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Nortin M Hadler, MD, MACP, MACR, FACOEM - Division of Rheumatology, Allergy, and Immunology

Nortin M Hadler, MD, MACP, MACR, FACOEM

Professor Emeritus of Medicine and Microbiology/Immunology

Contact Information


1022 Highland Woods
Chapel Hill, NC 27517


Nortin M Hadler, MD, MACP, MACR, FACOEM

Professor Emeritus 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 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.

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 hyaluron 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  The focus on basic biology was superseded by what he initially termed “industrial rheumatology.”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-five years ago, he turned his critical razor to much that is considered contemporary medicine at its finest. Assaults on medicalization and overtreatment have appeared in many editorials and commentaries, and in many books including 7 published by UNC Press. Dr. Hadler is a frequent commentator for the print and broadcast media on a wide range of topics. Over the course of his career, he has been invited to lecture at most medical schools in North America, in the antipodes, and in western Europe. He has delivered the Keynote for many meetings of non-academic organizations and has served lengthy Visiting Professorships in England, France, Israel, and Japan.

He has also delivered many named lectureships such as the Commencement Address for the U Michigan Medical School, the RACP Ferguson-Glass Oration, and a YAA Address at Yale. He served 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 detailed in the most recent book published by UNC Press.

  • Undergraduate

    Yale College

  • Medical School

    Harvard Medical School

  • Other

    Massachusetts General Hospital

  • Other

    National Institutes of Health

  • Other

    Clinical Research Centre in London