Certified Medical Examiner: What You Need to Know
We’ve been getting calls asking about the requirement for physicians who perform DOT physicals to be trained and registered. We asked our colleague, Clinton (Marc) Smith, DC, to write an article explaining the ins and outs of the Medical Examiner program. Dr. Smith has been involved with this new program since its inception eight years ago, and is our go-to person for understanding the details of this program. Click here to read Dr. Smith’s very informative article to learn more details about this program and how it will impact collection sites and clinics. Here are the bullet points of what you need to know:
- The National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (NRCME) is a program administered by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to standardize the training of medical professionals who perform the physical examinations of drivers, and to standardize the physical examinations of drivers.
- Effective May 21, 2014, a medical person who performs an examination of an interstate Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) driver must be certified by the NRCME as a Medical Examiner.
- A medical professional must receive training and pass a written examination in order to be certified as a Medical Examiner.
- Training is available via seminars and computer based programs.
- There is no grandfather clause that exempts existing medical personnel from the training and certification – every individual now performing DOT physical examinations must be trained and certified if they wish to continue performing DOT physicals after May 21, 2014.
How does this impact the drug and alcohol testing industry?
- Most companies prefer to use clinics that can provide the required DOT examinations as well as the required drug and alcohol tests. A clinic or collection site that does not have a certified Medical Examiner on staff to perform DOT physicals may risk losing their customers for drug and alcohol testing.
- Many small companies rely on clinic personnel to be knowledgeable about regulatory requirements. Your knowledge regarding the Medical Examiner regulation will assist the companies who are your customers in complying with the regulation.