A final rule by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to establish a National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (NRCME) — intended to produce trained, certified medical examiners that can effectively determine the physical qualifications of commercial vehicle drivers — was cleared last week by the White House Office of Management and Budget.

The NRCME is a program that has been in the works for years. NRCME would require training using a standardized curriculum, a certification examination, and recertification of medical examiners listed on the registry, FMCSA said.

NRCME would provide a list of medical examiners that are authorized to examine interstate truck drivers and effectively determine their physical qualifications to operate commercial vehicles. It would also establish a national database of certified medical examiners who have received training to perform trucker physical examinations to ensure that examiners are knowledgeable of driver qualification standards and guidelines.

The training program would also help the medical examiner better understand the physical and mental demands of driving a commercial vehicle. The medical examiner would perform physical examinations with full awareness of the conditions under which drivers work.

The certification program would ensure that medical examiners are qualified and educated about occupational issues for drivers, maintain ongoing competency, and have specific guidance and readily identifiable sources of information (via a website and resource center) for questions concerning the physical examinations, according to FMCSA. The NRCME website would also disseminate information to practitioners on new medical discoveries, policies or requirements relevant to the trucker physical examinations.

According to FMCSA, the objectives of the NRCME are to: “maintain ongoing competency of medical examiners through training, testing, certification and recertification; ensure that medical examiners fully understand the medical standards in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) and how they apply to drivers; ensure that the list of certified medical examiners is easily accessible; promote public confidence in the quality of the medical examinations of drivers; and disseminate information about the medical examination of drivers to meet the objectives of the President’s strategy for e-government.”

For information and updates about the NRCME and the Medical Review Board sign up at http://nrcme.fmcsa.dot.gov/contact.aspx.