FMCSA has an ongoing process for reviewing all Federal medical standards and guidelines
used to determine driver medical fitness for duty.
To ensure that these regulations and guidelines are evidence-based, FMCSA uses a
number of methods for gathering medical data, including, but not limited to:
- Agency expert analyses of Federal data and other relevant international,
national, and State data.
- Interagency, national, and international regulatory analyses.
- Evidence reports.
- Medical Expert Panels (MEPs).
- Medical Review Board (MRB), a committee established in accordance
with the Federal Advisory Committee Act.
First, FMCSA formulates questions relating to a specific medical condition and the
associated impact on driving. FMCSA then gathers information through a systematic
review of the available scientific literature. The findings are summarized in evidence
reports that reflect current diagnostic and therapeutic medical advances.
For some topics, FMCSA convenes an MEP. The members of the MEP vary according to
the specific topic and panel expertise. The task of the MEP is to provide an opinion
for consideration by FMCSA.
Evidence reports, executive summaries, and MEP opinions are posted on the FMCSA
Web site at Reports — How Medical Conditions Impact Driving.
The MRB meets three to four times each year on specific topics. The MRB independently
reviews evidence reports and if an MEP was convened, also reviews the MEP opinion.
The MRB deliberates and proposes recommendations for consideration by FMCSA.
meetings schedule are posted on the MRB Web site.
FMCSA considers the evidence reports, the MEP opinion, and the recommendations from
the MRB when reviewing medical standards and guidelines. FMCSA also considers other
factors such as feasibility and impact. FMCSA posts information regarding proposed
changes to the current standards and guidelines on the FMCSA Medical Program Web page. Proposed changes to guidelines
will accompany the standards as guidance and are subject to public notice-and-comment
This Medical Examiner Handbook will be updated as new standards and guidelines are
approved by FMCSA.