2005_01_int_pushfluids.jpgThe medical blog Push Fluids is written by three 4th year medical students in New York.

The Basics:
(Left to right:) Dr. Quinn, 25 yrs old, is originally from the the Boston area. Dr. Glasses is from Philly by way of Houston, Texas. Dr. Honeydew, also 25, grew up in Westchester.

How did Push Fluids begin?
DG: We met first year, our desks were next to each other. Through the first and second year, Dr. Quinn had her own website. Dr. Honeydew & I evenutally started up our own websites. I think the only people that ever read them were ourselves. So we thought maybe if we combined forces we might get a wider readership, and maybe hit on something a little more unique than just our own personal daily observations.

What kind of chaos do three doctors in New York see on a daily basis?
DQ The ass alien was by far the funniest and most horrifying experience Dr. Gglasses and I had during our surgery rotation. We were called down to the emergencey room, and someone was complaining of something protruding from his rectum.
DG: It was the worst thing I'd ever seen in my life. Have you ever seen Aliens? You know when the thing pops out of his chest?
DQ: Something like that.
DG: We had no idea what it was. This was our first medical rotation. We didn't know our ass from our elbow. And this poor guy--
DQ: He was going to the bathroom and he was straining and all of a sudden he had severe pain and he felt something get stuck. Something popped in him. So he came to the emergency room in quite a lot of distress.
DG: This poor guy is cordain off in a little curtained area, leaning over the bed, ass in the air. There are four of us surrounding him--our chief resident, one of our senior residents, and Dr. Quinn and I, and everyone is completely disgusted but trying not to laugh.
DQ: Nobody knew what it was or what to do it. The residents were discussing whether to push it back in or take it out--was it attached or something? It turned out to be a polyp. They decided to push it back in and admitted him. THey made him drink Go Lightly, which cleans out your whole digestive tract, makes you have a lot of diarrhea.
I saw him the next mornign and he told me, "I drank the stuff and then i was so afraid to go to the bathroom all night long." He was holding it in.
DG THe most horrifying part was that we were all standing around and nobody really knew what to do until our chief resident finally said, "Well, let's push it back in." and literally took her hand and pushed it back in.
DQ: He felt much better after that.

How well does "Scrubs" reflect your daily adventures?
DG: We don't have all the flashbacks.

What information are people who land on Push Fluids searching for?
DG: Based on Google, people are either searching for really weird, fetish porn or medical questions that I suppose they're too embarassed to ask their doctor.
DH: We should put a disclaimer on the site that we do not offer any of this as medical advice.

Does anyone directly ask for medical advice?
DQ: I think if they read the site long enough, they'd realize this isn't the site to go to.
DH: My own family won't even ask me for medical advice.

Ever flirt with a patient, or get hit on?
All: No.
DQ: I never met a patient that was at all attractive.

What kind of patients do you see most often?
DG: I'm not in the hospital much right now. We're in the middle of our fourth year. Your third year is the first year where you get into the hospital, and we rotate through all services.
DQ: The only people that come to the hospital are the elderly, unless you go to the emergency room.
DG: There, it's old people with high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer. I guess some of them are kind of attractive...

On the blog, Dr. Quinn once wrote that finidng your speciality is like dating. Care to explain that?
SOmeone mentioned once that third year of medical school, going through all the diffferent roatations is like dating because in the end you have to choose one, like chooseing a partner. You have your good relationships, the ones you could see going places, and the ones that are really bad and horrifying. For me surgery was that relationship, it was abusive in many ways. And your relationships that are kind of boring, plodding along. Most people find one that they fall in love with, and they could see themselves staying there forever. For me that was pediatrics.

What made you each pick your specialties?
DG: I did surgery with Dr. Quinn, and it was abusive, but I'm the kind of person that comes back after being abused. I'm going to do head and neck surgery.
DH: I'm doing pediatrics, which I always wanted to do it.
DG: People say he has the mind of a child.

