Samantha L Wilson, PhD

Children’s Wisconsin since 2008
  • Associate professor, the Medical College of Wisconsin
  • Infant Mental Health Mentor – Clinical (Level IV)

Accepting new patients




Samantha L. Wilson, Ph.D., IMH-E® IV, is Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the division of Child Development at the Medical College of Wisconsin. She is the staff psychologist within the International Adoption Clinic at Children’s Wisconsin. In this role, she provides support to families at all stages of their adoption journeys, including pre-adoption education, initial consultation following a child’s immigration, developmental and psychosocial assessment, and child/family therapy. She has authored/co-authored numerous peer-reviewed articles in the areas of early child development and/or adoption and is a contributing author to two books on the post-adoption development of children adopted internationally. Dr. Wilson serves as adjunct staff for the Wisconsin-based TIES Adoptive Family Travel program, a heritage travel experience for children and families. Though her clinical specialty pertains to psychosocial development of children adopted internationally, she also has clinical expertise in the mental health needs within domestic adoption and foster care. Dr. Wilson is credentialed within Wisconsin as an Infant Mental Health Mentor (Level IV – Clinical), documenting her expertise attending to the social-emotional development of infants/toddlers. Along with direct service to children and families, she provides reflective supervision to Early Head Start home visitors within Waukesha and West Bend, WI.

Areas of Interest

  • Adoption
  • Child development
  • Dyadic therapy
  • Foster care
  • International adoption
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Education and Awards


  • 2008, Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center, PhD
  • 2003, St Louis University (MO), PhD
  • 2006, St Louis University (MO), PhD
  • 1998, Truman State University, PhD
  • 2006, University of South Florida (Tampa, FL), PhD


  • MCW Outstanding Medical Student Teacher, Global Health, 2013
  • MCW Outstanding Medical Student Teacher, Global Health, 2015
  • Clinical Excellence, MCW Department of Pediatrics, 2018

Dr. Wilson was awarded funding through Rotary International (May/June 2011) to travel through Northeastern Italy during which time she explored aspects of international adoption and early childhood education within that country.

Research and publications


  • Social-emotional and relationship development
  • Trainee experiences during Global Health Medical Electives
  • Adoption-Specific curriculum for medical trainees
  • Heritage travel and Adoptee well-being