July 8, 2014, Portsmouth, Va. (NNS) – The Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center (NMCPHC) issued technical guidance regarding a new regulation from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) instruction 1500.30, July 7.
The regulation came into effect May 21, requiring health care practitioners who perform physical examinations of civilian Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) drivers in the Department of the Navy (DoN) to be certified and registered with the newly established National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (NRCME).
Currently, any licensed health care practitioner can perform physical examinations of CMV drivers and issue a Medical Examiner’s Certificate. By issuing the 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and creating the NRCME, the FMCSA seeks to ensure that health care practitioners are knowledgeable of the physical and mental demands associated with operating a CMV and are equipped to make an appropriate determination as to whether a driver is physically qualified to operate a CMV.
“This new federal regulation is important for public safety and the readiness of our Fleet. Yet, at times it can be difficult for busy Navy Medicine health care practitioners to decipher all of the information and understand the different requirements pertaining to DoN civilians and military personnel,” said Capt. Alan Philippi, NMCPHC occupational and environmental medicine department head. “Our department published this to provide practitioners with the key information they need to be compliant with the new rules.”
To become a certified medical examiner, one must complete an approved course of training and pass the FMCSA’s certification test. While the FMCSA has provided an exemption to the military, the Department of Defense (DoD) has directed the military departments to meet the minimum standards issued by the FMCSA in title 49 of the CFR.
It is important to note that the new regulations only apply to those practitioners who provide examinations for DoN civilians. Those who only examine military members are not required to meet the new NRCME requirements but must still be knowledgeable of the 49 CFR physical qualification requirements and are encouraged to participate in an approved course of training.