Faculty Profile

Susan Grieve
Assistant Professor
Doctor of Physical Therapy

My association with Samuel Merritt University began as a physical therapy student in 1996. After graduating from the MPT program I began my clinical career in the acute care setting moving to the out-patient orthopedic and out-patient neurological settings. I returned to SMU in 2005 teaching part time and was hired as a full time faculty member in 2010. I am currently still involved in clinic practice in the acute care setting.

  • Bachlor of Arts in Physical Education from the University of California at Davis 1987 - Go Aggies!
  • Master of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Oregon 1990 - Go Ducks!
  • Master of Physical Therapy from Samuel Merritt College 1998 - Go Health Care Team!
  • Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy  from Temple University 2009 - Go Owls!
  • Pursuing a PhD in Physical Therapy Science from Nova Southeastern University - Go Sharks!

Additionally I am a Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist and have an advanced certification in Vestibular Rehabilitation as well as Orthopedic Manual Therapy.

In addition to the courses I am currently involved with, I have been a part of the teaching and developement of many additional physical therapy courses at SMU. I call myself the "utility player" on the faculty as my experience across the curriculum gives me the ability to help students integrate material from courses in a single semester as well as across semesters. One of the things I love about teaching is helping students see and understand how the peices fit together.  To have the opportunity to facilitate students' growth as thinkers, able to answer their own questions within thier own developing knowledge framwork is what drives me to continue teaching.  I am privleged to work with a team of professionals who share that same drive.




  • PT 710 Foundations of Physical Therapy Practice
  • PT 711 Patient Client Management - Musculoskeletal I
  • PT 712 Patient Client Management - Musculoskeletal II
  • PT 716 Patient Client Management - Musculoskeletal III
  • PT 713 Patient Client Management - Neurmuscular I - Vestibular Content
  • PT 718 Patient Client Management - Neurmuscular II - Vestibular Content
  • PT 752 Case Studies II
  • PT 735 Therapeutic Exercise Prescription For Patients and Clients I
  • PT 757 Research III - Case Report Advising

I am currently pursuing a PhD in Physical Therapy Science at Nova Southeastern University in Florida.  My research interests involve the perscription of therapeutic exercise and exercise modalities in individuals with chronic disease. My dissertation research involves looking at the effects of whole body vibration exercise on bone mineral density and lower extremity force production in those indiviaduals with prostate cancer.  I hope to provide insight to help establish standardized dosage perameters for the use of whole body vibration in the this poulation.

If all goes acording to plan (and let's hope it does) I hope to finish my dissertation in December 2015!!    

  • Breast Cancer Survivorship - The Role of Physical Therapy Beyond Lymphedema; Breast Cancer: The Nurses Role in Shaping the Future. Invited Speaker: Bay Area Tumor Institute.   March 2014                           
  • The Role of Exercise and Physical Activity in the Treatment of Prostate Cancer: Invited presentation: Prostate Cancer Support Group, Markstein Cancer Center.   February 2014
  • Third Annual Prostate Cancer Symposium; The Changing Paradigm of Prostate Cancer:  Selective Screening, Personalized Treatment and Survivorship in a Period of Rapid Progress.   Invited speaker: Alta Bates Summit Medical Center Comprehensive Cancer Center.      September 2013
  • Exercise and Breast Cancer: When? How? Why?  Invited speaker: Breast Cancer Symposium: Protecting Heart Health During and After Breast Cancer Treatment. Alta Bates Summit Medical Center Comprehensive Cancer Center.  October 2012.
  • Exercise and Cancer: Can I? Why Should I? How do I?  Invited presentation: The Bay Area Cancer League, Markstein Cancer Center. November 2011.
  • Exercise and Prostate Cancer. Invited presentation: Prostate Cancer Support Group, Markstein Cancer Center.  June 2011

Member, American Physical Therapy Association 1995 - present

  • Education Section Member
  • Research Section Member
  • Orthopedic Section Member
  • Oncology Section Member
  • Cardiopulmonary Section Member
  • Neurology Section Member
  • Vestibular Special Interest Group Member

Summitt Alta Bates Medical Center Comprehensive Cancer Center Interprofessional Survivorship Program Workgroup member: pending publication of educational resource material for newly diagnosed cancer survivors. 


Member for
10 years 1 month

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