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Andrew                         Symons

Andrew B. Symons MD, MS

Department of Family Medicine

Clinical Associate Professor and Vice Chair for Medical Student Education

Specialty/Research Focus

Family Medicine

 
Professional Summary:

I am a family physician at UBMD Family Medicine where I provide comprehensive care for children and adults. Health maintenance is a cornerstone of my practice, i.e., assuring that patients receive preventive services such as immunizations, Pap smears, mammograms and colonoscopy screening for colorectal cancer. I manage chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, emphysema, depression and addiction, and I treat acute conditions such as musculoskeletal pain, respiratory infections and skin conditions. I perform office procedures, including skin biopsies and therapeutic joint injections. I also provide prenatal care and deliver babies. At Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, together with a team of resident physicians, I care for adult patients who require hospitalization. I maintain excellent relationships with subspecialists and can coordinate consultation with them when my patients need specialized care.

My research is focused on medical education, particularly as it relates to determinants of student choice to pursue careers in primary care.

I serve as the vice chair for medical student education in the Department of Family Medicine and have a special interest in teaching students about the central role of family medicine in providing high quality, cost-effective health care. I direct the first-year clinical skills course in the medical school and routinely lecture in that course on the fundamentals of performing a patient interview and physical exam.

I am also the family medicine clerkship director. As such, I lead small group discussions on preventive screening, the patient-centered medical home and continuity of care in the primary care setting. I developed an innovative program using standardized patients to simulate a six-month continuity relationship with students rotating through the family medicine clerkship. During simulated visits, students address their patients’ chronic medical concerns (e.g., diabetes, hypertension), acute concerns (e.g., knee injury, chest pain) and lifestyle issues (e.g., smoking cessation, diet, exercise). The simulation allows students to experience the challenges and rewards of developing a continuity relationship with patients. I also developed and implemented a curriculum to teach students to care for patients with disabilities. In addition, medical students participating in their family medicine clerkship and clinical skills course accompany me as I see patients, in order to deepen their understanding of patient care.

I also supervise residents at Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital. Teaching students and residents keeps me sharp: it informs my practice of medicine, while my practice of medicine assures that I remain relevant as a teacher.

Education and Training:
  • Residency, Family Resident, University at Buffalo, Department of Family Medicine, Chief Academic Resident (2005)
  • MD, University at Buffalo, cum laude (2002)
  • MPhil, Biology, City University of New York (1998)
  • MS, Environmental Studies, Long Island University, C.W. Post Campus (1994)
  • BA, Political Science, Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1987)
Employment:
  • Associate Professor, Family Medicine, University at Buffalo (2013-present)
  • Family Physician, Family Medicine, University at Buffalo (2006-present)
  • Assistant Professor, Family Medicine, University at Buffalo (2006–2013)
  • Family Physician, Orchard Park Family Practice (2005–2006)
  • Academic Chief Resident, Family Medicine, University at Buffalo (2004–2005)
  • Resident, Family Medicine, University at Buffalo (2002–2005)
  • Teacher of General Biology and Marine Biology, High School for Environmental Studies (1994–1998)
  • Adjunct Faculty, Biology, Touro College (1994–1998)
Awards and Honors:
  • NYS Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor of The Year (2013)
  • UB Salute to Authors (2012)
  • Business First Buffalo Healthcare 50 (2009)
  • University of Buffalo Dept. of Family Med Chairman's Award for Research (2005)
  • Alpha Omega Alpha (2002)
  • Thesis Honors (2002)
  • American Academy of Family Physicians President's Award (2002)
  • Sigma Xi (1994)

Research Expertise:
  • Disabilities
  • Medical Education
Grants and Sponsored Research:
  • June 2016–June 2021
    Primary care training and enhancement : “The Buffalo Interprofessional Advanced Primary Care Training Program”
    Health Resources and Services Administration
    Role: Principal Investigator
  • September 2011–September 2016
    Pre-Doctoral Training in Primary Care
    Health Resources and Services Admin
    Role: Principal Investigator
    $940,252
  • October 2011–October 2012
    Graduate Medical Education Quality Improvement Award
    Office of Graduate Medical Education
    Role: Co-Principal Investigator
    $3,000
  • July 2008–June 2011
    PREDOCTORAL TRAINING PROGRAM IN DISABILITIES: A MODEL FOR PROFESSIONALISM
    HRSA
    Role: Principal Investigator
    $707,400
  • October 2008–March 2010
    colorectal cancer professional education
    American Cancer Society
    Role: Co-Investigator
    $142,989
  • July 2003–July 2004
    Performance Improvement Award
    Office of Graduate Medical Education, UB
    Role: Principal Investigator
    $2,000

Journal Articles:
See all (2 more)
Books and Book Chapters:
  • Seller RH, Symons AB. Differential Diagnosis of Common Complaints. 2012.
  • Symons AB, Mahoney MC. Neonatal Hyperbilirubinemia. 2011.

