History’s Greatest Physios Announced

On the 125th anniversary year of the commencement of the Society of Trained Masseuses in the United Kingdom, one of the seminal moments in the history of the profession, the International Physiotherapy History Association (IPHA) called for nominations from the global physiotherapy and physical therapy community to help determine History’s Greatest Physios

We are delighted to announce that the winners (in birth order) are:

Pehr Henrik Ling
Rosalind Paget
Mary McMillan
Olive Guthrie Smith
Enid Graham





Berta Bobath
Freddie Kaltenborn
Geoffrey Maitland
Robin McKenzie
New Zealand
Jules Rothstein

Whilst individually brilliant, the ten physios together also represent snapshots of the profession’s developmental growth timeline – from it’s birth and early struggles, to becoming organised and recognised, to innovating and expanding, to refinement and standardisation, and finally, pursuit of quality through research.

In 2020 we look forward to further exploring the individual contributions of History’s Greatest Physios so that we can more fully appreciate their accomplishments.


We would like to thank all of our nominators, Executive Committee, members and social media sharers.  The project has a been a strong catalyst for discussion and raised awareness of the profession’s unique history and the IPHA.

We would also like to thank our project partners:


Posted by Glenn Ruscoe

Glenn is a Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist working in private practice in Perth, Australia. A strong advocate for the profession, Glenn has been heavily involved in leadership of professional associations and regulatory boards. Currently he is Managing Director of the Registry Operator of the .physio domain top level extension.

  1. […] A list of 10 physiotherapists has been created with many instantly recognisable names from across the years of the profession. Head over to the IPHA webpage where the top 10 is revealed and see if you agree! […]

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