When to Seek the Counsel of a General Practitioner

I received your letter of the 27th of MarCheshvan in which you describe the health status of your wife tichye. According to her present doctor, she is suffering from any number of health problems. [You also write that] from time to time she has gall bladder attacks and is presently bedridden because of various pains:

In my opinion, it would be worthwhile to find a general practitioner, i.e., someone who may not be so renowned but has knowledge of all these ailments. Share with him the opinions of all the doctors who treated your wife until now.

Ask this doctor to get involved in [her case] and to provide her with a specific diet and general instructions on how to improve her health.

Since our Sages, of blessed memory, have stated that healing comes through “a specific medication and a particular healer,” etc., without [his ability to succeed in healing] being limited to his greatness and renown, it is quite possible that specifically such a doctor will figure out exactly what ails her and that her healing will come about through him.

With blessings that you be able to relate glad tidings to me about the improvement of your wife tichye’s health.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. V, p. 50)

When the Opinions of Doctors Differ

With regard to that which you write about your health [and the differing opinions of the doctors as to which course of action to follow]:

In a situation where there is — such as you write — disagreement between doctors, you should make a consultation with three doctors and follow the opinion of the majority.

May G‑d will it that [in the medical advice you receive] there be fulfilled the blessing of,1G‑d will bless you in all that you do.”

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XXIV, p. 185)

Hesitation About Receiving Conflicting Medical Advice

.. This is in regard to your question at the conclusion of your letter, whether you should see a more expert doctor than Dr. ... . You are hesitant about doing so as the new doctor may have a different opinion from the first, and then you would not know how to decide:

Even if this difference of opinion should arise — something that you cannot possibly know at present — you can then deal with it. [It should not, however, negate seeing a greater medical authority.]

[If there should be two opposite medical opinions,] the way to then deal with this situation is the following:

Either follow your instincts, for as the Shulchan Aruch rules that in medical matters the patient himself is sometimes the best judge; or present both opinions to a doctor who is neutral [and follow the objective opinion of the neutral doctor]. ...

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. X, p. 170)

Continue Seeing the Doctor Whom You Trust Most

In response to your question [of which one of your former doctors you should now continue to see]:

Continue seeing the doctor in whom you place the most confidence and trust.

(Likkutei Sichos, Vol. XXXVI, p. 2812 )

Follow the Opinion of Majority of Doctors —
If They All Disagree, Follow Advice of Family Physician

With regard to your medical treatment:

Ask the opinion of a third specialist; if he agrees with the opinion of one [of the first two doctor’s who are in disagreement,] then follow his advice.

If the specialist should offer a third opinion, then convey all this to your family doctor and consult with him as to what you should actually do.

(Ibid.3 )

When Doctors’ Egos Are Involved

You write about ... shetlita and that they are consulting with two medical specialists without one specialist knowing that another is being consulted:

In order that there not be confusion later on, it would be appropriate that before they do anything, they diplomatically organize a meeting of these two specialists. ...

Understandably, if this will lead to anger and discontent on the part of [even] one of these doctors, then let it suffice that the two specialists voice their opinions before the family doctor and consult with him.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XIII, p. 220)