Professional Memberships:
  • American Academy of Family Physicians
  • Society of Teachers of Family Medicine
  • Alliance for Disability in Health Care Education
  • Professional Association of Diving Instructors
Presentations:
  • "Tips for Effective and Efficient Office Precepting" Scientific Assembly, NYS Academy of Family Physicians (2013)
  • "Evaluation of a Curriculum to Teach Medical Students to Care for Patients with Disabilities" Society of Teachers of Family Medicine National Conference on Medical Student Education, Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (2012)
  • "Evaluation of a Faculty Development Fellowship" Society of Teachers of Family Medicine National Conference on Medical Student Education (2012)
  • "Global Health Educaton: Does it help with FM recrutiment?" STFM Medical Student Educatoin Conference, STFM (2012)
  • "Preventive Medicine and Colonoscopy Presentation: Impact on Students’ Knowledge of Screening Guidelines for Colorectal Cancer" Society of Teachers of Family Medicine National Conference of Medical Student Education (2012)
  • "Evaluation of a Curriculum on Care for Patients With Disabilities: Effects on Medical Student Attitudes and Comfort Levels" North American Primary Care Research Group (2011)
  • "Spirituality in Medicine" Exploring the Dimensions of Health Care in a Religiously Diverse Community, Kaleida Health Bereavment Committee (2011)
  • "Spirituality in Medicine" Grand Rounds, Pinnacle Health System (2011)
  • "Development and Implementation of a Disability-related OSCE" Society of Teachers of Family Medicine National Conference of Medical Student Education (2011)
  • "Physician Health and Well-Being" UB Medical School, 3rd year Medical Students (2010)
  • "Effective Strategies for Precepting Students in the Office Setting" Western New York Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) (2010)
  • "Development and validation of a tool for assessing medical students’ attitudes towards people with disabilities" Society of Teachers of Family Medicine National Conference on Medical Student Education (2010)
  • "Improving Family Medicine's Coolness Factor" STFM Conference (2010)
  • "Curriculum to Teach Medical Students to Care for Patients with Disabilities" New York State Cerebral Palsy Assosiation (2009)
  • "Curriculum to Teach Medical Students to Care for Patients with Disabilities" AAMC Annual Meeting (2009)
  • "A Post-Baccalaureate Program for Educationally and Economically Disadvantaged Applicants to Medical School" Society of Teachers of Family Medicine National Conference of Medical Student Education (2008)
  • "Consumption of toxic fish from the Great Lakes by patients of a family medicine center in Buffalo, NY" Scholarly Exchange Day, University at Buffalo (2004)
  • "Collaboration between a family medicine summer research internship" Society of Teachers of Family Medicine NAtional Conference of Medical Student Education (2002)
  • "Variation in approaches to breast cancer screening among primary care physicians" NYS Academy of Family Physicians Research Forum (2002)
See all (9 more)
Service Activities:
  • School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences Curriculum Task Force; Member (2010)
  • School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences Curriculum Committee; Member (2007)
  • School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences Phase I; Member (2006)
  • NYS Department of Health Office of Primary Care; Physician Workforce Planning Group; Committee Member (2012–present)
  • Erie County NYS Academy of Family Physicians; Board Member (2012–present)
  • Independent Health sub-committe on Primary Care recruitment; recruitment and retaintion of primary care physicians in Western New York.; Committee Member (2011–present)
  • OME Service Learning Student Reflection Committee; Helped plan the seminars and continue to serve as a small group leader.; Contributor (2011–present)
  • Medical Director, UB Family Medicine Sheridan; Served as interim medical director. Achieved Level III certification as NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home (2010–2011)
  • LCME Acrcreditation Task Force; At the Dean's invitation, I participate in the medical school committee which prepared for the accreditation process with the Liason Comittee for Medical Education of the Association of American Medical Colleges.; Committee Member (2010–present)
  • Simulation Center Development Task Force; Contributor (2010–present)
  • Search Committee for Chief Administrator, Department of Family Medicine; Chair (2009–2010)
  • Erie County NYS Academy of Family Physicians; President (2008–2012)
  • Graduate Medical Education Committee on Professionalism; I helped to draft a code of professionalism for residents.; Advisory Committee (2008–present)
  • Curriculum Committee; Committee Member (2007–present)
  • Department of Family Medicine; Executive Board (2006–present)
  • Medical Student Education; I oversee the educational activities of the Department of Family Medicine in the medical school pre-doctoral curriculum.; Vice-Chair (2006–present)
  • Phase One Committee; This is the committee which coordinates the curriculum in the first 2 years of medical school; Committee Member (2006–present)
  • Music Teacher; I teach music at several area synagogues on Sunday mornings, my schedule permitting. (1998–present)

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Contact Information

UB South Campus
Department of Family Medicine
202 Farber Hall
Buffalo, NY 14216
Phone: (716) 829-3800
Fax: (716) 835-9888
Email: symons@buffalo.edu

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