Nortin M. Hadler, MD
MACP, MACR, FACOEM
Dr. Hadler is a graduate of Yale College and The Harvard Medical School. 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. He 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 The focus on basic biology was superseded by what he initially termed “industrial rheumatology.”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.
Fifteen 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 6 monographs: McGill-Queens University Press published The Last Well Person. How to stay well despite the health-care system in 2004 (paperback 2007). UNC Press published Worried Sick. A prescription for health in an overtreated America (2008, paperback 2012), Stabbed in the Back. Confronting back pain in an overtreated society (2009), Rethinking Aging. Growing old and living well in an overtreated society (2011), Citizen Patient. Reforming health care for the sake of the patient, not the system (2013) and By the Bedside of the Patient. Lessons for the twenty-first-century physician (2016). Les Presses de l'Université Laval published the French translations: Le Dernier des Bien Portants (2008), Malades d’inquiétude (2010), Poignardé dans le dos (2011 and won Prix Prescrire in 2012), Repenser le vieillissement (2013) and Citoyen et Patient (2014).
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.