Here’s my beef with the Medical Registry

By Steve Davenport, OOIDA life member

I am a Vietnam vet and live in Texas, making my living as a trucker, which I have for a very long time. I recently went to the Dallas VA Medical Center where I get health care, and I tried to get a DOT physical. I was told that in that whole place there was not one doctor certified to do a DOT exam under the FMCSA’s Certified Medical Registry.

I checked the VA system in the whole Dallas area. I thought – now that can’t be right. Surely there are plenty of our VA physicians certified to do DOT exams.

In fact, I recently learned that on the whole FMCSA Certified Medical Registry there are only six in the whole country – only six VA physicians on the list that are qualified to do DOT physicals now.

The fact that our VA docs can’t give me my exam because they have not completed the costly federal approval process just doesn’t make sense. I don’t blame the physicians or nurse practitioners. These VA medical professionals are often moved from state to state, and I can see that it would not be worth their time to apply in each state.

My beef is simple. There sure is a lot of talk about how much the country does for its veterans. But we can’t go to the VA docs for our DOT physical due to the constraints of the new Medical Registry?

This is sure no way to show appreciation to our veterans and make it easier for them to be part of the trucking industry. I know about the Veterans Expanded Trucking Opportunities Act or VETOPPS Act to permit qualified VA physicians to do those DOT medical exams. OOIDA strongly supported and worked with legislators to advance it, and we got it passed as part of the FAST Act. Hopefully FMCSA will get to moving on it soon.

Veterans like me are told that our service was appreciated and that we earned benefits for our duty defending this country. But in this case that does not seem to be happening. You should be able to get a DOT exam from your VA doc. LL