Acquiring Skills – Steven Santolin, DC

Acquiring Skills – Steven Santolin, DC

Conversation with a Member

Author: Anonym/Tuesday, April 19, 2016/Categories: October 2014

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By Amanda Donohue

ACA Member adds DOT exams, and volunteerism, to his agenda

Steven Santolin, DC, of Joliet Ill., recently became certified to perform Department of Transportation (DOT) medical examinations for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers in interstate commerce. He plans to become certified in conducting workplace drug and alcohol testing for the federally regulated transportation industry. After earning his degree in 1990 from the National University of Health Sciences, Dr. Santolin opened his own practice and has directed it for more than 20 years, beginning in 1992. He is certified in acupuncture and is a board certified diplomate in chiropractic rehabilitation. He has also published articles in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, the Journal of the American Chiropractic Association and the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine.

Why did you pursue a career in chiropractic?

I knew someone who had much benefit from chiropractic care, and I liked the concept of treatment of ailments without the use of drugs or surgery.

What motivated you to become certified in DOT driver examinations?

There were several motivating factors. I was aware that training and certification were going to become mandatory for the DOT exams and that many medical providers would probably not be willing to train and certify and would be discontinuing performing the exams, which would decrease the amount of examiners, and I could help fill that gap. I had gained my diplomate in chiropractic rehabilitation in 2001, and after 24 years in practice it was nice to learn how to provide another valuable service and diversify my practice. I like the idea of being part of a program that includes medical and nursing providers. As I have terminated as a network provider with all but one of the large insurance companies, it will help the income stream for my practice especially as it is a cash-based service.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I am an avid cyclist. I recently returned to Boulder, Colo. and rode in the Rockies. I also volunteer at the Will-Grundy Medical Clinic, which serves low-income people without any insurance coverage.

How often do you volunteer at the free clinic? And why do you feel it is important to do so?

I and three other DCs each volunteer one day per month. Most of the patients at this clinic are from the working poor with incomes too high to qualify for Medicaid and would probably not seek out chiropractic care otherwise. Hopefully, we can help them with their problems and as a side benefit, keep them off the dangerous drugs. I also feel it is beneficial for the DCs and the other medical professions to interact and work together. For example, I have been able to interact with nursing and other medical students who are rotating through that clinic.

What are your hopes for the future of the profession?

I hope chiropractors become more respected for our skills and our results in providing cost-effective health care and decreasing disability, such as in the area of worker’s compensation.

Start Performing DOT Medical Exams

ACA views providing DOT services as a major opportunity for the chiropractic profession. As one of only five professions authorized to perform these examinations, DCs will have the opportunity to expand their patient base. It is estimated that (more than) 40,000 providers will be needed in the next two years to provide physicals to the 7+ million truck drivers in the United States.

Those interested should establish themselves as providers of DOT physical exams in their area now. With that in mind, ACA has partnered with TeamCME, a nationwide network of DOT medical examiners, to officially provide training and to develop the avenue for DCs to add these services to their practices.

ACA members can also purchase the CME’s Guide to the DOT Physical Exam on ShopACA. This living reference manual has the most up-to-date information relating to the medical certification of the CMV driver. It provides valuable information from medical conferences and the FMCSA handbook relating to cardiology, respiratory conditions, neurology, psychology, orthopedics, and pharmacology guidelines for certification and much more. It is combined in a way so as to provide easy access and quick reference for the chiropractic examiner.

To learn more, visit

Learn more about Practice Building via DOT Physicals in the December 2012 issue of ACA News,

Steven Santolin, DC, ACA member since 2008. Send suggestions for future member profiles to

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