Health Releaf

What Does A DOT Physical Exam Include?

If your employees are designated as “safety-sensitive” for the Department of Transportation (DOT) – meaning their job can impact both their own safety and the safety of the public – they are required to have a regular physical to be compliant and keep working. A DOT physical follows strict guidelines mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), ensuring that commercial drivers and other safety-sensitive employees are in good health to work safely.

With these strict guidelines, DOT physicals can sometimes seem overwhelming. To help simplify the process, here is a brief overview* of what your employees should bring to the exam, and what to expect once they get there.

What to Bring to a DOT Physical

Commercial drivers need to bring a complete list of their medications, including the dosage regimen, dosages, and their doctors’ names and addresses. To save time, it’s also recommended that drivers fill out the health history questionnaire before coming to the clinic.

To make sure the exam runs as smoothly as possible, drivers with certain medical issues need to bring the appropriate documents or items. For example:

  • Drivers with vision or hearing problems must bring their eyeglasses, contacts, or hearing aids
  • Drivers with diabetes must bring the most recent lab results from their Hemoglobin A1C (HgAIC) and their blood sugar logs
  • Drivers with heart-related issues must, at minimum, bring a letter from their cardiologist that outlines their medical history and current medications, and indicates that they are safe to work

What the DOT Physical Covers

1. Vision

Drivers are required to have at least 20/40 acuity in each eye with or without correction. They are also required to have at least 70” peripheral in the horizontal meridian, measured in each eye.

2. Hearing

Drivers must be able to perceive what is known as a “forced whisper” at a distance of 5ft or less, with or without a hearing aid. This standard equates to an average hearing loss in the better ear of less than 40 dB.

3. Blood pressure/pulse rate

The medical examiner will check the driver’s blood pressure and pulse to look for high blood pressure and irregular heartbeats.

4. Urinalysis

A urinalysis is required. The test looks for indications of underlying medical conditions such as diabetes.

5. Physical Examination

The physical exam will cover a dozen different categories:

  • General appearance
  • Eyes (cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, etc.)
  • Ears (scarring of tympanic membrane, perforated ear drums, etc.)
  • Mouth and throat (to look for problems breathing or swallowing)
  • Heart (murmurs, extra sounds, pacemaker, etc.)
  • Lungs and chest, not including breast examination (abnormal breathing, impaired respiratory functions, cyanosis, etc.)
  • Abdomen and Viscera (enlarged liver, viscera, muscle weakness)
  • Vascular (abnormal pulse, carotid, varicose veins)
  • Genito-urinary (hernias)
  • Extremities (limb impaired)
  • Spine, other musculoskeletal (previous surgery, limitation of motion, tenderness, etc.)
  • Neurological (impaired equilibrium, coordination or speech pattern, ataxia, asymmetric deep tendon reflexes)

A DOT physical can only be completed by a medical examiner certified by the FMCSA. It is up to the Medical Examiner to determine if a candidate meets all the requirements, and to mark the report to the best of their knowledge.

DOT Physical Forms

There are several forms associated with DOT physicals. These forms are available online, so that drivers and employers can review them before a visit. They include:

Medical Examination Report (MER) Form, MCSA-5875

The MER contains the driver’s information and health history, as well as the findings of the medical examiner during the DOT exam.

Medical Examiner’s Certificate (MEC), Form MCSA-5876

Certified drivers will receive this certificate after passing a DOT exam.

Insulin-treated Diabetes Mellitus Assessment, MCSA-5870

Commercial drivers with insulin-treated diabetes must have this form completed by their treating clinicians no more than 45 days prior to examination by a certified medical examiner (CME). A Medical Examiner’s Certificate can’t be issued to the driver without this form.

For additional information, please visit

Health Releaf maintains a current, comprehensive knowledge of DOT regulations.

What Is Primary Care?

What is Primary Care?

Primary Care Providers act as a patient’s first point of entry into the healthcare system and as the continuing focal point for all needed healthcare services. Primary care practices provide patients with ready access to their own personal healthcare provider, or to an established back-up provider when their primary physician is not available.

Primary care practices provide health promotion, disease prevention, health maintenance, counseling, patient education, diagnosis, and treatment of acute and chronic illnesses in a variety of health care settings.

Health Releaf Primary Care Services:

Health Releaf is a medical facility staffed with highly qualified, caring professionals who work together to give patients the highest quality primary care services in Edgewater and Glen Burnie, Maryland. Our providers specialize in pain management, substance abuse treatment, medical cannabis certification and primary care for the whole family. Our number one concern is patient safety, it is our core value and we are committed to partnering with our patients to ensure all their needs are met. Our training and experience make us some of the most diverse primary care physicians in the state.

