Nortin M. Hadler, MD, MACP, MACR, FACOEM

Nortin M. Hadler, MD, MACP, MACR, FACOEM

Emeritus Professor of Medicine and Microbiology/Immunology

3330 Thurston Building
Campus Box 7280
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7280
919-616-3006


Specialty Areas:  Dr. Hadler no longer takes new-patient referrals. However, he is available to physicians, scholars and administrators to discuss matters that relate to clinical rheumatology and to relevant issues in workplace health and safety and in health policy.

Chronology:  Dr. Hadler is a graduate of Yale College (AB 1964, magna cum laude) and The Harvard Medical School (MD 1968, cum laude). He trained at the Massachusetts General Hospital, the National Institutes of Health, and the Clinical Research Centre in London. He was certified a Diplomate of the American Boards of Internal Medicine, Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology, and Geriatrics. He joined the faculty of the University of North Carolina in 1973, was promoted to Professor in 1985 and transitioned to Emeritus Professor of Medicine and Microbiology/Immunology in 2015.

Description of research and/or clinical interests:  Dr. Hadler served as Attending Rheumatologist at the UNC Hospitals until 2015. In recognition of his clinical activities, he was elevated to Mastership in both the American College of Physicians and the American College of Rheumatology.

The molecular biology of hyaluran and the immunobiology of peptidoglycans were the focus of his early investigative career. Because of the contributions of his laboratory, he was selected as an Established Investigator of the American Heart Association and elected to membership in the American Society for Clinical Investigation.  His focus on basic biology was superseded by what he initially termed “industrial rheumatology.” Over 200 papers and 12 books bear witness to his analyses of “the illness of work Incapacity” including the sociopolitical constraints imposed by various nations faced with the challenges of applying disability and compensation insurance schemes to predicaments such as back pain and arm pain in the workplace as well as for a more global illness narrative such as is labeled “fibromyalgia.” He is widely regarded for his critical assessment of the limitations of certainty regarding medical and surgical management of the regional musculoskeletal disorders. The third edition of his monograph, Occupational Musculoskeletal Disorders, was published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins in 2005 and provides a ready resource as to his thinking on the regional musculoskeletal disorders. In recognition of this work he was elected to the National Academy of Social Insurance and is a Fellow of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 

Fifteen years ago he turned his focus to much that is considered contemporary medicine at its finest. Assaults on medicalization and overtreatment have appeared in many editorials and commentaries, and in the 6 monographs listed below. Dr. Hadler has lectured widely, including many named lectureships, and is a frequent commentator for the print and broadcast media. He has garnered multiple awards and served lengthy Visiting Professorships in England, France, Israel and Japan. In 2015 he assumed a leadership role in an initiative designed to provide rational health care as an evidence-based, cost effective, employer-sponsored, defined contribution, insurance benefit.

Selected Bibliography:

Hadler NM. By the Bedside of the Patient. Lessons for the twenty-first-century physician. Chapel Hill, UNC Press, 2016, pp. 1-210.

Hadler NM. Citizen Patient. Reforming health care for the sake of the patient, not the system. Chapel Hill, UNC Press, 2013, pp. 1-245. Available as an audiobook (Audible Amazon) and in a French Edition, Citoyen et Patient. Réforme les services de santé pour le bien des patients, pas du système, Les Presses de  l'Université Laval, 2014, pp.1-263.

Hadler NM. Rethinking aging. Growing old and living well in an overtreated society. Chapel Hill, UNC Press, 2011, pp. 1-254. Available as an audiobook (Audible Amazon) and in a French Edition, Repenser le vieillissement: Vieillir et bien vivre dans une société  surtraitée, Les Presses de  l'Université Laval, 2013. Co-Published by University of Capetown Press, 2012.

Hadler NM. Stabbed in the Back. Confronting back pain in an overtreated society. Chapel Hill, UNC Press, 2009, pp. 1-204. Available as an audiobook (Audible Amazon) and in a French Edition, Poignardé dans le dos, Les Presses de  l'Université Laval / Les Éditions de l'IQRC in 2011, which won the Prix Prescrire in Paris in 2012.

Hadler NM. Worried Sick. A prescription for health in an overtreated America. Chapel Hill, UNC Press, 2008, pp. 1-376.  Chosen by The Caravan Project (www.caravanbooks.org) for simultaneous release as an e-book, large print format paperback, and audio book. A paperback edition was published in 2012 by UNC Press and a French Edition, Malades d’inquiétude, by Les Presses de l'Université Laval / Les Éditions de l'IQRC in 2010.

Hadler NM. Occupational Musculoskeletal Disorders. Third Edition. Philadelphia, Lippincott Williams & Williams, 2005, pp. 1-339.

Hadler NM. The Last Well Person. How to stay well despite the health-care system. Montreal, McGill-Queens University Press, 2004, pp. 1-313. Paperback released May 2007. Available as an audiobook (Audible Amazon) and in a French Edition, Le Dernier des Bien-Portants, Les Presses de l'Université Laval / Les Éditions de l'IQRC in November, 2008. 

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