Pennsylvania suspends psychologist Mervin Smucker, citing earlier Wisconsin action for dual relationship with patient

December 15, 2011

On September 16, 2011, the state of Pennsylvania suspended the license of psychologist Mervin R. Smucker for two years, citing action taken upon him in another state.

The action in question occurred in the state of Wisconsin where, on February 20, 2010, Smucker surrendered his license to the state Psychology Examining Board. According to the Wisconsin Board’s document, Smucker, who held a faculty position at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and provided services at two hospitals in addition to a private practice, engaged in a dual relationship with a patient.

Specifically, the document states that between October 2002 and May 2005, Smucker treated a woman for trauma she had experienced while a foreign exchange student in which she was abducted and raped and witnessed her boyfriend’s murder. Smucker’s dual involvement with the patient included giving her rides home after two or three treatment sessions, being together with the patient in his home or other property he owned and (according the to the patient’s allegations), engaging in sexual contact and intercourse with her while she was his client.

The document states in particular that the patient attended a conference on Child Sexual Abuse and Incest at which Smucker was a presenter and that the two had connecting rooms while they stayed at the hotel. On January 26, 2011, the Psychology Licensing Board of Indiana denied Smucker’s license renewal application. Smucker made a timely request for a Board review of the decision to deny his renewal.

Ultimately, the Board decided to renew the license but placed it on indefinite probation. This action is also in response to the action taken upon Smucker in the state of Wisconsin.  

Source: Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Order in the Matter of the License of Mervin Smucker, Ph.D., License No. 20041542A, Indiana State Psychology Board Cause No. 2010 PB 0003; Final Decision and Order 0000051, in the Matter of the Disciplinary Proceedings Against Mervin R. Smucker, Ph.D., State of Wisconsin Before the Psychology Examining Board and Disciplinary Actions, Pennsylvania Department of State, October 2011.


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