Susan Grieve

Assistant Professor DPT, PT

Programs and Courses Taught

Doctor of Physical Therapy

PT 710: Clinical Foundations in Physical Therapy Practice, PT 735: Exercise Prescription for Patients and Clients I, PT 711: Patient/Client Mgmt Musculoskeletal I, PT 712: Patient/Client Mgmt Musculoskeletal II, PT 702: Capstone II: Exploration & Planning, PT 703: Capstone III: Implementation, PT 704: Capstone IV: Completion, PT 705: Patient/Client Mgmt Complexity in Care, PT 717: Patient/Client Mgmt Cardiopulmonary

About Me

I grew up in Northern California in the SF Bay Area and feel fortunate to now live and work in East Bay - a wonderfully diverse area of the country.  I spent my clinical practice career in physical therapy at Kaiser Permanente both in the acute care and out patient settings. Although I no longer clinically practice I still identify primarily as a Physical Therapist. My practice now is teaching which I approach with same care, commitment and professionalism that I did my clinical practice. Outside of work I enjoy exploring the diversity of Bay Area by foot, by bike and by car. 


After completing an undergraduate degree in physical education at UC Davis I attended the University of Oregon and completed a Master of Science degree in exercise physiology in 1990. At Oregon I had the opportunity to work on several studies exploring the central control of blood pressure. I earned my entery-level Master of Physical Therapy degree from Samuel Merritt University in 1998 and completed a transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Temple University in 2009.  I will be finishing my PhD in Physical Therapy: Health Professions Education from Nova Southeastern University in March 2019.

Teaching Interests

In any of the courses I am involved my underlying teaching interest is in fostering the development of students' clinical reasoning abilities.  Additionally I have a strong interest in the science of teaching health professionals which leads me to apply different teaching strategies to different concepts and content. 

Scholarly Interests

I am interested in studying the effects of applying novel learning and educational theory to the design of simulation based learning experiences for health professional students.  My dissertation work involves applying the example based learning principle from a Cognitive Load Theory perspective to simulation design for novice health professional students. I hope to contribute to the understanding of how to best design simulation based learning for optimal outcomes that translate from the academic to clinical setting.


Christensen N, Villanueva C, Grieve S. Learning reasoning in simulation. In: Higgs, J., Jensen, G., Loftus, S., & Christensen, N. (Eds.). Clinical Reasoning in the Health Professions (4th ed.). Elsevier. 2019. Available October 2018. 

Grieve SM. Disorders of consciousness: coma, vegetative state and minimally conscious state. In: Cameron M., & Monroe L. (Eds.).  Physical Rehabilitation for the Physical Therapist Assistant. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier/Saunders. 2011:331-340.

Grieve SM. Coma, vegetative state and minimally conscious state. In: Cameron M., & Monroe L. (Eds.).  Physical Rehabilitation: Evidenced - Based Examination, Evaluation, and Intervention. St. Louis, MO: Saunders/Elsevier. 2007:580-597.

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

American Physical Therapy Association 1998 - present
• Academy membership; Orthopedic, Education, Cardiopulmonary
• Special Interest Group membership; Academic Faculty, Educational Research

American Educational Research Association (AERA) 2017 – present
American College of Sport Medicine (ACSM) 2017 - present

Community Service

I have a strong belief that early and equitable educational opportunities matter. I began and have acted as the faculty liaison for the annual school supply and backpack drive at Samuel Merritt University partnering with The Family Giving Tree Organization.