Frequently Asked Questions:
A primary care physician (PCP) is typically a patient's first point of contact for their healthcare needs. A PCP can also be known as an Internal Medicine physician or a Family Medicine/Practice physician. An Internal Medicine physician will usually only see patients who are 18 years of age or older, while a Family Medicine physician may care for patients younger than 18 years old as well as adults. Generally, patients are seen by their personal primary care physician or by a mid-level provider who works with the primary care physician.
Our Primary Care Division consists of physicians who are specifically trained and are dedicated to the concepts of primary care. These physicians are concerned with disease prevention and health maintenance, and they either provide care directly to patients oridentify specialists who can meet the needs of their patients. BMG has a large number of specialists and sub-specialists who work in concert with primary care physicians to provide comprehensive and high quality care. Your primary care physician will coordinate your care with your specialists.
There are two types of mid-level providers. One is a nurse practitioner (NP). NPs have received a master's degree in nursing, and have advanced education in such specialty areas as adult care (ANP), family care (FNP) and women's health care (WHNP).
The second type of mid-level provider is a physician assistant (PA). PAs are medical personnel who have received special training in the management of common medical conditions.
Both types of mid-level providers are licensed and registered by New York State, and have been chosen by the physician to work with his/her patients, and to help improve patient access to health care.
Generally, your visit with a primary care provider will typically include one or more of the following interactions whether you are coming for a physical, a follow-up or a sick appointment:
- An interview of the patient (and family/caregiver if appropriate)
- A physical exam and documentation of the findings in your medical record
- Ordering of appropriate:
- Diagnostic and screening procedures (radiology, laboratory, other testing)
- Instruction of patient and family regarding medications and treatment
- Education and advice to patient (and family/caregiver if appropriate) regarding:
- Health and illness prevention
- Preliminary diagnosis
- Therapeutic plan
- Community resources (as applicable)
Primary care physicians see patients by appointment only, and our physicians often have same day appointments available on their schedules. Depending, however, upon the physician's schedule demands that day, it may be necessary to send the patient to our Extended Care Clinic, to an urgent care center, or if more appropriate, to delay the appointment for a day or two. All BMG primary care physicians try their best to stay on schedule. However, emergencies, although infrequent, do occur.
Because the Buffalo Medical Group provides an extensive range of services, unnecessary trips to a hospital emergency room often can be avoided. Unless a patient believes he or she has a life-threatening or serious injury, it is recommended that they contact their Primary Care Physician prior to going to an emergency room. Conversely, if a patient calls their physician during office hours and is directed by the physician to go to the emergency room, he or she should do so as quickly as possible because a delay in diagnosis or treatment could pose a significant threat to the patient's health.
If a patient has had a complete examination within one year of a requested physical, an appointment may not be necessary. However, please be advised that many forms require evidence of proper immunization. It is important for applicants to ensure that their required immunizations are up-to-date before mailing or dropping off a form to a BMG physician for completion. The physician's office should be given copies of the immunization information for the applicant's permanent medical record. It is important that information entered by the applicant is complete before leaving the document with the physician. This will help avoid possible delays and ensure the form is completed in a timely manner. If the form is to be mailed to the applicant's home, a stamped, self-addressed envelope should be included when the form is sent to the physician. If the applicant prefers, he or she may make arrangements to pick up the form at the physician's office.
In most cases, offices are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. On weeknights and weekends a physician is available for emergencies.
We consider our patients to be partners in care, so we've made contacting us easy. We offer the following options for patients to communicate with their care team about questions, scheduling appointments, refills and/or test results:
- If a patient is ill and uncertain what to do, he or she should call the Buffalo Medical Group (In an emergency, please dial 9-1-1.)
- For routine calls, (see below)
- call your physician's office directly
- call our general number (716) 630-1000 to speak to our staff
- During office hours, your call is transferred to your physician's office
After hours your call will be directed to the physician on call.
The physician on call will then direct you accordingly. They will evaluate your need and help you determine what is appropriate for your situation; whether a prescription, an appointment, a visit to an urgent care center or an emergency room.
When awaiting a return telephone call from the physician on call, patients are asked to keep their telephone line open and remove any call blocks. If a prescription may need to be ordered, patients should have the pharmacy telephone number available. If a return call is not received from the on-call physician within a reasonable length of time, patients should call again to verify that their correct telephone number was recorded.
- A secure web portal allows you to access portions of your medical record. Use the Internet securely to help manage & receive information about your health. MyBMGChart.com is to be used for routine questions and concerns only.
It is always best to request refills at the time of an appointment. This enables the physician to review a patient's medications at the time of his or her appointment, and determine whether or not changes should be made or medications discontinued. Requesting medication refills at the time of appointment also alleviates running out of medication and waiting for prescriptions to be sent to the pharmacy.
Below are some guidelines for refilling your prescriptions:
- Patients should always keep an updated list of all medications (including herbal supplements) from all of their physicians in a readily available place.
- Include the name of the medication
- The physician who ordered it
- Dosage and number of times to be taken per day.
- If necessary, telephone calls for prescription refills should be made during regular business hours, Monday through Friday.
- Refill requests can also be made at any time via mybmgchart.com
- Refills of prescriptions may not be completed on the day of the patient's request to his or her physician. It is recommended that patients request refills several days prior to using the last of their medication.
Test results are made available to patients through MyBMGChart, via phone and/or at follow up appointments.
- The MyBMGChart web portal provides easy access to lab and radiology results. Results are reviewed and released directly to the patient's secure portal.
- Patients receive an email notification that they have a message and to sign in to the web portal where they have real-time access to their released results.
- Patients can also ask questions regarding these results, or other care management questions, directly with their physician's office at any time through secure messaging in MyBMGChart or via telephone.
- Telephone calls regarding care management questions or test results should be made during regular business hours, Monday through Friday.
85 High Street
Buffalo, New York 14203
295 Essjay Road
Williamsville, New York 14221
3900 North Buffalo Road
Orchard Park, New York 14127
325 Essjay Road
Williamsville, New York 14221
2741 Transit Road
Elma, New York 14127
For a list of physicians who are accepting new patients, please call 630-1032.