Dr. Eric Darby always knew he wanted to be a surgeon. He found the operating room exciting, and he loved the idea of being able to help patients almost immediately. During his medical school rotations, he became intrigued with urology. The doctors seemed to love what they did, and they were genuinely happy to come to work each day.
“What I realized during that rotation, and what has come to be one of the best parts of my job, is that urologists often see their patients over a long period of time—sometimes 10, 15, even 20 years. I have patients I’ve known for 20 years. I love being able to have long-term relationships with my patients,” Darby says.
After attending medical school at New York Medical College in Valhalla, N.Y. from 1988–1992, Darby completed a residency in General Surgery and a residency in Urologic Surgery at Westchester Medical Center. In 1998, he accepted a position with Tidewater Physicians Multispecialty Group (TPMG) in Newport News—and he’s been there ever since.
“When I came to TPMG, the practice was very new. We basically only had urology and general surgery. Over the years, we’ve added more specialties as the needs of the group have grown. We now have specialists ranging from ophthalmology to obstetrics to orthopedics,” Darby says.
Darby was instrumental in the growth of the practice, working in recruiting for several years. TPMG is now a network of more than 220 physicians and advanced clinicians throughout Coastal Virginia.
Darby’s practice has grown steadily throughout the past 21 years. When he first arrived in the Coastal Virginia area, he put in a lot of work to build up a solid record and gain the trust of the community. His hard work has certainly paid off, as evidenced by Darby’s thriving practice and the immense trust his patients have in him.
“I love the relationships I’ve been able to build with my patients over the years. Aside from that, the best part of being a urologist is the variety,” Darby says. “We see tons of different things every day and treat people in all age groups.”
TPMG urologists operate one day a week and see patients in the office the other four days. They treat a variety of issues, including urinary tract infections, kidney stones, and issues related to male sexual function. They also treat several different cancers, such as prostate, testicular and bladder cancer. While such variety offers urologists engaging work, it also comes with a unique set of challenges.
“Urology is a constantly evolving field. New treatments for cancers are coming out all the time, so it’s always a challenge to keep up with what’s new,” Darby says. “One of the biggest challenges for us in urology is the growing aging population. As doctors are curing and controlling more diseases, such as high blood pressure and heart disease, people are living longer. Now, we’re treating lots of elderly people. And they want to be healthy and active—even sexually active—well into their 80s. And when they develop cancer very late in life, it can be quite a challenge to determine the right thing to do.”
In addition to treating patients, Darby has been very active in leadership in the medical community. He served as Chief of Staff at Mary Immaculate Hospital for eight years, VP of Medical Staff for four years and Chair of the OR committee for 12 years. He was also on TPMG’s Board of Directors for 13 years before taking a break to spend more time with his kids. It was nice to have a break, but he soon found that he missed being in leadership. He jumped back in this past April as Chairman of the Credentials Committee at Mary Immaculate.
“The Credentials Committee makes sure that the doctors who come to work at Mary Immaculate are good quality, safe doctors. I think it’s important to be involved and to help ensure the safety of our patients,” he says.