Allegra Hamman has just been hired as a clinical herbalist to complement the care provider team at Johns Hopkins' Student Health and Wellness Center. She is a nurse practitioner (advanced training, similar to that received by a physician's assistant) with years of experience in the conventional medicine field. This June she received her Master's Degree in herbal sciences from Tai Sophia Institute, making her eminently qualified for her new position.
Though I don't know Allegra or her professional style, I am encouraged to see prestigious institutions such as Johns Hopkins responding to the demand they see in their clinics. As Alan Joffe, clinic director, put it: "There is clearly a group of students at Hopkins who prefer approaching health from a perspective other than what traditional Western medicine has to offer; I want to provide those students with some of those services."
Finally, I believe herbalists, as "generalists" well-equipped to handle a variety of complaints commonly seen in the "family practice" setting, can do a lot meet the needs created by a nationwide physician shortage. We represent an effective treatment modality, with a long historical record and excellent safety. Of course, there will always be those at institutions such as Hopkins who have to push back hard against these changes - largely, I might add, out of ignorance of the herbalists' skills and qualifications.