Meet Our Local Wellness Pro: Dr. Jake Hawkins!


By Michelle Ruschman

Two criteria that are invaluable in looking for a healthcare provider are their investment in the community and what drives their care. Dr. Jake Hawkins, an orthopaedic surgeon with Orthopaedic Associates, grew up in the Destin area and knows it well. He and his wife, Caroline, were high school sweethearts at South Walton High School. After graduation, Dr. Hawkins pursued his bachelor’s degree at Florida State University and received his Doctor of Medicine degree at the Florida State University College of Medicine. He then completed his orthopaedic surgery residency training at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and rounded out his training with a fellowship in hip and knee replacement and revision surgery at the University of Florida.

Years later, the couple is raising their three children, Noah (5), Asher (2), and Lainey (10 months) among the people they love. “We live in one of the most beautiful areas in the country, surrounded by friends and family, and I am proud to call North Florida home. Outside of orthopaedic surgery, my hobbies include playing golf, fishing, exercising, going to the beach, boating, hunting, traveling and spending time with my family.”

Dr. Hawkins also feels blessed that his professional life is fulfilling and rewarding. “Orthopaedic Associates is an amazing group. My favorite thing about my work is helping patients with hip and knee pain. Seeing my patients experience pain relief, restoration of function and resumption of their hobbies and activities is very gratifying.
I could not ask for a better group of practice partners and leadership. The entire staff is supportive, friendly, and attentive. We are humbled and honored to have the opportunity to come alongside people in the community to restore their health.”

Dr. Hawkins also attributes his calling to the field of orthopaedic surgery to his love for Jesus. “I have a strong faith. The Lord has blessed me with the ability to help people who are injured, hurting, suffering or in pain. I love praying with my patients and impacting them not just physically, but spiritually as well. It is by His mercy and grace that I have the opportunity to impact people in my work. I strive to do everything unto the Lord in all aspects of my life—marriage, parenting, family, my job, relationships, etc.”

Dr. Hawkins specializes in hip and knee replacement surgery utilizing cutting-edge technology and surgical techniques that allow his patients to recover as quickly as possible. This includes outpatient total hip and knee replacement surgery, anterior approach total hip replacement, minimally invasive surgery, robotic-assisted total knee, and hip replacement surgery, and computer-navigated joint replacement. He also specializes in complex revision total knee and hip replacement. Dr. Hawkins also cares for patients with fractures (broken bones) utilizing both operative and nonoperative techniques. The course of action is based on the patient’s injury and situation.

Dr. Hawkins is a fellowship-trained orthopaedic surgeon which means that he opted for one additional year of training in hip and knee replacement and revision surgery. Becoming an orthopaedic surgeon requires four years of medical school, five years of orthopaedic surgery residency training, and added one year of fellowship training to study hip and knee replacement and revision surgery. His decision to work so hard in his field came from being a patient himself. “My interest in orthopaedic surgery began after I suffered a femur fracture while playing football at Destin Middle School. I was treated by Dr. Thackeray, who is now one of my senior partners. My experience with him and Orthopaedic Associates had a lasting impression on me and motivated me to pursue a career in medicine and, ultimately, orthopaedic surgery.”

Not only does Dr. Hawkins have an office in Destin, but you can also find him in Fort Walton Beach, Niceville and Crestview. If you need his help, you can call 850-344-1646 to make an appointment for any of the area offices. He is ready to serve you. To learn more about Orthopaedic Associates, visit

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