Skip to main content

About the Author

Dr. Mary Dockter
Dean, Saint Gianna School of Health Sciences
University of Mary

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 medicine. 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 settings, including acute care, outpatient orthopedics, and home health care. During this time, she also became passionate and active in the area of women’s health PT. In 1998, Dockter transitioned to academia at the University of Mary, where she completed her Master’s degree in Education; and subsequently, a PhD in Higher Education (UND). While full-time faculty, she also assumed the role of Director of Clinical Education, and Physical Therapy Department Chair (2010-2020). In June 2020, Dockter was promoted to Dean of the School of Health Sciences.

Dockter has an extensive research and professional service background at the university level as well as with outside professional organizations, including serving a term as Director of Education for the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Academy of Pelvic Health and numerous task forces related to entry-level and post-professional women’s health education. Additionally, she served two terms on the nominating committee for the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy (ACAPT) and was elected in 2019 to the ACAPT board of directors. She is a long-term active member of APTA ND and just completed her second 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 and continues in that role. She is the past recipient of the Bismarck-Mandan Chamber Outstanding Teacher of the Year (2004), Volunteer of the Year for the Academy of Pelvic Health (2005, 2015), and Academy of Pelvic Health Elizabeth Noble Award (2013). She was selected to participate in the inaugural APTA Educational Leadership Institute Fellowship in 2011 and completed this in July 2012. Mary is also actively engaged in University service, including 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, two 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 graduate students.

Published Pieces


The Principles of Catholic Bioethics

In the rapidly-developing health sciences, a firm foundation in the principles of Catholic bioethics illuminates the moral decision-making process of healthcare workers.

Rev. Tadeusz Pacholczyk
Dr. Mary Dockter
Feb 10, 2022
A stethoscope

The Renewal of Catholic Health Sciences Education

How can students be formed as healthcare providers with a solid foundation in Catholic Social Teaching within the limits and opportunities of a secular curricular framework?

Dr. Mary Dockter
May 13, 2021