David Lamb Memorial Golden Hands Award

David Lamb - Golden Hands Award


The late David Lamb was one of the pillars on which the Canadian Academy of Manipulative Therapy was built. A contributor to Grieve’s Modern Manual Therapy, David was a world-renowned manual therapist. He lectured extensively and conducted courses on all levels of manual therapy across the globe. The Golden Hands Award of the National Orthopaedic Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA) is given in honour of David Lamb to an exceptional musculoskeletal/orthopaedic physiotherapist that exemplifies the commitment to our profession in manual therapy, education, mentorship, and research.


David Lamb was born in 1936 in Doncaster, England. He trained as a Physiotherapist in the British Army Medical corps, graduating in 1958 and received his Bachelor of Science degree from Queen’s University after immigrating to Canada in 1968. Together with Cliff Fowler, they founded the Parkland Physiotherapy Clinic in Red Deer, Alberta.  David was interested in manual therapy from the outset. He served as a member of the Standards Committee for the International Federation of Manipulative Therapy (IFOMT) between 1972 and 1976 and was its Chair from 1976 to 1990. He also served on the IFOMT Membership Committee. It was with IFOMT that David was internationally recognized, receiving the highest award that IFOMT bestows: The Founding Fellow Award. To this day, IFOMPT recognizes David Lamb’s contributions through a Memorial Award.  His expertise in his ability to both deliver and instruct in thrust manipulation techniques was only a part of his contributions. He provided outstanding contributions to logic, reasoning, clinical trials and skepticism, an inspiring personal example of a Physiotherapist who delivered his message from the heart and challenged the way we think about and deliver manual therapy.  David Lamb was a driving force in the development of manual physical therapy skills.

In Canada, David Lamb was very involved with the Orthopaedic Division of CPA and was recognized for his contributions to this aspect of physiotherapy practice, becoming an honorary life member in 1990. His contributions to the development and sustainability of manual therapy are recognized by the Orthopaedic Division through the Golden Hands Award.


Boyer’s model of Scholarship

(Boyer’s model of Scholarship 1990)

An exemplary musculoskeletal/orthopaedic physiotherapist maintains a high level of scholarship in their approach to patient/client care, education, and mentorship. Curiosity drives them forward in all aspects of their careers: understanding patient presentations, considering appropriate manual therapy management and follow up approaches and passing these traits on to new generations of therapists. At the heart of this scholarship lie the four intersecting dimensions shown above in the Boyer model of Scholarship: discovery, integration, teaching, and application. A physiotherapist nominated for the Golden Hands Award should excel in each of these four dimensions.

“David didn’t publish, he inspired”. – Stanley Paris

It is one thing to be a great manual therapist, but the Golden Hands Award is reserved for those who inspire. These exceptional physiotherapists exhibit an infectious passion for discovery, generating new knowledge and testing new techniques that encourages those around them to do the same. This passion allows them to push manual therapy forward through service to the profession and teaching, and it is through the four dimensions of scholarship that this inspiration is best motivated. The Golden Hands Award is in recognition of the late David Lamb, a leader, and an inspiration for the past, present and future of the National Orthopaedic Division of the CPA.


This award acknowledges and celebrates exemplary leadership and scholarship that has had a significant impact on advancing the theory and practice of musculoskeletal/orthopaedic physiotherapy in Canada. The Orthopaedic Division Golden Hands Award aims to recognize a physiotherapist who, through their inspiration, dedication and scholarly attributes has made exceptional contributions in the areas of manual therapy, education/professional development, advocacy, research, and mentorship to the advancement of musculoskeletal/orthopaedic physiotherapy.

Criteria For Selection

The nominated individual must be recognized by their peers as having provided significant contributions to the advancement of musculoskeletal/orthopaedic physiotherapy in Canada. The individuals should have evidence of mentorship for several physiotherapists while acting as a role model and inspiration for others. A preference will be given to individuals who are involved in musculoskeletal/orthopaedic physiotherapy related leadership and/or volunteer activities that encourage the participation of others in professional activities. The nominee must have at least five years of CPA National Orthopaedic Division membership.

Activities that will be considered include:

Manual therapy – Individual has achieved the highest level of manual therapy training and is recognized nationally and internationally.

Education – Individual has contributed to the development and instruction of all levels of Orthopaedic Division syllabus courses (now known as AIM – Advanced Integrated Musculoskeletal).

Mentorship – Individual has demonstrated outstanding mentorship inspiring physiotherapists as both clinicians and educators.

Evidence-informed practice – Individuals who have contributed to knowledge mobilization in any of its facets (e.g., creation of new knowledge, dissemination of knowledge through channels of peer review to a wide audience; implementation of knowledge into clinical practice).

Acting as an exceptional role model for others through involvement in professional voluntary activities that contribute to the profession and the CPA National Orthopaedic Division.

Selection Of Candidate

The National Orthopaedic Division Awards Committee will select the recipient.


Award(s) will be presented annually at the National Orthopaedic Division Annual Symposium or Annual Meeting.

Form of Award

  • Recognition at the National Orthopaedic Division Annual Symposium
  • A plaque recognizing the recipient

Nomination Procedure

Nominations may be made by a member of the CPA Orthopaedic Division or by a member of the CPA. All nominations are confidential between the nominator(s) and the Awards Committee.

The nomination must include:

  1. Five letters of recommendation, none of which shall exceed 1200 word-count. At least two letters of recommendation will be from physiotherapists who have been mentored by the individual being nominated.
  2. One of the nominators must be identified as the primary nominator.
  3. In order for the Candidate to be successful in the nomination process, the letters must outline the uniqueness of the individual, how they meet the criteria for the award and must provide supporting evidence for all the qualities of a mentor, experienced in the mentor-mentee relationship.
  4.  Curriculum Vitae of the candidate.

Download the Nomination Form

Previous Golden Hands Award Winners