Mary Dockter, PT, PhD 

Current Position: Professor and Physical Therapy Department Chair, University of Mary, Bismarck, ND.

Brief Bio

Originally from Jamestown, ND, Mary Dockter was drawn to the physical therapy (PT) profession in high school due to her involvement in sports and sports coverage. While playing collegiate tennis, she completed a bachelor’s degree in PT at the University of North Dakota (UND). She went on to work clinically in a variety of PT settings including acute care, outpatient orthopedics, and home healthcare. During this time, she also became passionate and active in the area of women’s health PT. In 1998, Dockter started her career in academia at the University of Mary. She went on to complete her Master’s degree in Education (University of Mary) and a PhD in Higher Education (UND). While full-time faculty, she also assumed the role of Director of Clinical Education, and eventually Department Chair (2010).

She has an extensive research and professional service background including serving a term as Director of Education for the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Section on Women’s Health (SOWH) and numerous task forces related to entry-level and post-professional women’s health education. Additionally, she was elected to 2 terms on the nominating committee for the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy and is currently in her 2nd term as delegate to the APTA House of Delegates.  Dockter was named Senior Editor of the Journal of Women’s Health PT in January 2018. She was selected to participate in the inaugural APTA Educational Leadership Institute Fellowship in 2011 and completed this in July 2012. She is the past recipient of the Bismarck-Mandan Chamber Outstanding Teacher of the Year (2004), Volunteer of the Year for the SOWH (2005, 2015), and SOWH Elizabeth Noble Award (2013). Mary is also actively engaged in University service including past-president and several committees within the Teaching Faculty Organization, advisory boards, and University strategic planning and mission advancement.

In her free time, Mary enjoys spending time with her husband, 2 grown children, and dogs. She is an avid golfer and enjoys working out, reading, and traveling. She has led and participated in 15 international service-learning experiences with undergraduate and PT students.

Courses Taught by Dr. Mary Dockter

Women’s health

  • PTH 621 and PTH 622 Orthopedic Management I and II
  • PTH 845 Women’s Health Elective 

Professional practice issues

  • PTH 765 Professional Development
  • PTH 811 and PTH 812 Leadership Administration Management Professionalism LAMP III and LAMP IV

Service Learning

  • PTH 660 and PTH 760 Service Oriented Learning Experience SOLE I and II

Clinical Practice

  • PTH 642 Geriatrics Geriatric Management
  • PTH 859-860 Complex Case Management I and II.

Selected Publications

Dockter M, Benson S, Zhang Y, Anderson C, Le Dang. Factors Influencing Physical Therapists to Enter into Women’s Health Specialty Practice. J Women’s Health Phys Therap. 2018;42:3.

Reisch R, Rutt R, Dockter M, Sanders S. Overactive bladder in female students: Prevalence, risk factors, and effect on quality of life. J Women’s Health. July 2017

Dockter M, Boissonnault JS, Anderson K, Nelson P, Figuers C. Pelvic floor examination training for the DPT student: Results from the academic and clinical communities. J Women’s Health Phys Therap. May/Aug 2016; 40:2; 84-88. 

Boissonnault JS, Anderson K, Dockter M, Nelson P, Figuers C. Comparison of Section on Women’s Health, APTA, Guidelines on women’s health curricular content in entry-level physical therapy programs; 2005 to 2014. J Women’s Health Phys Therap. May/Aug 2016; 40:2; 89-100

Nelson P, Boissonnault JS, Anderson K, Figuers C, Dockter M. Survey on Curricular Content for Doctor of Physical Therapy Guidelines for Women´s Health Content in Professional Physical Therapist Education: 2014 Update. J Women’s Health Phys Therap. May/Aug 2016; 40;2; 61-76.

Figuers C, Boissonnault JS, Nelson P, Dockter M, Anderson K. Technical Report on Using the Systems and Patient Management Model in Women’s Health DPT Curricular Guidelines. J Womens Health Phys Therap. May/Aug 2016.40:2; 77-83.

Dockter, M, Heidrich, K, Hermes, Bethany, Kukla, C, Pearson, K. The Effects of InterStim® on Quality of Life: A Case Series. J Women’s Health Phys Therap. 2014;38:53-57.

Dockter M, Roller J, Eckert J. Preparing physical therapy students for the role of clinical educator: a case study report.  WORK: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment, and Rehabilitation. 2013; 44: 255-263. 

