Our Company History

A groundbreaking history of growth, leadership and success, Merritt Hawkins is proud of its 20-plus years of service to physicians and other healthcare providers, healthcare organizations and the entire industry.


Established in Newport Beach, California, as a six-person firm, Merritt Hawkins has grown into and maintained a leadership position in physician recruitment service and innovation.


Join us on our journey by taking a moment to look at the timeline below. It shows our path of success and how we continue to maintain our goal of being the No. 1 permanent physician recruitment company in the nation.


  • 1987: Merritt Hawkins & Associates is established in a small office in Newport Beach, California, with six employees.
  • 1988: An innovative, consultative approach and a commitment to client service lead to $1 million in revenue in the first nine months.
  • 1989: Repeat business drives triple-digit annual growth. Merritt Hawkins & Associates becomes the third largest physician search firm in the industry in less than two years.
  • 1990: A national client base requires a central location. Merritt Hawkins & Associates relocates its corporate headquarters to Dallas, Texas, while maintaining regional offices in Southern California.
  • 1991: Merritt Hawkins & Associates receives national attention in USA Today, The New York Times, Good Morning America and other media outlets for its unique pro bono physician search program for medically underserved areas.
  • 1991: Staff Care® is established to meet the temporary (locum tenens) needs of Merritt Hawkins & Associates' clients.
  • 1993: Merritt Hawkins & Associates becomes one of the leading permanent physician search firms in the nation, in terms of number of search assignments and placements. Due to its explosive growth, Merritt Hawkins & Associates is named one of the 500 fastest growing privately held firms in the nation by Inc. magazine.
  • 1994: Merritt Hawkins & Associates generates original data regarding physician compensation and related staffing matters that is cited in The Wall Street Journal, Modern Healthcare, Hospitals & Health Networks, Medical Economics and many other publications. Merritt Hawkins & Associates opens its Eastern Regional Office in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • 1995: Merritt Hawkins & Associates is recognized by The Wall Street Journal and Medical Economics as the first physician search firm to offer medical practice opportunities on the Web.
  • 1996: Allied Consulting is established to meet the temporary allied health staffing needs of Merritt Hawkins & Associates' clients. Merritt Hawkins & Associates, Staff Care and Allied Consulting are now referred to as The MHA Group.
  • 1998: Merritt Hawkins & Associates/The MHA Group earns the endorsement of over 20 healthcare organizations, the most of any physician search firm in the industry.
  • 2000: Med TravelersSM is formed to provide temporary allied health staffing to clients of The MHA Group.
  • 2001: The MHA Group moves its corporate headquarters to a new, 100,000 square foot building, housing all its affiliated companies.
  • 2003: The MHA Group opens RN Demand®, a national staffing firm specializing in the temporary placement of nurses.
  • 2004: The MHA Group of companies offers a comprehensive healthcare staffing service, including all clinical health professionals, while maintaining its position as the industry leader in service and innovation.
  • 2005: The MHA Group and its affiliated divisions join forces with AMN Healthcare to create the largest healthcare staffing company in the U.S.
  •  2006: With AMN Healthcare, Merritt Hawkins founds and provides funding for The Council on Physician and Nurse Supply, a group of healthcare experts based at the University of Pennsylvania dedicated to increasing the nation’s supply of physicians and nurses.  
  • 2007: After a meeting in Philadelphia, the Council on Physician and Nurse Supply calls for a 30% increase in the number of physicians trained in the United States. 
  • 2008: Merritt Hawkins partners with The Physicians Foundation to conduct one of the largest physician surveys undertaken in the United States. Results of the survey are cited in numerous national interest and healthcare publications
  • 2010: In concert with The Physicians Foundation, Merritt Hawkins convenes a panel of healthcare experts to produce the groundbreaking white paper Health Reform and the Decline of Physicians Private Practice. The white paper accurately predicts the increased employment of physicians, the rise of alternative delivery systems, and related trends. Also in concert with The Physicians Foundation, Merritt Hawkins’ executives co-author the book In Their Own Words: 12,000 Physicians Reveal Their Thoughts on Medical Practice in America.
  •  2011: Merritt Hawkins creates the first physician recruiting app in the industry, allowing physicians real time access to medical practice opportunity information and allowing users to instantly access a wide range of physician demographic and related data. In addition, Merritt Hawkins conducts two national surveys on behalf of The Indian Health Service, one of IHS facility administrators and one of IHS facility physicians.
  • 2012: Merritt Hawkins celebrates 25 years of continuous service to the healthcare industry. Merritt Hawkins conducts its second national physician survey on behalf of The Physicians Foundation, generating responses from some 14,000 doctors and providing detailed data on physician morale levels, practice metrics and practices plans.
  • 2013: In partnership with Richard “Buz” Cooper of the University of Pennsylvania, Merritt Hawkins develops its Hospital-Specific Physician Requirements Model, a demands-based method for determining community need for physicians.  Merritt Hawkins conducts a survey of alumni of the Department of Healthcare Administration at Trinity University, looking at the morale levels and perspectives of Trinity University now in healthcare leadership roles nationwide.
  • 2014: Merritt Hawkins releases its third Survey of Physician Appointment Wait Times revealing the time it takes to schedule a new patient physician appointment in 15 major metro markets. The survey is cited by The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Forbes, and many other publications.
 


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