Empirical Evidence vs Traditional
The distinction between traditional/rational and empirical medicine lies in how they developed their ideas. In traditional medicine, the emphasis is on deductive logic and in empirical medicine the emphasis is on experience. However, the difference is only in emphasis, as both schools use logic and experience, only in different degrees. Traditional medicine has always prided itself on being science based, whatever the popular science or more aptly pharmaceutical influence at the time. Empirical medicine has always been in the minority when compared to the dominant school of traditional rational medicine, though the relative influence of both has varied through history. Perhaps the reason empiricism has always been in the minority is because it is harder to do. Empiricism is vitalistic, individualizes the treatment to the patient, is oriented towards treating the patient's symptoms, and treats by the law of similars. Rational or traditional medicine, in contrast, is mechanistic, disease rather than symptom oriented, and treats by the law of contraries.