Mathias Fobi, M. D. F.A.C.S., F.I.C.S., F.A.C.N
Dr. Mathias A.L. Fobi, is an internationally
recognized bariatric surgeon, who has changed the
shape of Hollywood heavyweights such as Etta James and
American Idol’s Randy Jackson.
MAL, as he is known among friends, was born in
Nkwen, a small village in Cameroon, West Africa. He is
a member of the first batch, class of 1965, 0f Sacred
Heart College in Mankon Bamenda in Cameroon. He
came to the USA through the African Scholarship
Program for American Universities (ASPAU) in 1966.
This was a scholarship program that was inaugurated by
President Kennedy along with the Peace Corps Program.
Mathias Fobi, M. D. F.A.C.S., F.I.C.S., F.A.C.N received his Pharmacy degree from the University of Michigan and received his medical degree from University of Cincinnati. Dr. Fobi completed a General Surgical Residency at the
King Drew Medical Center in Los Angeles Where he was Chief Resident and later becoming a professor at the school. He is
a Board Certified General Surgeon and Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.
In 1977, he experienced a life-changing encounter while teaching at Drew Medical Center. He met a woman who feared emergency surgery to repair complications from
intestinal bypass surgery she was willing to die rather than regain the weight she had lost.
Her story of physical incapacity and ridicule struck a cord of compassion, and after some research, he developed a procedure that helped her. That experience eventually led him to shift the focus of his surgical career from trauma and oncology to the fledging field of bariatric (obesity) surgery.
In 1981, he opened the Center for Surgical Treatment of Obesity in Los Angeles and has treated more than 12,000 patients through The Center.
In November 2005, Mathias A. L. Fobi, was named the Medical Director for the Bariatric Surgery Program at St. Mary Medical Center in Long Beach California where he has developed an accredited Center of Excellence. He is also the Medical Director of Tri-City Regional Medical Center Bariatric Program in Hawaiian Gardens, CA.
Currently Dr. Fobi is the President Elect of the International Federation for Surgery of Obesity, the President of the California Chapter of the American Society for Bariatric Surgery, the immediate past President of the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Foundation, is a fellow of the International College of Surgeons and the American College of Nutrition. He is the past president of the ASBS Foundation. He is a member of
the over two dozen medical associations, including the Los Angeles County Medical Association, North American Association for the Study of Obesity, American College of
Nutrition, Los Angeles Surgical Society, Southwestern Surgical Association, the National Medical Association and the American Medical Association. He sits on the Board of the International Visitors Council of Los Angeles, is a lifetime member of the NAACP and is on the editorial board of publications Obesity Help and WLS Magazine.
Dr. Fobi lectures worldwide and has published numerous articles on obesity and surgical treatment for obesity. His research has appeared in Journal of the American Medical
Association, Update: Surgery for the Morbidly Obese, Obesity Surgery, and the Journal of the National Medical Association and in several medical school textbooks related to obesity and bariatric surgery.
Dr Fobi, a well recognized name in Cameroon for his support for the change for democracy in Cameroon, was one of the pioneer immigrants from Cameroon to the United States of America in the 60s. He has contributed both to the welfare of Cameroonians in the USA and in Cameroon.
Dr Fobi and his wife Helen funded a foundation through which he has helped many in Cameroon and here in the USA, the Bobe Ngwebifor Foundation. The Foundation provides financial support to students who without support cannot obtain an education.
This financial support may entail tuition fees, books and lodging fees and in some cases other living expenses. More than 150 students have benefited from the scholarships. The
Foundation support schools which meet a special need such as for the deaf and mute, the blind or otherwise mentally gifted in Cameroon and also sponsors teachers from the USA
or any other developed country with the special skills to initiate and/or work at such schools. As a part of the Foundation’s Mama Africa Program, the Fobi’s collect books,
medical supplies, clothing, computers and other goods, ship them to Cameroon and distribute to local hospitals, schools and orphanages.
Dr Fobi is married to Helen Jean Newton Fobi of Blackshear, Georgia and has four daughters and two grandchildren.