Top Doctors 2011 Profile: Michelle Abis, M.D., Internal Medicine in Red Hook

Well-rounded care for all ages


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Abis — known as a passionate advocate for patient care — believes the biggest issue facing patients these days is a basic one: access to health care. “Even patients with Medicare are having problems with things like medication coverage, which is concerning,” she notes. And as a physician, bureaucracy can trigger headaches, too: “The biggest issues facing doctors include navigating the maze of regulations and meeting performance measures — while trying to provide the best care you can give to your patients.”

Still, it’s an exciting time to be a doctor, says Abis. She points out medical advances such as new treatments on the horizon for venous thromboembolism, or VTE — a silent but potentially deadly condition that occurs when a blood clot forms in a vein. “There’s also new information coming out on diseases like Alzheimer’s dementia, which could hopefully lead to better diagnostic tests.”

When it comes to dealing with her busy schedule, she says, “I try to take it a day at a time, and make sure to take breaks and vacations once in a while.”

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Having two doctors in the family helps, too, she says. “Since my husband is a physician himself, he’s very understanding and supportive. He’s an excellent cook, too, which is helpful since I need directions to boil an egg,” she laughs. Her favorite free-time activities include reading fiction, ballroom dancing (“although I’m not very good at it”), and rooting for the New York Yankees.

“I like working in the Hudson Valley,” she adds. “It gives you that small-town feeling of knowing your patients and the people you work with — that’s true even at the hospital. Living in the Red Hook/Rhinebeck area is ideal for us. There’s less traffic and congestion, but at the same time, this area is loaded with cultural activities and restaurants. And it’s just two hours from New York City.”

Her pointers for good health? “It’s as simple and as difficult as a healthy diet — with special emphasis on portion control — and regular exercise — which, ideally, should include both aerobic and strength-training exercises. In order for these measures to work and be effective, it has to be a lifestyle change.”

» Visit Northern Dutchess Hospital in Rhinebeck, Dutchess County, NY
» Visit Health Quest Medical Practice in Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County, NY
» View the complete list of Top Doctors 2011
» Go to the Hudson Valley Health Guide for more doctors in the Hudson Valley, NY

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