The Medical Examiner’s Handbook was, in its time, the best reference resource for then uncertified medical examiners (prior to 2014 there were no certified medical examiners, no NRCME, and no required training for medical examiners). However, with the advent of the NRCME, the FMCSA recognized that the Medical Examiner’s Handbook contained some outdated information and included guidelines for some conditions, most notably sleep apnea, that are inconsistent with the FMCSA’s current guidance.
The FMCSA removed the Medical Examiner’s Handbook from its website, and advised that it would be revised. The initial projected date for revision was 2015, then 2016, then 2017, etc. In July, 2019, the FMCSA Medical Review Board met to review the latest draft version of the Handbook, was charged with reviewing the latest draft, and the discussion made it clear that substantial further revision is still needed. It appears doubtful that the revised Handbook will be published in final form by the FMCSA anytime soon.
The draft Medical Examiner’s Handbook, reviewed by the Medical Review Board, is available at https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/advisory-committees/mrb/draft-medical-examiners-handbook-rev-7-1-19. Be advised the document is considered by the FMCSA as a draft only and while the discussion and references may be helpful to certified medical examiners (and candidates for medical examiner certification) the recommendations are not considered definitive.