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Medical examiners needed for truck driver physicals

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently announced that 8,000 health professionals have been added to the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners to help carry out truck driver examinations.

The new system for DOT medical examinations launched May 21 with 22,000 providers. Drivers have long been required to pass a medical exam that includes the heart, lungs, muscular functioning, vision and hearing, among other things. They have to pass the exam at least every two years to keep their medical certificate.

In the past, examiners came from all over the medical field, including doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors, physician assistants and advance practice nurses. The new rules standardize the process through the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.

But there were concerns that not enough trained examiners would be ready by the May 21 deadline. The Pennsylvania Medical Society pushed online training to help local examiners become qualified.

In a news release, the FMCSA insisted that “there are certified examiners in every state, and dozens or hundreds in most cities.”

That didn’t stop a Carlisle woman from allegedly performing physicals on truck drivers despite not being properly licensed. Joann Wingate was charged with forgery, identity theft, theft by deception, impersonating a notary public or a holder of a professional or occupational license, deceptive or fraudulent business practices, and drug charges.

Police say they believe Wingate performed 16 physicals on truck drivers while using the medical license belonging to a Philadelphia-area psychiatrist.

State police say there may be more victims and ask anyone with information to call the Carlisle Barracks at 717-254-4701.

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