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Definition of Empirical

Empirical: Based on experience and observation rather than on systematic logic. Experienced physicians often use empirical reasoning to make diagnoses, based on having seen many cases over the years. Less-experienced physicians are more likely to use diagnostic guides and manuals. In practice, both approaches (if properly applied) can lead to the same diagnosis.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=11320
Last Editorial Review: 3/19/2012

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