Long before the Falk Foundation existed, it was clear to Dr Herbert Falk that he could not continue to visit doctors all over Germany himself. In the company's early years money was too tight to provide field staff, and so in the mid-1960s the then young entrepreneur decided to raise awareness of his company by organising and supporting postgraduate courses for doctors. This form of support was accompanied by a growing selection of literature. Many helpful brochures about symptoms, diagnosis and therapies were made available for doctors, and later patients, too. The many wall charts providing overviews on a poster of, for example, metabolism of the liver, became well-known.
New ground was broken in terms of size and international participation in October 1967 with the organisation of the "Ikterus" symposium. 800 doctors and scientists from 18 countries came to this congress and it marked the birth of the international Falk Symposium. Since then there have been almost 200 international Falk Symposia and Workshops, and more than 100,000 healthcare professionals from over 100 nations have taken part. Of the many Falk Symposia, the Falk Liver Weeks, which have taken place every three years since 1976 in Basel, returning to Freiburg from 2003 onwards, have been the most important in terms of the number of participants and international recognition. Some of the international Falk Symposia and Workshops have taken place outside Europe, including the ones in San Diego in 1994, Santiago in 1995, Hong Kong in 1996, Sydney in 2006 and HangZhou, China in 2008.
As the work involved in the various activities concerning the congresses and the literature service was continually increasing, and in order to clearly document the content and scientific independence for the outside world, the Falk Foundation was founded in 1978. Since then, as well as the international symposia, around 600 to 700 postgraduate courses and doctor-patient seminars have taken place every year under the autonomous organisation of the Falk Foundation.