Dr. Stephen Abel joined us at Hudson Highlands Veterinary Medical Group in March of 2009 as a veterinarian and acupuncturist. Dr. Abel grew up in Verbank, New York and attended Millbrook Central Schools. His family has resided in Dutchess County for more than 200 years and his current home has been in his family since 1850. Dr. Abel was an American Field Service exchange student in Italy in 1971 and 1972. He completed his veterinary studies at Iowa State University of Veterinary School in 1979, with Phi Zeta, Phi Kappa Phi and Gamma Sigma Delta honors. He has been a certified acupuncturist since 1986 and is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the New York State Veterinary Medical Society. Dr. Abel's veterinary interests include surgery and dermatology. He especially enjoys his interaction with patients and their owners and the "challenges and rewards of diagnosing and treating animals with health problems," Dr. Abel said. Dr. Abel's hobbies include hiking, traveling, fitness, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and tending to his Christmas tree farm. He has two pets, Yoda, a pug mix and Nellie, a Jack Russell Terrier.