Skip to main content

Emeritus Professor of Medicine and Microbiology/Immunology

Areas of Interest

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.


Dr. Hadler served as Attending Rheumatologist at the UNC Hospitals till 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. The focus on basic biology was superseded by what he initially termed “industrial rheumatology.”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

Twenty years ago, he turned his critical razor to much that is considered contemporary medicine at its finest. Assaults on medicalization and over-treatment have appeared in many editorials and commentaries, and in the 7 books 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. He is on the Governing Committee of the National Courts and Sciences Institute’s Center for Science, Health and the Courts. 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 – an initiative in monetizing altruism detailed in the most recent book.

Education and Training

  • Undergraduate Yale College
  • Medical School The Harvard Medical School
  • Other Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Other National Institutes of Health
  • Other Clinical Research Centre in London

Selected Bibliography:

Hadler NM, Carter SP. Promoting Worker Health. A new approach to employee benefits in the twenty-first century. Chapel Hill, UNC Press, 2018.
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 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.

  • Phone Number

    919-616-3006 (Office Phone)

  • Address

    3330 Thurston Building

    Campus Box 7280

    Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7280