How often do you see an "ER"-style crisis (e.g. helictoptor crash, disease outbreak)?
DG: I think every day there's a crisis, but it's never a bus full of children falling into a vat of acid or something. But you do have a crisis of some sort every day, where, say, a patient took a downturn or needs surgery right away. It's interesting in the hospital how crises can appear just beacuse of different specialities trying to work together. It's kind of funny, no matter which specialty you're working on, you hate every other specialty, even if it's the one you want to go into. They suck at that moment ecause they won't do what you need them to.
DQ: Working in the ER and at a trauma center, I sort of expected gunshots and craziness, but it's on a smaller scale. It's a more managable scale.

What do you do to deal with the stress?
DQ: There's a lot of drinking.
DG: Beer.

Is blogging pathological?
DQ: I think so. There's something about telling your soul to the unknown, the anonymous world.
DG: I think the pathological part about blogging is, not just that you start baring every little detail of your days, expecting that people will find it interesting, but also that once you start writing your own, you start reading other people's and that becomes pathologcial. You start reading more and more and more until you know all these details about every person's life in your little link list. I know more about Heather Armstrong from dooce.com than i do about people in my own family, which is really sad.

Who are your favorite TV or movie doctors?
DG: I like Hawkeye. He's a surgeon and a smartass.
DH: He can be a little preachy though. I like TJ Honeycutt.
DQ: When I was little, I loved the guy from "Northern Exposure."

If, hypothetically, one were to drink, smoke, and eat junk food pretty regularly while engaging in little or no excersize, what would you recommend to keep him alive a little longer?
DQ: Stop smoking. Do everything else. Eat a vegetable.

Should anybody be freaking out about flu shot shortages?
DG: I think everybody's overreacting. But I got one.
DQ: I got one.
DH: I got one.
DQ: People don't need them. At our age? No way. Unless you're old, or have a chronic disease.
DG: It's kind of a luxury that healthy people our age get flu shots.

How often do you go to the hospital?
DG: This is our fourth year, which is kind of an easier year. You can choose to be there as much as you want.
We've all been interviewing. If searching for a speciality is like dating, then interviewing for your residency is like being a slut. Flying from city to city and doing one-night stands.

Best bargain to be found in the city?
DGThe two dollar dumpling places on the Lower East Side. One is on Allen and the other is just a block away. You get six dumplings or four pork buns for a dollar. You can't beat that, dinner for two dollars.
DQ The Martini happy hour at Five Points. Five dollars for their chi-chi martinis. It'll get you nice and liquored up before you go out to dinner.
DH: The used book that I bought for a dollar at a used bookstore on Montague Street.

Where's a good romantic, or cheap, place to take a date?
DH: Fulton fish market?

DG: The future Mrs. Dr. Glasses really enjoys a drink at a place called Angel Share on Stuyvesant. It's upstairs from a sushi restaurant. You go up three flights of stairs, this little unmarked door, and it's a really posh bar. The drinks are impeccably mixed. It's good to sit at the bar and watch them mix the drinks.

What bygone place or thing do you wish were still around the city?
DG: The burritos at El Paso's on 97th street. You used to be able to get a $4.25 amazing burrito. Now it's like nine dollars for a whole meal.
DH: I wish the dollar-fifty subway rides were still around.

Who is the quintessential New Yorker?
DH: Woody Allen. He's the quintessential neurotic New Yorker.
DG: I think the most consistent are the cabbies.
DQ: The ladies you see on the Upper East Side, dog in hand, pushing the kid -- they won't touch it, but they have it because it's cool. The kid's dressed in, like, Versacce or something.

What would you change about the city?
DG: I would move Midtown. We live in the Upper East Side by nature of where we go to school, and we hang out in the East Village and the Lower East Side. Midtown to us is this dark place which we have to pass underground to pass everytime we want to go out. If we could move Midtown where the Upper East Side is now and shift Midtown down, that would be perfect.
DQ: Or move Midtown down to Wall Street and push Downtown up. That would be better.

Today's the last day in the world. What would you do with your last 24 hours left in New York City?
DG: I'm going to wake up at noon, get brunch with all my friends, drink way too much, then head over to 7B and spend the rest of the day drinking. When there's a couple of hours left I'll take all of my friends to the Brooklyn Bridge.
DH: Can we have dinner at an Indian restaurant in Murray Hill?
DQ: We'll get pizza from Grimaldi's.

Should any of us be worried that three doctors are drinking so much?
DH: As long as you drink less than your doctor, you're O.K.
DG: All of our patients are doing fine.