Graeme Tobyn graduated from Leeds University in 1978 with a degree in Russian with Italian. He developed the Latin and French he learned at school for use in his later studies of the histories of Renaissance and early modern medicine. He trained in herbal medicine in the 1980s, graduating with the top award and, after a six-month engagement as a phlebotomist at University College Hospital, London, entered practice in 1990 as a herbalist and member (later fellow) of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists. He became a herbal trainer in 1993, working at several NIMH training clinics, and switched to external clinical examiner for two BSc Herbal Medicine programmes from 2007. In 2000 he joined UCLan as a senior lecturer and took over the leadership of the BSc Herbal Medicine there the following year. His teaching focus on the programme (2001-2012) was in clinical examination skills and therapeutics. He completed his PGDipHE in 2005. Since 2011 he has been leader of the MSc Herbal Medicine, and in 2016 took over the running of the MSc Integrated Healthcare. In 2015 he was visiting botanical medicine scholar at Bastyr university, Seattle, USA. In 2017 he was awarded a PhD in the history of medicine from Lancaster University.
Graeme is engaged in supporting undergraduate and postgraduate learning in research methods in the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing. He is module lead for the masters dissertation module and is a reviewer for STEMH ethics committee, and a supervisor and director of studies for doctoral students. He is part of the team involved in training Advanced Clinical Practitioners, and also contributes at UG and PG levels to teaching public health policy, the integration of health and social care and sustainability in healthcare. His research interests include the history of medicine and health education and he is a reviewer for the Journal of Herbal Medicine.
Graeme worked as a medical herbalist in NHS primary care for two and a half years in the mid-1990s and has lectured in herbal medicine in several countries, including US, Russia and Ireland. He has taken part in several TV documentaries including BBC4's The Rebel Physician about the seventeenth-century herbalist Nicholas Culpeper.