The elder of 2 brothers, Hance Clarke is a child of the gold, black and white sand beaches of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. His parents, like many West Indians, immigrated to Canada after the multiculturalism policy was initiated in 1971 by then Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau. Arriving at the tender age of 5, his formative years were spent in the Toronto suburb of Scarborough, where Hance excelled in sports and education equally.

An honour roll student, Hance balanced a love of science, mathematics, and language with soccer, football and baseball. After grade school, he attended Toronto’s prestigious St. Michael’s College, a private all-boys Roman Catholic day school in Toronto, Canada known for its high standard of athletics and academics. He graduated as an Ontario Scholar.

He is graduate of the University of Western Ontario’s Faculty of Science where he earned an Honours Bachelor of Science with Distinction with a Double Major in Physiology and Psychology. While in London, Hance moonlighted by night successfully as an event producer to secure money for school, and proudly produced a mas band for 300 masqueraders at Caribana, North America’s largest street festival in Toronto. An avid member of his Caribbean community, Hance was a member of the University of Western’s Caribbean Student Organization (CSO) and Black Students Association (BSA). He remains active and engaged in student development and mentorship projects.

Upon his return to Toronto, Hance completed The Collaborative Program in Neuroscience, graduating with a Master of Science from the University of Toronto’s Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology. He completed his MD at U of T’s Faculty of Medicine, and then his PhD with the Institute of Medical Sciences/Royal College Clinical Investigator Program at University of Toronto.

Today, Hance is proud and active father of 2 boys who enjoys playing soccer, skiing, and travel. He is a Day 1 Raptors fan and seat holder and lover of reggae music. A devoted patient advocate, Hance maintains a demanding public speaking schedule and is a constant in the media as a champion of evidence-based solutions for the opioid crisis worldwide, multidisciplinary chronic pain management and the safe introduction of cannibis for patients.


Dr. Hance Clarke is a staff anesthesiologist and the Director of Pain Services at the Pain Research Unit at the Toronto General Hospital. He is currently the knowledge Translation Chair for the University of Toronto Centre for the Study of Pain, and in 2016, Dr. Clarke was awarded an early Career Award from the Canadian Pain Society. 

He has been recognized internationally for his research productivity and improvements to patient care. Of all of his accomplishments, Dr. Clarke is proud of his role as lead in the The Toronto General Hospital’s development and implementation of the World’s 1st Transitional Pain Service  - a multidisciplinary program to prevent chronic post-surgical pain.

Dr. Clarke has also played a leading role in educating the Canadian public about pain control, risk factors for chronic opioid use, alternatives to opioids as a pioneering strategy at TGH; misconceptions about opioid use, and the need for further studies on understanding the beneficial and adverse effects of cannabis. He is a public champion of evidence-based solutions for the opioid crisis and a national pain and addictions strategist.

His research interests include identifying novel acute pain treatments following major surgery, identifying the factors involved in the transition of acute post-surgical pain to chronic pain, studying the genetics of acute and chronic pain after surgery, and identifying risk factors associated with continued opioid use and poor health related quality of life after major surgery as well as the efficacy of hyperbaric medicine. Throughout his career, he has authored over 100 peer reviewed manuscripts.