Amber Fitzsimmons, PT, MS, DPTSc

Associate Professor and Chair, UCSF

Email: [email protected]
Mailing: UCSF, Box 0736, San Francisco, CA 94143


  • BS, Biochemistry, California State University, San Luis Obispo, CA, 1993
  • MS, Physical Therapy, Pacific University, Forest Grove, OR, 1996
  • DPTSc, Physical Therapy, University of California, San Francisco / San Francisco State University, CA, 2013



Dr. Fitzsimmons is an Associate Professor with joint appointments in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science and the School of Medicine’s Anatomy Department, and was named Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science on July 1, 2018. Prior to her return to academia for her doctorate research, she worked for over a decade in clinical practice with an emphasis on acute care and acute rehabilitation. She is the course director for PT 201: Physical Therapy Assessment, for first-year physical therapy students; PT 735: Psychosocial Issues in Rehabilitation Sciences, for second-year students; and PT 215: C.A.R.E. (Compassion, Accountability, Responsibility, and Excellence), a longitudinal course for first-year students. In addition, she serves as the physical therapy faculty lead in the Interprofessional Education (IPE) program. She also serves on the committee of educational technology, and is the faculty liaison for UCSF diversity initiatives.


  • PT 201A PT Assessment
  • PT 201B/PT 700A Mobility is Medicine Clinical Experience
  • PT 215/216 C.A.R.E (Compassion, Accountability, Responsibility and Excellence)
  • PT 735/737 Psychosocial Issues of Rehabilitation
  • Anatomy laboratory instructor for Medical School Foundations: Ground School, ABC, M3, H&I, Life Cycle, REGN


  • Pedagogy of teaching including interprofessional education
  • Interprofessional collaborative practice for vulnerable older adults with complex needs
  • Professionalism education and assessment
  • Early integrated clinical experiences in medical education
  • Mixed method and qualitative research methods


Dr. Fitzsimmons received her Doctor of Science degree in Physical Therapy (DPTSc) from the University of California, San Francisco in 2013 and joined the faculty in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science in October 2013. Her research interests incorporate the pedagogy associated with interprofessional medical education, including clinical education and the anatomical sciences. Current research projects include early integration of clinical experiences in the longitudinal physical therapy curriculum, professionalism education and assessment in medical education, and interprofessional quality improvement and patient safety initiatives regarding falls in the academic medical center.


  • Fitzsimmons A, Topp K, O'Brien B. Investigation into physical therapy students’ interprofessional experiences during an eight-week clinical clerkship: Qualitative Study. J of Phys Ther Educ. Accepted and publish date April 2017.
  • Boet S, Pigford AA, Fitzsimmons A, Reeves S, Triby E, Bould D. Interprofessional team debriefings with or without an instructor: a qualitative study. J Interprof Care 2016 pgs 1-9; DOI 10.1080/13561820.2016.1181616.
  • Copti N, Shebib R, Wanek L and Fitzsimmons, A. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Inclusion in Physical Therapy: Advocating for Cultural Competency in Physical Therapy Education Across the United States. J of Phys Ther Educ. Accepted and expected publish date October 2016.
  • Fitzsimmons A, Cisneros B, and Samore J (2014). A learner-developed longitudinal interprofessional education curriculum. Journal of Intperprofessional Care. 1-2. (doi:10.3109/13561820.2013.820692).
  • Rivera J, Yukawa M, Hyde S, Fitzsimmons A, Christman J, Gahbauer A, Scheid A, Wamsley M. Interprofessional Standardized Patient Exercise (ISPE): The Case of “Elsie Smith”. MedEdPORTAL; 2013.

View the list on Pubmed.


  • UCSF Academy of Medical Educators
  • UCSF Interprofessional Humanistic Teaching Fellowship 2016-2017
  • UCSF Teaching Scholars Fellow, 2015-2016
  • UCSF Excellence in Teaching Award, 2014
  • UCSF School of Medicine Essential Core Teaching Award: Commitment to Teaching, 2014