This Is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor

This Is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor

Adam Kay was a junior doctor from 2004 until 2010, before a devastating experience on a ward caused him to reconsider his future. He kept a diary throughout his training, and This Is Going to Hurt intersperses tales from the front line of the NHS with reflections on the current crisis. The result is a first-hand account of life as a junior doctor in all its joy, pain, sacr...

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Title:This Is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor
Author:Adam Kay
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Edition Language:English

This Is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor Reviews

  • Eleanor

    A petition for Jeremy Hunt (and every other politician and individual wanting cuts to the NHS) to read this book immediately. As brilliantly funny as it was emotional, distressing and heart-wrenching. We don't look after our health services enough, and I hope this book helps more people understand why that needs to change.

  • Mubeen Irfan

    Have you ever read a book where you are laughing out loud every single page with a big smile on your face throughout and then choke up on the ending page? I do not know of any book where I have dropped so far down in so little time. Maybe a few Breaking Bad episodes but no book that I can recall. That is the beauty of (Dr.?) Adam Kay mic drop.

    I ended up googling junior doctor crises, reading up on how NHS is faring so bad after setting health care standards for rest of the world for so many yea

    Have you ever read a book where you are laughing out loud every single page with a big smile on your face throughout and then choke up on the ending page? I do not know of any book where I have dropped so far down in so little time. Maybe a few Breaking Bad episodes but no book that I can recall. That is the beauty of (Dr.?) Adam Kay mic drop.

    I ended up googling junior doctor crises, reading up on how NHS is faring so bad after setting health care standards for rest of the world for so many years. The book does not seem relevant to current affairs and you might take it as a British style memoir/satire at first but then you realize there are some important points being made here which are very relevant to the current NHS crises esp with the Junior doctors protesting and Jeremy Hunt not paying any heed. I found out how Stephen Hawking (yeah, the one Stephen Hawking) has called out on UK politicians for ruining the service and deliberately sabotaging NHS to pave way for an American style private insurance health care. Everybody knows how good that is working for people who cannot afford it.

    On a lighter note, a style in which the author is writing masking the above grave political crisis, this is British humor at its best and readers will be surprised at how many face-palm moments the doctors have to deal with in their practice. I was reminded of House & Scrubs while reading it and I loved those shows not sure why because I have never wanted to be a doctor. But what I really want is Adam's sense of humor and satirical writing style.

  • Karen

    Thanks to two longish train journeys I started and finished this book today. You can believe the blurb, it is hilarious. Properly laugh out loud funny. It's also poignant and a timely reminder of what a resource the NHS is and how it has been eaten away by politicians. You really should read this book, you'll love it. Unless you are squeamish or pregnant. If you are pregnant, wait till your baby is born then read it. If you are squeamish, read it with your eyes closed or a bucket beside you! Jus

    Thanks to two longish train journeys I started and finished this book today. You can believe the blurb, it is hilarious. Properly laugh out loud funny. It's also poignant and a timely reminder of what a resource the NHS is and how it has been eaten away by politicians. You really should read this book, you'll love it. Unless you are squeamish or pregnant. If you are pregnant, wait till your baby is born then read it. If you are squeamish, read it with your eyes closed or a bucket beside you! Just read it.

  • Graham King

    What an amazing book. It's genuinely hilarious but utterly and completely devastating and heart-breaking. It has changed my perception of the NHS and junior doctors.

    If you are ever likely to be ill, you should read this. If you are ever likely to conceive, you should read this. If you are a woman and likely to give birth, you should read this. If you are a man and likely to spawn kids, you should read this. If you think you are ever likely to die, you should read this. Even if you're bloody ric

    What an amazing book. It's genuinely hilarious but utterly and completely devastating and heart-breaking. It has changed my perception of the NHS and junior doctors.

    If you are ever likely to be ill, you should read this. If you are ever likely to conceive, you should read this. If you are a woman and likely to give birth, you should read this. If you are a man and likely to spawn kids, you should read this. If you think you are ever likely to die, you should read this. Even if you're bloody rich and cocooned by hugely expensive medical insurance, you should still read this. (Actually, you should especially read this if you are hugely rich and cocooned by hugely expensive medical insurance. Or just read page 139).

  • Lucy

    Horrifying, hilarious and illuminating in equal measure.

  • Petra X

    I finished the book. It was a mostly irreverent look at the early years of being a junior doctor, then an obstetrician, until something catastrophic happens to a patient and the author turned from medicine to writing comedy. It was an excellent read, one good anecdote after another and rather than a review I'd like to summarise two. One concerns herbal medicine and the other the very serious topic of spousal abuse and how the hospital dealt with it in pregnant women.

    1.

    A woman had come to

    I finished the book. It was a mostly irreverent look at the early years of being a junior doctor, then an obstetrician, until something catastrophic happens to a patient and the author turned from medicine to writing comedy. It was an excellent read, one good anecdote after another and rather than a review I'd like to summarise two. One concerns herbal medicine and the other the very serious topic of spousal abuse and how the hospital dealt with it in pregnant women.

