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Jeremie Axe '04

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Orthopedic surgeon's skills benefit his profession and community

Dr. Jeremie Axe

​Dr. Jeremie Axe

Jeremie Axe has built a successful career in medicine, with a long list of accomplishments, from board certification in orthopedic surgery, to fellowships at the American Sports Medical Institute and at Harvard and a national award for one of his many published research papers.

But when asked to describe himself to a group of UD students, one of the first things he says is: “I’m a Blue Hen, through and through.”

Axe, who graduated in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree, with honors and distinction, in biological sciences, has received the 2020 College of Arts and Sciences Young Alumni Achievement Award in recognition of his professional accomplishments and public service.

His initial decision to attend the University was based on his sense that a high-quality and affordable undergraduate education was “too good an opportunity to pass up” in preparation for the demands and expense of medical school, he said. And today, he takes every chance he has to convey his appreciation of his UD experience.

“I know you have been prepared and you have been challenged here at Delaware,” Axe told graduating biological sciences students when he was guest speaker at their 2018 Convocation. “Being prepared and having been challenged got me through the tough times in medical school and residency.”

He praised the University’s flexibility, which enabled him to spend a full undergraduate year at Harvard, where he conducted research for his bachelor’s degree thesis, and the base of knowledge he obtained in his UD classes and labs.

“I truly believe that the University of Delaware gave me the tools to be here” as a successful orthopedic surgeon, he told the students. “I had wonderful mentors and driven colleagues.”

Axe went on to graduate from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia in 2008 and then completed his internship in general surgery and residency in orthopedics at Tufts Medical Center. He further honed his skills through a fellowship at the American Sports Medical Institute-Andrews in Birmingham, Alabama, and then at the Harvard Shoulder/Elbow Service in Boston.

Returning to Delaware in 2015, he joined First State Orthopedics, where he is a partner in the practice, which includes 29 physicians covering 15 specialty areas of medicine in 13 locations. Axe is also an orthopedic trauma surgeon with Christiana Care Health System and orthopedic director of Encompass Health Delaware, a rehabilitation hospital in Middletown, Delaware.

With the expertise in shoulder surgery he developed during his Harvard fellowship, Axe is called on throughout the state of Delaware for cases requiring specialized care.

“That is what I feel is most rewarding and the most important part of my training,” he said. “Having that expertise is where I can really make a difference in my contributions to the Delaware community.”

Axe contributes to the community in other ways as well. While working in Boston, he was the head football and basketball team physician for a high school established to give underrepresented students the opportunity to succeed; that work earned him the school’s Giving Back Award. In Delaware, he has received a state Senate commendation for his work with the Steroid Task Force and has provided coverage for high school and college sports teams.

He writes frequently for peer-reviewed publications, abstracts and medical book chapters. But despite his ongoing interest in research, he said he learned early on that he didn’t want that to be his focus.

“I learned a valuable lesson” while conducting undergraduate research at Harvard, he said, where he ruled out the possibility of combining his M.D. degree with a Ph.D. “Spending that year in the lab showed me that I wanted to do research, but I wanted to do it as a practicing clinician.”

And throughout his entire career, Axe has remained especially involved with his alma mater, beginning during his time in Boston, when he interviewed potential UD students in the area. Since returning to Delaware, he has been an affiliate assistant professor of physical therapy at UD and guest speaker in classes and at the Medical Scholars Club.

He is currently a member of the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Advisory Council, arranging his surgery schedule to allow him to attend meetings, and he makes it a point to hire UD alumni when possible. He said he tries to talk about UD wherever he goes and often wears a Blue Hen tie or other apparel in public appearances.

Axe is proud of his entire family’s connection to the University, he said, noting that his uncle, stepfather, brother, sister, brother-in-law and sister-in-law are all alumni, while his father and stepmother are on the Department of Physical Therapy faculty. Axe encourages students to begin donating to UD early, and his family has generously supported such programs as the Jeremie Axe Undergraduate Summer Research Fund, the Biomedical Engineering program and Duncan Bone Research Fund, as well as UD Athletics and the Baseball and Physical Therapy programs.

His convocation speech concluded with some specific advice for the new graduates: Work hard. Hire UD graduates to work with you. Stay in touch with your college friends. And, of course: “Be proud of your degree from UD.”

Article by Ann Manser

Published June 1, 2021

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Orthopedic surgeon Jeremie Axe, who graduated from UD in 2004 with an honors degree in biological sciences, has received the College of Arts and Sciences Young Alumni Achievement Award.
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