30-day window closing for drivers in need of medical recertification

By Mark Schremmer, Land Line staff writer | 1/27/2017

Time is running out for thousands of truck drivers who received their medical certification from a DOT doc at the Atlanta Petro known as “Dr. Tony.” After the Georgia chiropractor was charged with doing substandard DOT physicals, truckers are being ordered to get recertified.

In late December, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced that it was revoking about 6,600 medical certificates that Dr. Anthony Lefteris issued in the past two years. In the final week of December, the FMCSA started sending letters to affected drivers, telling them that they had 30 days from the date posted on the letter to be recertified by a medical examiner on the national registry.

For some drivers, that 30-day window could end within days. The FMCSA has advised any driver who was certified by Lefteris to get retested even if they haven’t received a letter. Affected drivers who fail to receive medical recertification within the 30-day time frame will have their commercial driver’s license downgraded, and the driver will be medically disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce.

Lefteris, who served as a certified medical examiner operating out of the Petro Stopping Center in Atlanta, faces multiple counts of submitting false information and making false statements to the DOT. An undercover operation conducted by the Georgia Department of Public Safety revealed that examinations were incomplete, required tests were not performed, and information on the medical examination forms were falsified, the FMCSA said. A federal complaint against Lefteris, 71, was filed Dec. 1 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. He was indicted by a federal grand jury on Dec. 20.

Lefteris entered a not guilty plea on Dec. 28.

The FMCSA removed Lefteris from the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners on Dec. 2. Since Dec. 6, his office phone message says: “This is Dr. Tony. The office will be temporarily closed until further notice.”

According to the FMCSA, Lefteris granted about 6,600 current medical certificates. Drivers affected are from 48 states, including Hawaii and Alaska. Most of the drivers are residents of Georgia.

A list of certified medical examiners and reviews of those examiners can be found at the OOIDA website.

Drivers and carriers with further questions regarding this situation can contact the FMCSA via email at FMCSAmedical@dot.gov, or by calling 202-366-4001.

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