Dr. Damien Croft is a physician at Drexel Obstetrics and Gynecology where he specializes in maternal-fetal medicine. In addition to his medical degree, Dr. Croft also earned a master's degree in public health, which he finds helps him build stronger relationships with his patients. He's also an assistant professor at Drexel University College of Medicine.
For those of us who know you as simply Dr. Croft, can you tell me a little bit about your life before medical school?
I grew up in Manhattan—Harlem, to be specific. I went to an all-boys Jesuit high school and then went to Syracuse University where I majored in biology and nursing.
You knew from a pretty early age that you wanted to go to medical school. Why did you choose to enroll in nursing school in addition to pursuing a bachelor's degree in biology?
My mom was a nurse and I remember going to the hospital to see her at work. I thought majoring in biology was great, but the real action and learning about health care was going to be working in a hospital. Becoming a nursing student allowed me to actually work with patients while I was only an undergraduate. Otherwise, I would have had to wait until medical school to interact with anything outside of a microscope slide.
What drew you to OB/GYN and eventually the subspecialty of maternal-fetal medicine?
It was a long process. I started out as an emergency medicine resident, but I soon realized that was not for me. OB/GYN was a great mix of medicine and surgery, and you get to care for two patients at once!
As for maternal-fetal medicine, that was an evolutionary process that occurred after OB/GYN residency. I gravitated toward high-risk obstetrics as a generalist—some out of necessity, but some out of pure academic and intellectual interest. The more I did, the more I wanted to know. Eventually fellowship was the only answer.
As both a soon-to-be father and an obstetrician, what are the most important questions a pregnant woman/couple should ask when looking for a doctor?
Other than competence and caring nature, they need someone who will be available and willing to answer questions—sometimes the same question more than once. Make sure you ask the best way to get in touch with them so that you can get the answers you need.
Being from New York, how has it been working and living in Philadelphia?
I enjoy Philadelphia because it is a mini New York City. It has enough action, a great restaurant scene, a diverse population, and is in close proximity to other major cities like Washington, D.C. and, well, New York City.
In addition to your BS, BSN, and MD, you also received a master's in public health at Drexel. How has your public health knowledge affected your relationship with patients and the Philadelphia community?
I think it allows me to think about medicine from not only a clinical perspective but from that of the patient's social and economic realities. Many times those two things are at odds but need to be reconciled.
You worked at Drexel for several years before leaving for your fellowship in Boston. What brought you back and what do you like most about working at Drexel?
The people of Philadelphia in general, and Drexel in particular.
Name: Damien Croft, MD, MPH
Specialty: Obstetrics, gynecology and maternal-fetal medicine
BSN in Nursing, BA in Biology – Syracuse University (1995)
MD – SUNY Upstate Medical University (2000)
MPH – Drexel University School of Public Health (2009)
Drexel Obstetrics and Gynecology Center City
216 N. Broad Street, 4th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102