Has the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (NRCME) resulted in an improved Department of Transportation (DOT) physical exam process?

The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) and Mayo Clinic want to find out, and they have launched a set of surveys to compile motor carrier and commercial driver input. The NRCME was deployed in 2014.

According to the NRCME’s website, “All commercial drivers whose current medical certificate expires on or after May 21, 2014, at expiration of that certificate must be examined by a medical professional listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners. Only medical examiners that have completed training and successfully passed a test on FMCSA's physical qualification standards will be listed on the National Registry.”

ATRI and Mayo Clinic say their research “will quantify how effective the NRCME process is in improving the DOT physical exam process, and ensuring that medical examiners understand FMCSA regulations and guidance for issuing medical certificates.”

The research will include three separate data collection surveys: one for motor carriers, one for commercial drivers, and one for medical examiners. The first two surveys for motor carriers and drivers are available on ATRI's website. Mayo Clinic will distribute the third survey to medical examiners through its targeted network.

“We can help shape and improve the medical examination process if we can better understand how motor carriers, truck drivers, and medical examiners address the changes resulting from the NRCME process,” said Clayton T. Cowl, principal investigator for Mayo Clinic.