Dr. Ruth was the 14th episode in Season 5 of Quantum Leap, also the 89th episode in the series. Directed by Stuart Margolin and written by Robin Jill Bernheim, the episode originally aired on NBC-TV on January 19, 1993. The episode featured a guest star appearance by noted sex therapist and TV/radio show host Dr. Ruth Westheimer.
Sam leaps into sex therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer, plays matchmaker for a couple on the staff of her radio show and helps a woman deal with sexual harassment. Meanwhile, in the waiting room, Dr. Ruth helps Al deal with his fear of abandonment and his inability to tell a woman that he loves her.
As the famous sex doctor Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Sam must help a woman stand up to the sexual harassment by her boss Jonathan (James McDonnell) and get Ruth's coworkers, Doug Bridges (Peter Spears), Dr. Ruth's radio show announcer and Debbie Schaefer (Anita Barone), Ruth's producer, together. Meanwhile, he has a rough time dealing with the subject matter of Dr. Ruth's radio shows.
Things get really dangerous when Sam implores Annie to call the police, as Jonathan has started stalking her. When her boss confronts her at her apartment, Al is observing. Sam runs through the streets to get there. Annie fights back, jabbing Jonathan with a kitchen knife. This enrages him and he rips her blouse and begins to rape her. She struggles and manages to get to the door, unlocking it, but she is overpowered again. In a scene which would look very funny and most likely never happen in real life, Sam (as Dr. Ruth) is able to punch Jonathan out, as the police arrive and arrest him and take him into custody.
Meanwhile, in the waiting room, the real Dr. Ruth has advice for Al. She says that he seems to go out of his way to sabotage all of his relationships. She helps him deal with fear of abandonment issues stemming from his difficult childhood, having lost both of his parents at a young age. His inability to commit to a meaningful relationship since losing Beth has stopped him from expressing his love. Al reaches a milestone and vows to tell Tina, for whom he has developed feelings, that he loves her. As he leaves, Sam leaps and so Dr. Ruth is replaced in the waiting room... seemingly by a vampire.
- This episode marks the only time a leapee plays themselves, as well as the only time Sam leaps into two women in a row.