"Herbal treatment is extensively sought and used by a vast segment of the patient population. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 80 percent of the world's population presently uses herbal medicine for some aspect of primary health care. In a NIH sponsored survey of U.S. adults, 18 and over, published in 2004, herbal therapy was the most commonly used CAM (complementary and alternative medicine) therapy used when all use of prayer was excluded.

In fact, approximately 25 percent of modern medicines used in the U.S. have been derived from plants first used traditionally. Therefore, the utility and efficacy of numerous herbal treatments for a variety of clinical indications have been well supported by rigorous scientific analyses. Given the already pervasive use of herbal therapies and growing bodies of evidence for their appropriate use, it is imperative for physicians to be knowledgeable in this area. Physicians represent the class of health care professionals best positioned to deliver this treatment modality safely and synergistically alongside "modern" or "Western" medical interventions. The necessity of this Course, as well as the enthusiasm with which it is received annually by its participants is well "documented."