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Date published: August 1, 2023

August Fellow Spotlight: Altaib Al Yassin, MD, DO, MS

In this month’s Fellow Spotlight, we feature Altaib Al Yassin, MD, DO, MS, a Gastroenterology fellow from Iraq. We recently caught up with Dr. Yassin to learn more about his work, why he chose UMass for his fellowship, and a recent trip to Morocco! The piece has been edited for length and clarity. 


Hometown and background
I am originally from Iraq. After I finished medical school at the University of Baghdad in Iraq, I moved to Jordan to pursue a year of internship at Jordan University. I then moved to Chicago, Illinois, where I worked as an interpreter, earned a master’s degree in clinical research and epidemiology, got married, and had my first child. The second stop in my medical journey was in New York City to study medicine at New York Institute of Technology, College of Osteopathic Medicine. I then moved to Massachusetts to join UMass for my Internal Medicine residency and am now pursuing my fellowship in Gastroenterology.  

What are your clinical and research interests?
I love everything in GI. I like the acuity of GI bleeds, the continuity of care for IBD patients, and the pathophysiology of cirrhosis and its complications. I am interested in increasing awareness of colon cancer screening in underserved communities.  

Why did you choose UMass for your fellowship?
I first picked UMass for residency and decided to stay for my fellowship. As a resident, I had the opportunity to be on the inpatient liver transplant service for a few months where I had great exposure to sick liver patients. I also had several weeks of a GI elective when I worked closely with the GI attendings. I was impressed by the high volume, the interesting pathology, and the endoscopy skills the fellow had. I realized it would be a great experience if I were going to stay for the GI fellowship. 

Where is your favorite place to travel for vacation and why?
I traveled to Morocco in June 2021 at the end of my residency. I visited Casablanca, Marrakesh, and Tangier. I enjoyed the warm hospitality, great food, and a mix of modern and ancient cities, with different climates in each of the three cities. 

Who is your favorite author?
Naguib Mahfouz. He is an Egyptian writer and a Noble Prize winner. I read most of his novels, but I liked the Cairo trilogy most, which has been made into films and a TV series.