UD Nimeh’s ‘Catalyst’ for Success

Jake Nimeh has wanted to be a doctor since before he even started playing hockey. Majoring in biology, Jake is currently juggling his demanding studies, long lab hours, and being a teacher’s assistant … all on top of playing hockey. 

Ever since kindergarten, Jake has known wanted to be a doctor. Inspired by his dad, who is also a physician, Jake aspires to become a cardiothoracic surgeon. Although this specific path wasn’t decided until later, there aren’t many college students majoring in what their kindergarten-selves said they wanted to be. Jake attributes much of his success to his father, mentioning “he has guided [him] every step of the way.” Jake calls his dad frequently with questions about the physiology class he is in, and also looks to him for advice for different aspects of the field. 

Jake was first introduced to hockey in 2008 when the Pittsburgh Penguins made it to the Stanley Cup Finals. Growing up in the Philadelphia area, Jake watched the Penguins both in 2008 and 2009, and eventually declared he wanted to get out on the ice. Jake immediately fell in love with the sport, and later quit football and other activities to focus on hockey full-time. The University of Delaware became Jake’s top choice of colleges when he found out there is a rink on campus, since many schools do not have the same luxury. 

When asked about free time, Jake says he “doesn’t really have any,” but he enjoys everything he does and knows it’s all worth it. On top of his own academic work, Jake is currently a teacher’s assistant for a biology class, for which he attends weekly meetings with the professor, holds office hours for students, and helps answer questions before exams. Over the summer, Jake gained both administrative and clinical experience while interning at his local hospital. During his internship, Jake was able to learn from all different types of doctors, which further confirmed that he “wants to do surgery and be hands-on.” Although he understands he won’t create the same type of long-term relationships with his patients as his dad does, Jake is confident he would rather have the impact of a surgeon.


-Rachel Stamberg