Betty Smoot, PT, MAS, DPTSc

Associate Professor, UCSF

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


  • BA, Biology, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA, 1981
  • Post-baccalaureate Certificate, Physical Therapy, University of California, San Francisco, CA, 1983
  • DPTSc, Physical Therapy, University of California, San Francisco / San Francisco State University, CA, 2009
  • MAS (Masters of Advanced Studies), Clinical Research, University of California, San Francisco, 2015



Dr. Smoot received her entry level physical therapy training from UCSF in 1983. Her clinical experience has included practice in a variety of settings. As an inpatient physical therapist, she treated patients in acute care, sub-acute, and skilled nursing facilities. As an outpatient Physical Therapist, where she spent most of her time, she treated primarily patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain using a multimodal approach (soft tissue and joint mobilization, exercise, biofeedback/relaxation training, and patient education). She has certification as a massage therapist, ACSM Health and Fitness Instructor (now called ACSM-Certified Exercise Physiologist), lymphedema therapist, and ACSM/ACS Cancer Exercise Trainer. She earned her Doctor of Science degree in Physical Therapy (DPTSc) from the University of California, San Francisco in 2009, and joined the faculty in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science in April 2010. She also has a joint appointment in the Department of Anatomy, as a member of the anatomy teaching team. She is Associate Professor, and was appointed as Program Director in 2018. Dr. Smoot serves on and is the current chair of the Committee for Early Career Anatomists of the American Association of Anatomists. 


  • PT 251 Research Design
  • PT 200 Neuromusculoskeletal Anatomy
  • PT 205 Functional Anatomy
  • PT 920/921 Case Reports
  • Medical School, Department of Anatomy: Ground School; Airways, Blood, and Circulation; Renal, Endocrine, GI, and Nutrition; Pathogens & Host Defense; Life Stages; Brain, Movement, & Behavior


  • Effects of cancer treatment on physical function
  • Assessment of secondary lymphedema
  • Musculoskeletal and neuropathic pain


Dr. Smoot's research encompasses two related areas: 1) The effects of breast cancer treatment on upper extremity function, and 2) the clinical prediction, diagnosis, and management of breast cancer-related lymphedema. Current research includes evaluation of phenotypic and genotypic predictors associated with increased risk for development of lymphedema after breast cancer treatment, collaboration with Dr. Christine Miaskowski at UCSF.  Dr. Smoot i she primary investigator on a pilot randomized controlled trial comparing the effects of two massage techniques on breast cancer-related lymphedema. She also collaborates with Dr. Benjamin Boyd from Samuel Merritt University investigating upper limb mechanosensitivity and recognition of limb laterality in women after breast cancer treatment.

In 2013, she was awarded a UCSF-Kaiser/DOR Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health Program (BIRCWH) K12 mentored career award to support her research in assessment of breast cancer related lymphedema.  She was awarded the Foundation for Physical Therapy Research Magistro Family Foundation Grant in 2016. 



  • Research Award, California Physical Therapy Association, 2008
  • Graduate Student Distinguished Achievement Award, San Francisco State University, 2009
  • Medi Certified Lymphedema Therapist Scholarship, Norton School of Lymphedema, 2010
  • American Association of Anatomist Training Program Scholarship, 2010
  • Faculty Publication Award, California Physical Therapy Association, 2011
  • Excellence in Teaching Award in Medical Education from the Haile T. Debas Academy of Medical Educators, UCSF, 2012
  • Essential Core Teaching Award (Commitment to Teaching Category), 2013
  • UCSF-Kaiser Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health (BIRCWH) Scholar, 2013
  • First Time Writers Award: Journal of Hand Therapy, 2014
  • Alumni of the Year, UCSF/SFSU Graduate Program in Physical Therapy, 2016
  • Magistro Family Foundation Research Grant, 2016