Dr. Fred Allman was a man of exceptional strength, stamina, and dedication, a tireless worker and innovator. In the early 60’s in his new sports medicine practice, he traveled back to and from Atlanta to his alma mater, the University of Georgia in Athens, to attend to the football team. Later, he shifted to the athletes of Georgia Tech, but the majority of his time, frequently until late at night, was spent treating the hundreds of Atlanta public school athletes who filled his waiting room each week. Most came without an appointment, and all were treated without regard for race or economics. As the orthopaedic consultant for the Atlanta Public School System, Dr. Allman was instrumental in providing coverage – most of it personally – to what eventually grew to be 26 high schools. He dedicated himself to seeing any athlete with an injury, usually within hours, but always within a day.
Dr. Allman’s concept of a sports medicine practice was truly innovative. He had the wisdom to integrate the traditional training room environment with the physician’s office – the genesis of what is now sports physical therapy. His Sports Medicine Clinic in Atlanta became a model not only for diagnosis and treatment, but also for the rehabilitation of injuries.
He attained many achievements and honors through the years: President of the American College of Sports Medicine; a member of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness; an honorary lifetime member of the National Athletic Trainers Association; as well as being a Founding Member and President of this Society. He was also the recipient of the “Mr. Sports Medicine” award from AOSSM in 1991, and the first time ever AOSSM Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997.
From his colleagues in orthopaedic sports medicine, many of whom were pioneers with him, to the subsequent generations of physicians and surgeons who have benefited from his innovations and leadership, to countless athletes in Georgia and elsewhere who were his patients, Dr. Allman has left a rich and full legacy – a life of dedication, determination, and service