A Caymanian doctor who earlier in his studies carried out research into the effect of Hurricane Ivan on Cayman Islands residents has become a board-certified neurologist.
During his post-baccalaureate studies, which included a focus on treating epilepsy and sleep disorders, Wendell Bobb returned to Cayman from the United States in 2005 to conduct a research project to evaluate post-traumatic stress disorder on people who had experienced the hurricane and its aftermath.
From the 100 people who were surveyed, the most prevalent symptoms were recurring and intrusive thoughts of the hurricane. The questionnaire was based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders criteria for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Dr. Bobb, 36, who is now a fully board-certified neurologist with the American Academy of Psychiatry and Neurology, says he wants to head back home to Cayman.
“Regarding where I would like to practice in Grand Cayman would depend on the most efficient and effective way to serve those with neurologic needs on the island,” Dr. Bobb said. “I have already spoken with some physicians at the Cayman Islands Health Services and other local hospitals.”
However, to fulfill scholarship and student loan obligations, he will remain in Durham, North Carolina, for at least the next year.
After leaving high school and working at the Cayman Islands government dental clinic as a dental assistant trainee to gain clinical experience, he went to the U.S. in 1998 to pursue studies in the medical field.
Growing up, Dr. Bobb was always interested in the medical field. His mother Elsa Bobb said when people asked him what he wanted to be, he would say, “I want to put water in a needle and give it to old people to make them walk better.”
He struggled with mathematics, which seemed to put the dream of being a physician out of his reach, but he made the grade through the help of a mathematics professor and family friend who took him under her wing and motivated him, he said. He successfully completed his math exams with distinctions, in addition to five more O-level CXC subjects and three GCE A-level subjects in Trinidad.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Florida and a Doctor of Medicine degree from Florida State University College of Medicine. He then decided to pursue a neurology residency.
He received the highest honor for a resident physician – the Hugh Hussey Award for Excellence in Medical Student Teaching from Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C., and graduated in June from Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina with sub specialties in clinical neurophysiology and sleep medicine.
Besides receiving a scholarship in 2013 from the American Academy of Neurology for commitment to education, service and research, Dr. Bobb completed a research project reviewing charts for more than 1,700 United States veterans titled, “Home Sleep Studies in a Veteran Population,” which was presented at the American Academy of Sleep Medicine meeting in June 2013.
In his fellowships, he presented two more of his research projects at the American Clinical Neurophysiology Society Annual Meeting and Courses in February 2014.
Dr. Bobb credits his success to the upbringing by his parents, Pastor Torrance and Elsa Bobb, family support, hard work, discipline and dependence on God.