Hance Clarkem, MD, PhD
SPECIALTY AND TITLE
Anesthesiologist / Pain Medicine Specialist
Toronto General Hospital / University Health Network
University of Toronto, Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
AREA OF RESEARCH
My research program continues to be focused on improving the lives of Canadians suffering from chronic pain. The cost to our system for treating chronic pain is upwards of $40 billion annually. Our team has helped to shift and shape the national and international landscape with respect to postoperative care and persistent opioid use after surgery based on research to date from our multidisciplinary Transitional Pain Service (TPS) at the Toronto General Hospital, which was the product of decades of empirical research. Specific areas of ongoing research include the areas of Acute Pain, Transitional Pain, Chronic Pain, Solutions to the Canadian Opioid Crisis, Improving the evidence base for cannabis based medicines, as well as, improving chronic pain knowledge for Indigenous Communities.
MAJOR CONTRIBUTIONS TO SCIENCE AND/OR HEALTH CARE DELIVERY
Our team established the World’s First Multidisciplinary Transitional Pain Service Program in 2014. We have completed research into appropriate opioid prescribing in the perioperative setting and created guidelines for appropriate postoperative prescribing for pain medications following elective surgery. Our research group continues to lead the field with respect to determining factors associated with the conversion of an acute pain to a chronic pain condition, and recently published a trajectory paper using the Transitional Pain Service cohort. With several UHN colleagues we successfully launched the Centre for Cannabinoid Therapeutics, an interdisciplinary group of world-class researchers and clinicians with expertise in cannabis/cannabinoids conducting translational research and defining clinical practice in cannabis, cannabis-derived products and cannabinoids. We were awarded a $1.5 million team grant with expected results in 2025.