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Bringing Healthcare Directly to You

By on November 1, 2016
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Solving the Problem of Convenient Access to Affordable Healthcare

BY: DR. JOHN McELLIGOTT, DR. JOHN’S MEDICAL SOLUTIONS

Welcome to Taking Healthcare to the Cab, a new regular feature authored by Dr. John McElligott. It will provide useful healthcare information about a wide range of topics pertaining to professional drivers.

Since 2006, I’ve been trying to help professional OTR drivers become healthier and increase their access to medical care. This focus began with the Professional Driver Medical Depots (PDMD) Clinics located in Knoxville, TN; West Memphis, AR; Atlanta, GA; Peru, IL and Laredo, TX. By 2009, PDMD was seeing about 100 drivers a day and conducting 30 to 40 in-cab sleep apnea tests. Ten additional clinics were on the drawing boards when the Great Recession shut us down. This was a difficult time for my staff and me, both personally and professionally. Since the closure of the PDMD clinics, many drivers who might have come to PDMD for their healthcare needs have turned up at my private occupational clinics, Occupational Health Systems (OHS), in Knoxville and Clinton, TN. We have maintained drivers’ records, so we can maintain service continuity, and have honored all PDMD rates.

I treated many drivers in the cabs of their trucks and have seen many at local hospitals where I am on staff or have admitting privileges. Unfortunately, this is not enough to put a dent in the need for quality healthcare within the transportation industry. It is not convenient for some to utilize one of my offices. Fewer and fewer have stopped by the office since PDMD closed. Some still plan their visits around annual DOT exams, and of course, I continue to take calls daily on referrals from Radio Nemo. Luckily, Jon Osburn, a trucker/paramedic (we are both former Navy Corpsman) ran the Medical Resources Vehicle or “MERV”, setting up sleep apnea tests and helping me take drivers’ emergency calls. We saved a few lives and improved the quality of life for others as long as we could. Fortunately, the St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund (SCF) survived thanks to many sponsors such as OOIDA and TA-Petro and contributions from many generous drivers.

More recently, it was back to the radio with Dave Nemo and Tim Ridley on the St. Christopher Minute, which now runs every Friday morning at 6:30 am EST. I always tell the trucker audience that, “We’ve saved more truckers because of Dave Nemo, Tim Ridley, and staff than I have working in the emergency room and in private practice combined.”

Now what? We failed at bringing you the network of PDMD clinics originally envisioned, and we failed at helping a large number of truckers become healthier. Statistics for those helped by SCF, however, show rising mortality rates at younger ages among truckers in general. Clearly, a different approach is needed to address driver healthcare issues. The answer is “TAKING HEALTHCARE TO THE CAB.”

Access & Affordability

Professional driving keeps many on the road for weeks at a time, and sometimes, even months. You can’t access healthcare in the way that most people take for granted. You have to be on the road. No load, no income. For years, I struggled to find a solution to this dilemma. I wanted to bring healthcare to drivers in a way that would require little or no time away from the road and, more importantly, make healthcare affordable.

A coincidental meeting with Burke Mays, from Mays & Associates, brought the pieces of the puzzle together. The collaboration with Burke and his team led to the formation of Dr. John’s Medical Solutions. The company brings modern medicine to drivers where they work and live by providing affordable medical care at home, at the carrier workstation, or in the cab.

Dr. John’s Medical Solutions, with the help of RoadKing magazine, Radio Nemo, and “The New” IdleAir, have developed a way to make your cab, your fleet office, your home, or your favorite truck stop your own personal medical clinic. Where is this clinic? Wherever you are. Our team of professional supporters and I will be there for you, the professional driver!

Services Already in Place

Membership in Dr. John’s Teletriage and Telemedicine program providing healthcare access in-cab, at home, at truck stops, and at fleet-based workstations.
Services include consultation for cuts, scrapes, coughs, and colds and for more serious medical needs.

In-cab or at home industry-standard sleep studies including consultation with a sleep doctor (discounts for members).

Call center for direct medical care and answers to medically related DOT questions.

Services You Can Expect Soon

  • Programs for stress management
  • Hearing screening at truck stops and fleet offices
  • Smoking cessation program
  • Weight loss program involving diet and exercise
  • Pre-DOT assessment
  • Medication assessment
  • Blood clot assessment
  • Dermatology screening
  • Cardiology assessment
  • Drug screening

So, this is just a start on our quest to give you a path to accessible, immediate, and affordable healthcare. Dr. John’s Medical Solutions is completely reshaping the delivery of medical care for professional drivers by transforming the way you think about accessing the medical system. Our mission is to help you improve your health in the cab of your truck and where you live.

Articles about improving your wellbeing are on the way. In the next issue of RoadKing, look for an article about virtual doctor’s visits in-cab and at home. For more information about Dr. John’s Medical
Solutions, visit docjmd.com.

Dedicated to Drivers’ Health

Dr. John McElligott’s passion to serve started as a Navy Corpsman at age 18. Soon after corps school, John was assigned to the Marine Corps as a fleet marine corpsman. He realized during his 1967-68 Vietnam service that he loved saving lives and helping people.

Upon returning home, he began a long and distinguished academic career on his way to becoming a medical doctor, and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine. Today he specializes in occupational medicine and founded Occupational Health Systems in Knoxville, TN. He continues to serve hundreds of thousands of road warriors who tune in to the Tim Ridley Show on Road Dog Radio (Sirius XM 146) every Friday morning. Drivers from all over the country listen to and talk with Dr. John about a wide variety of medical concerns. Connecting with and helping professional drivers is a way of life for a man who has dedicated his career to assisting people critically underserved by the traditional healthcare system.

 

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One Comment

  1. Patrick Suckoo, DC, CME

    February 7, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    Truck driving as a profession is very demanding and unfortunately health and nutrition information is lacking in the majority of drivers. It’s not about taking medications to manage your diabetes or hypertension, but adopting a lifestyle that caters to staying healthy. When I see drivers for their physicals, it’s not just about doing their physicals and sending them off. I recommend lifestyle changes, nutrition and exercise, supplements that will foster healthy outcomes. Don’t wait till you have a medical issue that puts your career in jeopardy before you do something about it.

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