Articles - What to Expect When You Come to Wipperman Occupational Health for a New Hire/Pre-Placement Physical Exam:

  1. You will be asked to fill out new patient information that includes your name, date of birth, address, social security number or any other 10 digit number that we can use for ID.
  2. After that you will be asked to sign the HIPPA form which addresses your privacy and how we handle your personal information. We are happy to provide you a copy of your rights if you would like, but we are required by law to prove that we did offer a copy for your review.
  3. You will also be asked to sign a consent form authorizing us to see you and to bill your future employer and release the results of the exam to the employer. Please be aware that we do not release the actual exam itself. What we do release is a form which states that you have no limitations to performing the job, or you may have limitations to performing the job and you may need accommodations. No medical history is ever released to the company.
  4. After this initial paperwork is completed, which just takes a minute or two, you will be given a medical history form. It could be as brief as one page or as lengthy as 4-5 pages, it depends on what type of physical you are coming here for, whether or not we need a complete medical, occupational and social history, or whether or not you are going to be wearing a respirator. After you are done with the history, you bring it back up to the window and turn it into the staff. What they do is put that form with the physical exam form that the back office staff will use when they screen you for your physical.
  5. Next, someone will come to the door at the waiting room and call your name and ask you to come back. One of the first things that will be done is ask if you can provide a urine specimen. If you need to do a drug screen, that process will be performed at that time if possible. You can refer to our FYI on drug screening here on this web site if you have further questions. If don’t need a drug screen, you will just be asked to submit a tiny specimen. What we are checking for is protein, blood or sugar in your urine, any of which could mean significant medical problems. These would not impact your ability to do your job but could alert you to an underlying medical condition that should be evaluated. After providing the urine specimen, you are taken to another room where we do further screening. Your height and weight will be obtained. We will check your distance vision and in some cases, your near vision. We will also check your BP and pulse and escort you to your examination room. When you are in your examination room, we will make sure we have all of your paperwork together.

If you are a woman you will be given a cotton gown that ties in the back. If you are a man you will be given a pair of gym shorts to wear. You’ll be asked to disrobe all the way down to your underwear, but you can leave your socks on, and change into these garments. Then one of the medical providers here at the office, a physician or physician assistant will come in and do your exam. The examination involves reviewing a medical history with you, having you explain any positives in a little more detail so we can note that and then we perform the physical exam. This includes examination of your head and neck, looking in your eyes, ears, nose and throat, maybe feeling your neck for swollen glands. We will listen to your heart and lungs and perhaps listen to your abdomen in some cases. We will be checking your reflexes, checking the range of motion of your neck, back, arms and legs and in some instances, in men, checking for a hernia if they are going to be doing work that involves heavy lifting.

If in the instance a provider identifies a medical condition that we feel may negatively impact your ability to do the job, what we do is let you know that we aren’t disqualifying you or failing you, what we are doing is deferring your physical until we can get further medical information. An example of this would be someone who has newly diagnosed diabetes. If you didn’t know you had it until we found out here, we would not want to release you for work until we knew at least you had seen your doctor and gotten started on medication. We will share that information with you.

What we share with your prospective employer is that you have a medical condition that needs some attention and as soon as we get documentation of that attention you will be released to work. There is no need to be concerned that the identification of a medical problem such as high blood pressure or diabetes will keep you from getting your job. That is just not the case. The employer is not told what the medical problem is, that is a confidential issue between the medical provider here in the office and you.

Our role is to let the employer know whether or not you have a medical or physical condition which could impact your ability to do the job that they are hiring you for. In the case of new onset diabetes, you could pass out or lose consciousness if your diabetes is not under control. That puts you at a safety risk and that is the reason why in that case we would not clear you immediately. In this case and many others, as soon as you provide documentation to us that you are seeing a physician and having the medical condition attended to, we have no reservations about clearing you to perform the work. Again, this is on a case by case basis, these are not hard and fast rules. Wipperman Occupation Health hopes this has been a helpful overview of the new hire physical exam process.

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DOT Exams

With some physicals, such as DOT truck driver physicals, there are a couple extra steps that are involved, but this is a general overview of what a new hire or preplacement physical at our office would involve. There may be in some cases additional testing such as a breathing test or chest x-ray or blood work that may be required by some employers. That varies on a case by case basis.

After you are done with your physical exam, the provider will let you know that you can get changed and ask you to open the door when you are dressed. In some cases you are given paperwork to take back to the employer that says everything is fine. In other cases you are free to leave the building and we will fax or mail everything over for you.

As always, our goal is to serve the employee and patient while serving the employer. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at our office, 574-277-7600.

Operational Hours:
Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

We open at 9:00 a.m.
2nd Wednesday of the Month

Vickie Wipperman, MD
Medical Director

Wipperman Occupational Health
19567 Cleveland Road . South Bend, IN 46637
Phone: 574 277-7600 . Fax: 574 277-7690
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