How, and where, can I complete my DOT Physical?

July 23, 2019

Commercial drivers that want to continue their trucking career need to re-take their Department of Transportation physical exam, known as a DOT physical, to renew their commercial driver's license (CDL).

Without a DOT physical from a medical examiner, drivers are likely experience more administrative delays in their trucking career. Because drivers need to get their DOT physicals ASAP, they'll also need fast and immediate medical options to complete physicals in a timely manner.

The good news for commercial drivers in Denver, Speer, Baker, and Capitol Hill is that AFC Urgent Care Denver Speer offers a variety of urgent care services including on-site DOT physicals. Drivers just have to visit to get their physical at our local walk-in clinic in Speer, CO.

However, it is important for drivers to know that passing the DOT physical is crucial for renewal. This is because these physical help federal and state governments determine if you are healthy enough to drive large commercial vehicles.

DOT physicals evaluate whether or not a driver has many health impairments such as chronic diseases, vision issues, poor hearing, and any other type of medical hindrance on driving performance. But drivers need to understand that there are ways to pass your physical and show medical examiners that you have certain health concerns managed and under control.

Here are just a few ways in which drivers can prepare for their DOT Physicals around Speer and other areas of Denver, CO:

Prepare for you DOT Physical by lowering stress, avoiding certain foods, and providing medical information

One of the easiest ways to fail a DOT physical is to get flagged for a false positive for chronic disease indicators such as high blood pressure or cholesterol.

Medical examiners take these DOT Physicals very seriously and watch astutely to see if your blood pressure or cholesterol may indicate a chronic condition such as COPD, coronary heart disease, or a similar issue. Additionally, examiners will test drivers for any other chronic diseases such as respiratory issues like asthma, obesity, and drug use (alcohol and tobacco).

A few ways to avoid a false positive is to avoid certain activities, stressful triggers, or behaviors before your exam. High-sodium foods, caffeinated beverages, and additionally stress could provide a false positive during your exam.

To prepare for your DOT physical, use these tips as a baseline to ensure that you're ready to provide accurate results on your resting biometric measures such as heart rate, blood pressure, and cholesterol:

  • Avoid coffee and other stimulating energy drinks before your exam: Coffee can raise blood pressure and increase your chances of a false positive for high blood pressure. Sugary energy drinks may have an even higher effect than coffee, so avoid that morning joe just for one day.
  • Lower and reduce high-sodium and salty foods a few days before your DOT physical: High-sodium foods with a lot of salt could also inflate your blood pressure. Try to also cut back on these foods in your diet to decrease higher-than-normal blood pressure results.
  • Reduce fatty foods before your exam: Fatty foods are likely to spike your cholesterol readings, which medical examiners use to determine your risk of chronic diseases. Cut down on fat-filled foods as well as large meals before your physical.
  • Take a day or two to de-stress for the doctor's office: Stress can also negatively influence your DOT physical results by raising blood pressure, anxiety, and other key factors. Try to take a day or two off from work to mediate and relax before your exam. If you can't do that, then try and practice deep breathing and mindfulness exercises before your physical.

However, the good news for drivers is that with the right paperwork and health information can get exemptions for medical guidelines of CDL renewal.

To qualify for certain exemptions, drivers must bring in prescriptions, paperwork, and medical information that indicates certain health issues are under control. For example, drivers with corrected vision may bring in their prescription to get a vision exemption from the medical examiner.

So before you visit a nearby urgent care provider, or walk-in clinic for your physical, please remember to bring in all pertinent medical information. It is likely the difference between passing or failing your DOT Physical.

Where can drivers get updated DOT Physicals around Denver and Speer, CO?

Drivers that want a more accessible, convenient, and timely DOT physical should visit AFC Urgent Care Denver locations throughout the city.

Patients that want DOT physicals completed on the same day as their visit can come to any of our walk-in clinics. Our urgent care staff assists you in preparing for your exam and ensuring that you have all the information in place to pass.

Additionally, our locations in Speer, Highland, Cherry Creek, and Denver Park Hill provide multiple DOT examiners throughout Colorado. If you have any more questions please use the map below to get directions or call our locations directly:

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