Elizabeth (Elise) Ruckert, PT, DPT, NCS, GCS

Associate Professor of Clinical Physical Therapy

Professional Interests

Dr. Elizabeth Ruckert is a board-certified clinical specialist in Neurology and Geriatrics through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties. Dr. Ruckert practices clinically at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington, D.C., where she specializes in rehabilitation of stroke, traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury patients.

Dr. Ruckert has a passion for teaching and educational research. Her research interests relate to education pedagogy, instructional design in both online and face-to-face environments, clinical reasoning and mindset. She has more than 10 years of experience in entry-level physical therapy programs related to neurology, aging, clinical reasoning and differential diagnosis.

Dr. Ruckert also has extensive physical therapy residency education expertise. She is a graduate of the USC-Rancho Los Amigos neurologic residency program in 2008. She later created and directed the MedStar-George Washington University neurologic physical therapy residency program for seven years, and later served on the Accreditation Services Council of the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency & Fellowship Education for more than five years. Currently, she serves on the Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy’s Online Education Committee.

Dr. Ruckert teaches in the second year of the DPT curriculum in the neurologic course content.


  • Graduate Certificate, Leadership Development & Adult Learning, George Washington University, 2013
  • Graduate Certificate, Neurologic Physical Therapy, University of Southern California, 2008
  • Doctor of Physical Therapy, Ithaca College, 2006

Selected Publications

  • Scalzitti DA, Harwood KJ, Maring JR, Leach SJ, Ruckert EA, Costello E. Validation of the 2 minute walk test with the 6 minute walk test and other activity measures in persons with multiple sclerosis. International Journal of MS Care. 2018; 20:158-163.
  • Costello E, Ruckert E, Birkmeier M, Lyons L, Cotton L. To Treat or Not to Treat: The use of computer assisted learning to enhance clinical decision-making and self-efficacy of student physical therapists in the acute care setting. Journal of Physical Therapy Education. 2017; 31:27-36.
  • Leach S, Ruckert E. Neurologic changes with aging, physical activity, and sport participation. Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation. 2016; 32: 24-33.
  • Ruckert E, McDonald P, Birkmeier M, Walker B, Cotton L, Lyons L, Straker H, Plack M. Using technology to promote active learning and social learning experiences in health professions education. Online Learning.  2014; 18 (4).
  • Ruckert E, Plack M, Maring J. A Model for Designing a Geriatrics Course Grounded in Educational Principles and Active Learning Strategies. Journal of Physical Therapy Education. 2014; 28:69-84.

Selected Book Chapters

  • Ruckert E, Plack MM. Digging Deeper: Going Beyond the Basics to Facilitate Higher-Order and Critical Thinking. Teaching & Learning in Physical Therapy: From Classroom to Clinic. Plack MM, Driscoll M (Eds). 2ndEdition. SLACK Incorporated, 2017.
  • McDonald P, Ruckert E, Barnett J, Straker H, Ekmecki, O. Technological Innovation in Online Classrooms: Meeting the Needs of the 21st Century Workforce in Health Professions Education. Bing H (Ed). In: Volume III: Contemporary Perspectives on Technological Innovation, Management, and Policy. IAP Information Age Publishing, Inc, 2017.
  • Leach S, Ruckert E. Making a Plan: Balance and Gait Intervention for the Older Adult. Lewis C (Ed). In: Physical Therapy for the Older Adult (eBook). Wolter Klewers Health, 2017.