Caramie Schnell

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January 7, 2013
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Vail surgeon named one of the most handsome docs in America

Officially his name is Dr. Tom Hackett, but starting today you can call him Mr. October.

Hackett, an orthopeadic surgeon at the Steadman Clinic in Vail, is one of the most handsome doctors in America according to the daytime talk show, The Doctors. Hackett is, you guessed it, the face of October in the 2013 calendar, which debuts in an episode that airs today at 1 p.m. on the NBC network.

With his big smile and dimples it's easy to see how Hackett caught the attention of the show's producers. Along with performing surgeries on elbows, shoulders and knees, he is a researcher at Steadman Philippon Research Institute. He is also the team physician for the U.S. Snowboard team and a medical consultant to the Colorado Rockies.

'Surprised and honored'

The calender photo shoot took place in October and the television segment was filmed Dec. 14 at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, Calif.

In an interview filmed then, Hackett said he was "surprised and honored" to receive the award.

In a clip of the segment released to media early to promote the calendar, Hackett talked about the best way to prevent osteoporosis.

"You need to strengthen your bones," he said. "The best way to do that is to use your muscles because your muscles are attached to your bone, and when a muscle tugs on a bone, the bone gets a little stressed and it responds by growing more bone. This is one of the key components of exercise."

It's that "E" word that Hackett can't say enough. Exercise is the No. 1 thing he recommends to his patients to stay healthy.

"You can't exercise enough," he said. "Safe exercise, where you can actually get your muscles firing, your bones moving, your joints sliding against one and other, not only helps you feel better mentally, but physically as well."

Along with walking, hiking and biking, Hackett swims in order to stay in shape, he said.

"I love that exercise because it's a non-impact workout and a really great workout," he said.

In fact, he recently swam across the English Channel.

"It was 34 miles of cold, rough, gnarly water," he said. "It was real fun, not so much fun at the time, but I was really stoked with it."

Award-winning doc

One hundred percent proceeds from the calendar, which will sell for $14.99 at, will benefit the American Red Cross, enabling the organization to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters at home and around the world, including those affected by Superstorm Sandy.

In December, he was named Vail Valley Medical Center's 2012 Physician of the Year, an award that "acknowledges the physician's abilities in leadership, quality patient care, contributions to the community and hospital and the utilization of evidenced-based medicine in daily practice," according to a press release from the hospital.

Hackett has been a physician in Vail since 2004 and has been the lead physician for the U.S. Snowboard Team for seven years. He worked at the Vancouver Olympics and plans to work at the upcoming Sochi, Russia Olympics in 2014.

"Dr. Hackett has built a career around excellence in patient care and has made major contributions to the local healthcare community and the greater orthopaedic and sports medicine profession through his hard work, research and compassionate care," said Doris Kirchner, president and CEO of Vail Valley Medical Center.

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The VailDaily Updated Jan 7, 2013 03:33PM Published Jan 7, 2013 03:31PM Copyright 2013 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.