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Elgin doctor earns federal DOT certification

Posted: January 23, 2014 10:58 a.m.
Updated: January 24, 2014 5:00 a.m.

An Elgin doctor is now one of fewer than 20 physicians to be federally certified to perform truck driver medical exams. Dr. Chester Ferguson of Elgin spent several months going through the process to become a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Certified Medical Examiner.

According to a statement released by Dr. Ferguson, DOT is making major changes to the truck driver medical examination system. A branch of the DOT known as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has established many new guidelines for truckers and the physicians who conduct these examinations. Some of the new requirements have already taken effect with many more to be implemented by May of this year. All providers that perform DOT exams are required to go through a certification process including 14 hours of classroom training and pass a two-hour 120-question test before the certification process before May 21. Medical and chiropractic physicians who do not complete the certification process on time will not be allowed to perform the DOT exams after May of this year. Successful completion of the training and test requirements earn the designation of DOT Certified Medical Examiner.

Dr. Ferguson traveled to Pitttsburg, Pa., for the training and took his certification test in South Carolina. In May 2013, DOT notified him that he successfully passed the test and become one of only four DOT Certified Medical Examiners in the state at the time. As of this date, there are fewer than 20 DOT certified examiners on the national registry website in the state of South Carolina.

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