FMCSA revising Medical Examiners’ Handbook

A new draft of the Medical Examiners’ Handbook is being reviewed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. It is used by the 50,000 members of the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners who determine the medical fitness of commercial drivers.

The five members of the FMCSA Medical Review Board spent two days discussing the draft in July and will meet again to review a new version of the draft, including suggested revisions. The book offers guidance to medical examiners on assessing driver fitness, especially for medical issues such as diabetes, sleep apnea, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, vision and hearing.

In the introduction to the draft, FMCSA stressed, “Unlike regulations, this guidance is not legally binding on medical examiners, rather is strictly advisory, and is intended to provide information that helps to apply standards in the regulations or serve as a reference. Accordingly, the examiner chooses whether to follow guidance for these regulations… the purpose is to assist medical examiners in applying the regulations governing the physical qualifications of commercial vehicle drivers.”

The handbook was last revised in 2015.


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