RIP Allan “Doc” Levy (May 28, 1927 — April 8, 2018)
Allan “Doc” Levy, the Father of Sports Medicine, passed away on April 8, 2018, at 90 years of age. The beloved innovator in sports medicine was best known for his 30-plus years as the team doctor of the New York Football Giants. He passionately dedicated himself to his work and captivated the hearts of people everywhere.
Doc was born in Saranac Lake, New York, and always loved sports. Growing up he played ice hockey on a regular basis. He served his country in World War II as a Navy medic. He graduated from Columbia University and went on to receive his medical degree at Cornell University. He began serving the community of Westwood, New Jersey, as a family physician/internist practicing out of the basement of his home.
As the local high schools required an onsite physician for their football games, Doc graciously volunteered. His practice quickly became overwhelmed with sports injuries and the specialty of Primary Care Sports Medicine was born. Doc became the team physician for the New York Giants and went on to become the Chief of Sports Medicine at Pascack Valley Hospital. Throughout his career, he treated professional and nonprofressional athletics with the utmost care.
“Docisms” are Doc Levy sayings that will live on after his passing:
— “Surgery is the failure of all treatment options to work.”
— “Like children’s building blocks, correcting the bottom corrects further up.”
— “Do what you can do.”
— “Stretch and strengthen to prevent and heal injuries.”
Doc also dedicated his time to the Living Heart Foundation, and organization that aids former players with the medical care they need to lead healthy lives beyond the game. Donations can be made to Living Heart Foundation, PO Box 294 Little Silver, NJ 07739.
We are blessed by the countless memories and legendary accomplishments on and off the field from this great man. We pray his rests peacefully. I first met Doc when I was in medical school attending a throwing conference. Since then he has guided my career, made me his first fellow and mentored me. We had been friends since the first day we met. We will all miss Doc Levy, but know that his words and accomplishments live on through us in our daily sports medicine practices.
Rest in peace, my good friend.
Lewis G. Maharam, MD, FACSM is one of the world’s most extensively credentialed and well-known sports health experts. Better known as Running Doc™, Maharam is author of Running Doc’s Guide to Healthy Running and past medical director of the NYC Marathon and Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series. He is also past president of the New York Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine. Learn more at runningdoc.com.
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