Dr. Yousuf Al-Aboosi was born in Baghdad, Iraq, where despite the challenges of growing up in a war-torn country, he received one of the ten highest test scores in the country and earned a scholarship to study Dentistry at the University of Jordan. At the age of 18, he started a new life, alone, in Jordan, crediting his success to the independence and determination his parents instilled in him as a child.
He graduated from the University of Jordan in 2011, unable to practice in Jordan because of his Iraqi citizenship and unable to return to Iraq due to ongoing safety issues. At a crossroads, he applied and was granted a resettlement visa in the United States. He breathed a sigh of relief when he touched down in Pittsburgh, for the first time unconcerned about where to find clean water, a light by which to study, or his own safety. But with a Jordanian dental degree, he had more work to do. He applied and was admitted for yet another round of dental training at the Virginia Commonwealth University Dental School.
He was inducted into the Omicron Kappa Upsilon National Dental Honor Society (OKU) at VCU, and as he was walking across the graduation stage, he described being stuck by the impossibility of the moment: “I was an orphan boy from Iraq making good on a promise to his parents who told him so many years ago that he could be anything he wanted to be through perseverance, hard work, and some luck. They were right. I made it out of Iraq and was now preparing to help patients as a part of a noble profession and living in one of the world’s greatest countries. I’d traveled over 6,000 miles from my birthplace, but after the short walk across the graduation stage, I knew I was finally ‘home.’”
The last leg of his education journey took place at The University of Alabama Birmingham School of Dentistry, where he received his Certificate in Periodontics and Master of Science in Dentistry. There, he was the Chief Periodontal Resident and Principal Investigator on research seeking to identify potential sources of easily accessible mesenchymal stem cells for autologous grafting for use in the treatment of hard and soft tissue deficiencies. He graduated from the program in June 2019.
Committed to community, his service leadership is extensive, involved with organizations such as the Pathways Center for Homeless Women and Children, the UAB Dentistry Cares Community Day, the Junior Board of Birmingham AIDS Outreach, the Jamaica Project, Mission of Mercy, the Boys & Girls Club, and others.
Yousuf embodies the patient-first philosophy that drives AIP: “I was drawn to perio because of the connection you develop with your patients over time. You see patients who have been told they are going to lose all their teeth and have seemingly lost all hope of a positive outcome or prognosis. When you are able to work with them, coach them, and show them what improvements can be made, however, they begin to see a new path to dental health. Seeing the “difference periodontal treatment can make in a person’s life is the ultimate reward.”
Outside of dentistry, Yousuf enjoys spending time hiking, biking, and exploring new trails with his fiancé, Adam, and their two dogs. New to Vermont, he’d love to hear about your favorite hiking, eating, and craft brewery spots around the state!