In 1929, Dr. James Cyriax, a London physician, began to establish an on-going methodology for examining the musculoskeletal system independent of imaging techniques. The clinical tests and interpretation of these tests rely on what is called selective tissue testing. In other words, each structure of the musculoskeletal system has individual properties that do not change and are unique to that structure. Thus when that structure is injured, the trauma not only causes pain in a certain region, often involving dermatomes, but specific tests will evoke pain in a consistent pattern that can be reliably used for diagnosis.

In 1978, Dr. Cyriax and Physical Therapist Dos Winkel founded the International Association of Academies of Orthopedic Medicine, IAAOM, located in Delft, Holland. Their goal was to provide continuing education opportunities for physicians and physical therapists seeking expertise in orthopedic medicine and manual therapy. In addition, they continued to pursue improvements in the clinical examination and treatment of patients. Today the IAAOM is one of the largest continuing education associations for orthopedic medicine and manual therapy in Europe. For the sake of simplification the IAAOM was changed to the International Academy of Orthopedic Medicine (IAOM) in 1991.Classes are given at several well-established academies, including the Netherlands Academy of Orthopedic Medicine (founded 1978) and the German and Belgium Academies of Orthopedic Medicine (founded 1979). Courses are also given in Austria.

In 1988,The American Academy of Orthopedic Medicine (AAOM, Inc.) was founded by Valerie Phelps in order to make the IAAOM methods of evaluation available to physicians and physical therapists in the United States. Ms. Phelps is working toward making the IAOM-US a nonprofit organization, and it is her vision for this academy to contribute the highest standard of clinical examination and treatment principles in non-operative orthopedic medicine to health professionals, based on updated research, and to facilitate communication and advancement between colleagues. In 1999 the AAOM, Inc. changed its name to the IAOM-US and is actively involved in developing and refining clinical examination and treatment methods with its European counterpart, the IAOM-EUR.

Instructors for the IAOM include physicians as well as physical therapists who have specialized in orthopedic medicine and manual therapy. The instructors have worked closely with Dr. Cyriax, as well as Freddy Kaltenborn, Andre Vleeming, and Professors Vladimir Janda and Barry Wyke. Throughout the years instructors have modified and improved theories and techniques based on the most recent research and arthrokinematic studies. Not only has the IAOM sponsored scientific studies to prove effectiveness of certain treatments for specific orthopedic lesions, but it also has access, through various universities in the Netherlands, Belgium, and the US to the most recent studies in orthopedic medicine and manual therapy. This means that the information presented at the IAOM Europe and US courses is specific, clinically applicable, and very up-to-date.


Today, the IAOM-US is closely connected with the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center where there is an IAOM-US Fellowship program accredited by AAOMPT (close relationship with IFOMPT). The IAOM-US is able to constantly benefit from the latest research, techniques, and philosophies to ensure our educational programs are constantly evolving. We are also an approved provider for the Board of Certification for Athletic trainers, as well as an approved provider for the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.

Our programs are designed to help clinicians become Complete Clinicians by immersing them in a systematic approach that makes them experts at diagnosing very precisely. With a precise diagnosis, the efficiency of treatment ensures that Complete Clinicians are able to achieve optimal outcomes and treat more patients.

We have structured our programs to provide a continuum of education that is applicable at any point in a clinicians career. If you are a great clinician today, you can be an exceptional clinician after taking one of our courses. If you commit to one of our program, you can be a Complete Clinician in no time!


Our logo was designed by Bau Winkel, a graphic designer who also happens to be Dos Winkel’s brother. The inspiration came from one of the most referenced areas of human anatomy, the thoracic spine vertebrae. The animated illustration to the right attempts to describe the design process of our logo.