The rise and fall of uroscopy as a parable for the modern physician

As the first documented laboratory test in history, urinalysis, (or ‘uroscopy’ as it was historically referred to), was revered as the ultimate skill for physicians. The matula, in which the physician would pensively inspect his urine, would become an emblem of physician status and omniscience, a glass bladder that held the power to foretell a patient’s future. It would also reveal much about how early physicians refined the scientific method, evolving their practice from that of speculation and magic and adopting more rigour in their analysis.