suzanacorritoriI am native of former Yugoslavia where herbal tradition has always been strong. Herbs were always part of my life, inseparably and tightly woven into the fabric of my family, traditions and customs. My earliest and most influential foundation and exposure to the herbal world was provided by my grandparents, my grandfather in particular, who spent all his professional life in the department of medicinal herbs at a local pharmaceutical company.

My Grandpa wanted me to continue the family tradition and study pharmacognosy, but I focused on medicine instead, and received my MD degree at the University of Belgrade. After completion of my internship and Board certification in general medicine, I shifted my interest toward science. I completed first a three-year postgraduate program earning a Master’s Degree in pharmacology and three years later, a PhD in neuroscience. In parallel, my employment brought me closer to the pharmaceutical world. After spending first two and a half years teaching pharmacology at the university, I accepted position in a local pharmaceutical company, spending the next 20 or so years in the corporate biopharmaceutical drug development. My postdoctoral studies and employment for US pharmaceutical company brought me permanently to USA in 1997, specifically to Southern California, where I still work and reside with my husband and our 9-year old son.

My medical and scientific education and years of work in the biopharmaceutical industry only helped me to realize that healing has many different forms and that the integration of all of these different approaches is the key to wellness. I saw that herbal medicine was a further step in maturing as a healer which I came to believe is my ultimate calling. Therefore, I joined the East West School of Planetary Herbology in August 2011 as no other school reflects better this integrative approach toward healing. I am currently pursuing my studies with East West School at the intermediate level.

I have a lifelong passion for herbs, nature and beauty that is reflected in all aspects of my life, including spiritual beliefs. I tend my herbal garden, spend time in nature as much as possible, I surround myself with fine art, books and music as well as with people, and try to help spread the awareness about the power of herbs. I also teach my son about herbs so the family tradition can go on.

Herbs teach me humility, dedication and perseverance in my service to myself and others. I hope that upon completion of my herbal studies, I will be able to continue my family legacy and legacy of my school and teachers through my own herbal practice, and thus, give back to the community all benefits of my education and experience.

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