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The doctors Burt and Breck were practicing Uroscopy, the practice of divining diseases by examining only a patient's urine. Uroscopy dates to medieval times. Burt and Breck describe their methods as "German," probably a reference to the practices popularized in 1770s London by Dr. Theodor Myersbach. Criticism increased in the decades following as uroscopy was denounced as quack medicine. But uroscopy served an important purpose: it did not require the physical examination of the patient. In a society where physical modesty was very important, especially for women, that kind of "hands off" medical care had tremendous appeal.
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