To meet the needs of a diverse community, our program offers a wide array of primary care services our services include:

  • Prevention & Wellness
  • Telemedicine/Telehealth Visits
  • General Maryland Primary Care Services
  • Comprehensive Physical Examinations
  • Gynecology Exams/Services
  • Administrative/Travel and Back-to-School Health Exams
  • Acute and Chronic Disease Management
  • COPD & Asthma Care
  • Family Planning Services
  • Weight Loss Services
  • DOT Physicals
  • Substance and Alcohol Abuse Treatment with Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)
  • Maryland Medical Marijuana Certifications
  • Convenient locations in Edgewater and Glen Burnie

Before opening the doors of our facility, we decided to look at Maryland primary care services we looked at what was lacking in terms of community healthcare needs, and how Health Releaf could be different. One of our focus was to try to eliminate the hassle of referring and sending patients to multiple areas/locations for treatment. With the realization that it would require our providers to be knowledgeable and specialized in these services, we were determined to do whatever it took, however long it took, to accomplish just that. Our passion for nursing and commitment to helping others made the process quite simple.

If your looking for a Primary Care Provider, book an appointment today. We’d love to partner with you in caring for your health and wellness.

What Is Substance Abuse?

What Is Substance Abuse?

Substance abuse isn’t something you should take lightly. It occurs when you use alcohol, prescription medicine, and other legal and illegal substances too much or in the wrong way.Substance abuse differs from addiction. Many people with substance abuse problems are able to quit or can change their unhealthy behavior. Addiction, on the other hand, is a disease. It means you can’t stop using even when your condition causes you harm.

Commonly Abused Drugs

Both legal and illegal drugs have chemicals that can change how your body and mind work. They can give you a pleasurable “high,” ease your stress, or help you avoid problems in your life.


Alcohol affects everyone differently. But if you drink too much and too often, your chance of an injury or accident goes up. Heavy drinking also can cause liver and other health problems or lead to a more serious alcohol disorder.
If you’re a man and you drink more than four drinks on any day or more than 14 in a week, you’re drinking too much. For women, heavy drinking means more than three drinks in one day or more than seven drinks a week.

One drink is:

  • 12 ounces of regular beer
  • 8-9 ounces of malt liquor, which has more alcohol than beer
  • 5 ounces of wine
  • 1 1/2 ounces of distilled spirits like vodka and whiskey

Prescription and Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medicine

These can be just as dangerous and addictive as illegal drugs. You can abuse medicine if you:

  • Take medicine prescribed for someone else
  • Take extra doses or use a drug other than the way it’s supposed to be taken
  • Take the drug for a non-medical reason

Types of prescription drugs that are most often abused include:

  • Opioid pain relievers
  • Medicine used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Anxiety and sleep medicines

The most commonly abused OTC drugs are cough and cold medicine that have dextromethorphan, which in high doses can make you feel drunk or intoxicated.


This illegal drug is the natural version of manmade prescription opioid narcotics. Heroin gives you a rush of good feelings at first. But when it wears off, everything slows down. You’ll move and think more slowly, and you may have chills, nausea, and nervousness. You may feel a strong need to take more heroin to feel better.  Learn more about the symptoms of heroin withdrawal.

What Is Substance Abuse?


This drug speeds up your whole body. When you use cocaine, you may talk, move, or think very fast. You may feel happy and full of energy. But your mood may then shift to anger. You may feel like someone is out to get you. It can cause you to do things that don’t make sense.

Using cocaine for a long time will lead to strong cravings for the drug.


A growing number of states have legalized medical uses of marijuana. A handful of states also allow recreational pot. But in most states, it’s still illegal.

Marijuana can make you feel silly and laugh for no reason. Or you may feel sleepy and forget things that just happened. Driving while high on pot is just as dangerous as drunk driving. And heavy marijuana use can leave some people “burned out” and not think or care about much.

Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products

You may not think of these as drugs. But tobacco has a chemical called nicotine that gives you a little rush of pleasure and energy. The effect can wear off fast and leave you wanting more. You can abuse and get addicted to the nicotine in cigarettes, just like other drugs.

Signs of a Substance Use Problem

When you first start taking a substance, you may think you can control how much you use. But over time, you may need more of the drug to get the same feeling or effect. For some people, that can lead beyond abuse to addiction. Signals that you may have a problem with substance abuse include if you:

  • Lack interest in things you used to love
  • Change your friends a lot
  • Stop taking care of yourself
  • Spend more time alone than you used to
  • Eat more or less than normal
  • Sleep at odd hours
  • Have problems at work or with family
  • Switch quickly from feeling good and bad
  • Crave or strongly desire to use the substance

Don’t Wait. Get Help Now.

Substance abuse affects every part of your life. It can hurt you and the people around you. It can ruin relationships and your financial health. Abusing drugs can also lead to addiction and cause serious health problems and even death.

Original Post

Our Locations

Glen Burnie
1406-B South Crain Highway
Suite 308
Glen Burnie, MD  21061
Phone: 301.804.0344
Fax: 301.349.1370

3179 Braverton St
Suite 202
Edgewater, MD 21037
Phone: 301.804.0344
Fax: 301.349.1370

Office Hours

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday
8:30am – 4:30pm

10:00am – 6:00pm

8:30am – 1:30pm

Saturday: closed
Sunday: closed

Contact Us, Book An Appointment