Dockter M, Stark C, Fred S, Johs, L, Bakkum J. Section on Women’s Health members’ perceptions of mentoring entry-level students in clinical education. J Women’s Health Phys Therap. 2011; 35:1:3-10.

Dockter M, Becker E, Huber C, Lacher J, Obeng L. The prevalence of urinary incontinence in high school females: implications for prevention and wellness education. J Women’s Health Phys Therap. 2008; 32:2;7-11.

Dockter M, Abraham K, Coe J. Technical report of specialty practice in women’s health physical therapy. J Women’s Health Phys Therap. 2008; 32:1; 12-25.

Dockter M, Kolstad A, Martin K, Schiwal L.  Prevalence of urinary incontinence: a comparative study of collegiate female athletes and non-athletes controls. J Women’s Health Phys Therap. 2007; 31:1:12-17.

Dockter M, Rust T, Schuler E, Bergstrom K,  Brophy J, The use of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation for the relief of pain during labor and delivery: a case study.  J Women’s Health Phys Therap. 2004; 28:33-36. 

Meier K, Dockter M, Survey of current clinical practices in wound care. J Ostomy Wound Mngt. 2002; 48:36-42. 

Dockter M. An Analysis of Physical Therapy Pre-Admission Factors on Academic Success and Success on the National Licensing Examination. JPhys Therap Educ. 15: 61-64, Spring 2001.

Selected Presentations

Dockter M, Bishop M, Nelson P, Alappattu MJ, Abraham K, Spitznagle T, Reisch R, Chiarello C. Reject or Correct? A guide to effective feedback on the road to publication. Education Session APTA Combined Sections Meeting 2019.

Nelson P, Boissonnault J, Anderson K, Dockter M, Figuers C. The What, When, Where and How of Women's health Content in DPT Education. Panel Presentation at APTA Combined Sections Meeting; February 2017; San Antonio, Tx.

Anderson K, Boissonnault J, Dockter M, Nelson P, Figuers C. New guidelines for women’s health content in professional physical therapist education. Platform presented at WCPT Conference; Oct 2017; South Africa.

Wise, D, Carey J., Domholdt, E, Dockter  M, Wolf M. Managing the at-risk student: when sailing isn't smooth from admission to graduation. Panel presented at: APTA Combined Sections Meeting; February 2013; San Diego, CA.

Nelson P, Figuers C, Dockter M, Boissonnault J, et al. Update on entry-level women’s health educational standards. Panel presentation at: APTA Combined Sections Meeting; February 2012; Chicago, Ill.

Lundeen H, Dockter M.  A community partnership between a women’s shelter and a physical therapy program—a look at how service learning works as an instructional strategy for entry-level pediatric and women’s health curricular content.  Platform presented at: APTA Section on Pediatrics Annual Conference; August 2011; Anaheim, CA. 

Dockter M, Stark C, Fred S, Johs L, Bakkum J. Section on Women’s Health members’ perceptions of mentoring entry-level students in clinical education. Platform presented at: APTA Combined Sections Meeting; February 2011; New Orleans, LA.

Rich N, Dockter M, Abraham K, Borello-France D. Using evidence in practice: writing a case report. Pre-conference course at: APTA Combined Sections Meeting; February 2010; San Diego, CA.

Dockter M, Figuers C, Hartley G, Hendricks C, Schwoerer C, Thompson M. Professional development opportunities in women’s health. Panel presentation at: APTA Combined Sections Meeting; February 2008; Nashville, TN.

Dockter M. Service orientated learning experience (SOLE): integrating servant leadership into a PT program. Presentation at: APTA  Education Leadership Conference; October 2007; Minneapolis, MN.

Dockter M. An international service- learning experience for PT students: its meaning and effect on civic engagement and leadership skills.  Platform presented at: APTA Combined Sections Meeting; February 2005; New Orleans, LA.

Boissonnault J, Irion J, LaPorta L, Anderson K, Dunbar A, Dockter M. Entry-level women’s health educational standards. Panel presentation at: APTA Combined Sections Meeting; February 2004; Nashville, TN.

Dockter, M. A description of a physical therapy service learning field study in Guatemala.  Poster presented at: APTA Combined Sections Conference; February 2003; Tampa, FL.

Anderson T, Dockter M. Integrating a service-orientated leadership experience (SOLE) into professional programs.  Poster presented at: Collaboration Conference; November 2002; Minneapolis, MN.