Our UHN programs and services are among the most advanced in the world. We have grouped our physicians, staff, services and resources into 10 medical programs to meet the needs of our patients and help us make the most of our resources.
University Health Network is a health care and medical research organization in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The scope of research and complexity of cases at UHN has made us a national and international source for discovery, education and patient care.
Our 10 medical programs are spread across eight hospital sites – Princess Margaret, Toronto General, Toronto Rehab’s five sites, Toronto Western – as well as our education programs through the Michener Institute of Education at UHN. Learn more about the services, programs and amenities offered at each location.
Maps & Directions
Find out how to get to and around our nine locations — floor plans, parking, public transit, accessibility services, and shuttle information.
Ways You Can Help
Being touched by illness affects us in different ways. Many people want to give back to the community and help others. At UHN, we welcome your contribution and offer different ways you can help so you can find one that suits you.
The Newsroom is the source for media looking for information about UHN or trying to connect with one of our experts for an interview. It’s also the place to find UHN media policies and catch up on our news stories, videos, media releases, podcasts and more.
Despite being hampered by painful injuries, many athletes continue to compete and win. A prime example came in 1964 when Toronto defenseman Bobby Baun fractured his ankle earlier in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final before coming back to score the overtime winner, helping the Maple Leafs win their third consecutive championship.
Why is it that some individuals can perform a task – and do it well – while experiencing pain?
Krembil Research Institute Senior Scientist Dr.
Karen Davis has shown that individuals can be classified as one of two types depending on how pain affects their performance. In P-type individuals, pain interferes with performing a task; whereas, in A-type individuals, such as Bobby Baun, pain enhances their performance.
To gain a better understanding of this divergent behaviour during pain and the factors that contribute to it, Dr. Davis and her PhD student Joshua Cheng led a study examining brain function in these two groups.
The study included 51 healthy participants who were asked to perform a challenging mental task such as counting the number of digits within three boxes on screen and reporting which box has the largest number of digits as quickly and accurately as possible. All participants performed the task 96 times, half with the application of a painful electrical sensation on their skin, the other half without. They also underwent a functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) scan to record their spontaneous brain activity at rest, or when not performing the task.
The researchers found that pain reduced the speed and consistency of task performance in P-type individuals; whereas it enhanced the speed and consistency of performance in A-type individuals.
By examining the fMRI scans, they also found that task performance was linked to participants' brain activity at rest. Specifically, activity between two major brain networks, the executive control network and the salience network, as well as within the salience network, was less sporadic, or less flexible in P-type individuals. On the other hand, activity between/within these brain networks was more sporadic, or more flexible, in A-type individuals.
These findings suggest that increased flexibility in communication within the brain is important for prioritizing task performance over pain.
Future research will examine how treatments for chronic pain – medications, meditation and cognitive-behavioural therapy – affect flexibility in communication within the brain, which may contribute to more personalized treatments for chronic pain.
This work was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Ontario government, the University of Toronto and the Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation.
Learn more about the study ».