician who also can do DOT. Even if I don't do that, it's just a matter of shuttling paperwork and shuffling appointments.

    The DOT was done by a Cocentra doctor. They are well known for erring on the side of caution. I'm fine with that. As I said, I passed everything but an updated "he should be fine" backing form from a second doc. Weight was down, BP was fine (even though I was nervous about seeing new folks for personal stuff). Just that one little form, and I'll get the 1 year again. That's why the DOT examiner was comfortable giving me 90 days rather than just failing me. IN fact, he gave me a choice. Since I will had 45 days left on my old card he said he could just keep it "pending." That lasts only 30 days. OR...he could certify me at 90 days. The difference being "pending" means I wouldn't have to do the physical again, while the 90 day cert means I would. I will be seeing my new primary care doc well within 30 days...BUT...what if he would rather refer me to a specialist? That would take more time than the "pending" would allow. So, I chose the 90 day card. Just in case.

    Lastly, this situation of getting a 90 day card does mean I can drive. But, as mentioned above, I'll have to go through another full physical in order to get the regular 1 year card. If primary care signs the form, then I can go back right away even before the 90 day cert expires.

    That's how it works in my situation. A stroke ain't a light thing, so I'm okay with the extra footwork. Even if it is a pain nowadays, it's still less stress knowing that the only thing I have to do is get a form signed. If CONCENTRA says you're physically fine, you probably are. LOL So, no worries.
     
  7. Lennythedriver

    Lennythedriver Medium Load Member

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    I got one for you. I’m not bashing drivers, but my first trainer Would literally be wiped out for days just climbing in and out of the truck and walking in and out of the truck stop. Gasping for air, hunched over hands on his knees catching his breath to climb back up into the cab. I would guesstimate he weighed at least 450 pounds.
    He somehow gets a medical card over and over. I was terrified trying to sleep in the bunk while he drove as I had visions of him slumping over dead while flying down the highway. It was that bad.

    A buddy of mine was born with a defect .....heart valve....at age 5 it was discovered and he had open heart surgery and his valve was repaired. He has to go through about $2500 a year worth of extensive medical tests for something that was fixed when he was Age five. The guy runs 5 miles a day, works out at the gym and is extremely healthy. He can run laps in circles around 99.9% of every truck driver out there. Every time he goes to the cardiologist they tell him he’s fine and in perfect health yet because he had open heart surgery as a child the trucking industry puts him through the ringer. Year after year

    Like everything else in this industry, from the hours of service to the way they do medical most of it makes no sense to me.
     
  8. mwonch

    mwonch Light Load Member

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    LOL! Yeah... Why is that? Those guys get a 2 year card, your pal who makes sure he's as healthy as can be gets a 1. In my case, I fully understand, but his? It makes no sense.

    But, whatcha gonna do? It FMCSA. Feds. Big government. What they say goes, and getting them to change minds and rules is nearly impossible.

    At least your friend will have a LONG life, while those other guys will probably be gone by 50.
     
  9. REO6205

    REO6205 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

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    Instead of being continually bewildered, why not look for a career path that makes more sense to you?
     
  10. Lennythedriver

    Lennythedriver Medium Load Member

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    So you’re saying HOS and the medical exams and rationale behind it makes sense to most drivers? Number one complaint I here out here is HOS. Forces people to drive tired and break when they could drive another half day. So yeah, those aspects don’t make sense to me. Someone should not be driving a truck in my opinion who can’t walk across the parking lot without being completely winded. That’s a clear indication of cardiovascular disease up to the point of teetering on deaths door step.

    then you have perfectly healthy people, who might have white coat syndrome or drink a bit too much coffee in their blood pressure spikes up during the exam or whatever else and they get denied. Or are put through the ringer. I should rephrase, “it makes no sense to me in “ to, common sense seems to have been removed. As is typical with most anything ran by the government.
     
  11. mwonch

    mwonch Light Load Member

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    While you do have a good point or two overall regarding the FMCSA regs, but I would like to ask how you would have this all redone to make more sense. I'm not trying to be argumentative.

    I agree with your 100% about HOS, if I correctly understand you. That 30 minute break is something I usually do not need. However, I do know people who appreciate it a great deal. That break helps when a driver just wants a few moments away from the road for lunch, coffee, whatever. There are a lot of regional and local companies who would not allow it otherwise. The 14 hour clock not stopping when we do (or sit a long time in heavy traffic) is ridiculous, however many drives would cheat that clock whenever they could. Since I am the type who can drive 18 hours straight on most days without missing a beat or feeling tired, I would be tempted to do that from time to time.

    The regs and rules are blanket, meant to regulate all. There is just no way to tailor those regs to fit an individual without making the rules 100% ineffective. Driver 1 needs no break and can drive 18 hours, Driver 2 needs frequent breaks, Driver 3 needs no break but can only drive 10 hours before getting tired, Driver 4 needs one break but gets tired after 6 hours. How are all the differences to be regulated?

    Add to that, the rules are meant mainly for long haul and regional OTR, but quite a few local and home daily/frequently regional who drive just over 100 air miles from their terminal have to comply even if they don't need to. The only real difference for those local types is the once weekly 16 hour exemption. If the rules switched to allow that exemption every day or every other day, companies would take advantage of that. And then there are those who are never over 100 air miles away from their home terminal who do NOT need to log. How would that all be balanced along with individual driver abilities?

    Then, there are the students and rookies who may not yet know and possess the ability to drive long days. Most Mega companies limit how long a student can drive (usually 6 hours), rookies have flexibility (not really, but that's what they say LOL). Sometimes it takes a while for a new driver used to 6 - 8 hour days to acclimate to the new situation of 11 - 14 hours. How would that be regulated seamlessly into all of the above?

    With Medical Certifications, I'm probably more on your side, especially with the examples you provided. My situation I understand and will not fantasize about it being different. However, we have all seen those who can literally barely fit into their large vehicle who likely have a 2 year card. I agree that does not make a bit of sense. That does need a bit of work. In fact, that's something the DOT examiner mentioned yesterday. He felt bad not giving me the full card to the point that he seemed to be trying to convince himself. He only stopped when I said I understood and fully agree with what he wanted me to do. So, many of them also know the regs need more work there. But again, how? Can he predict that even if I'm totally fit that I won't have another stroke of develop heart disease on top of it all? Although we can accurately predict IF someone will have certain problems, we cannot predict when those problems become a danger. In our business, it's the danger to others that is the chief concern.

    Making the rules to fit and protect everyone is not easy.
     
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