    1.

    A woman had come to the hospital with a bleeding from her vagina problem. When the doctor told her it was the result of the Chinese herb she had been dosing herself with she said, "I thought it was just herbal how can it be that bad for you?" The doctor said that apricot stones had cyanide in, the death cap mushroom is often fatal, Nature does not equal safe and that there was a plant in his garden where if you simply sat under it for ten minutes you'd be dead.

    Later the author asked the doctor what plant that was. He replied, "Water lily." Ah so...

    2.

    . The hospital had a system to help women admit to abuse, which was difficult as their partners often accompanied them to ante-natal visits. In the toilets they had a sign saying 'if you want to discuss any concerns about violence at home, put a red sticker on the front of your notes,' and there were sheets of red dot stickers in every cubicle.

    So the doctor saw a woman with a few red stickers on the front of her notes. It was very difficult to get the husband to leave the room. He tried, the midwife tried, the consultant tried and eventually they got her alone. The woman just clammed up, scared and confused and would admit to nothing. Eventually they established that the red dots were artistic decoration by her two year old child when they went to the toilet together.

    I think Ockham's Razor applies here!

    5 stars for being a great read and exposing the very emotional side of being a doctor and not just the practice of medicine.

    _____________________________________________

    from when I was reading the book.

    This is so funny. This 20 year old student goes to the doctor to request an abortion following condom failure. Turns out that she and her boyfriend didn't have much money so they turned the just-used condom inside out for round two!

    _______

    I knew I was going to read this book when I read,

    "A NOTE REGARDING FOOTNOTES

    Read the fucking footnotes."

    Laughed out loud.

    And then one of the first sentences, "I grew up in a Jewish family (although they were mostly in it for the food)... it's really got to be a good book with such louche writing.

  • Leo Robertson

    Excellent!

    Breezed through this one. The sense of humour worked well, balanced with the horrors of Kay's job.

    An Xmas present from my sis. She said, "You won't regret quitting medicine after reading this."

    She knows I don't, really, though reading this I wondered if I would.

    I think people assume I regret quitting medicine more than I do, which is, not at all. It had "not for me" all over it, and I've never experienced such an immense relief since leaving. My body was like, "Yeees, shut this shit do

    Excellent!

    Breezed through this one. The sense of humour worked well, balanced with the horrors of Kay's job.

    An Xmas present from my sis. She said, "You won't regret quitting medicine after reading this."

    She knows I don't, really, though reading this I wondered if I would.

    I think people assume I regret quitting medicine more than I do, which is, not at all. It had "not for me" all over it, and I've never experienced such an immense relief since leaving. My body was like, "Yeees, shut this shit down! Let's do anything else with the next... everything of our life!"

    I made it a year and a half at St Andrews then switched to Chemical Engineering at Strathclyde, spending the intervening months folding schoolwear in a shop so I knew that anything at uni would be worth it eventually.

    If this is even the first time you're reading that I ever studied medicine, it's because while I value your literary opinion immensely, I don't wake up giving a fuck how clever you think I am! (Okay it does come up in

    , but it was relevant. A bit ;) )

    A friend asked me about it when I met him in Greece this summer. I said, "It was never something I was supposed to be, so I don't think about it at all."

    Maybe an equivalent is, "Was it difficult coming out?" Maybe, but it was less tough than staying in.

    Anyway, I met some other people on that holiday, and it clicked.

    "So you live in Norway," a man said. "What was Norway before they had oil? They were farmers! Fishermen! You know, we here in Greece are hoping to discover new oil reserves. And as a banker I work with many of the same companies as you anyway."

    "Sure, sure," I said.

    Why say, "Despite your weird attempted 'historical own', the guys I work with sure don't catch their own fish anymore!" or, "That stable oil price will help you guys secure energy independence after your exploration efforts definitely lead to reserves. Oil is the, uh, future..." I didn't engage, though. I was on holiday and didn't know the guy. (And I also wasn't drunk.)

    No one SHOULD have to justify themselves to others, but that's not how most people let the world work. Kay isn't bothering to justify himself and openly pokes fun at the idea that anyone could pick a suitable career at a young age, or that the criteria for acceptance for careers even make sense. But this is mainly a clarion call to action against the current conditions for junior doctors and perhaps a deeply reassuring text to those people who feel inadequate because they're not doctors.

    Wow what a sacrifice it is. I sure wasn't able to make it.

  • Emma

    A genuinely funny collection of stories from a former doctor; some so horrifying, surprising, or amusing that I had those hard-to-breathe-while-laughing moments, immediately making Audible clips and sending them to all my friends. It's not for the squeamish, be prepared for lots of blood, births, bad language, and assorted 'implements' stuck in places they really shouldn't be. Rarely have I been so impressed (if that’s the right word) by the willingness of individuals to achieve a memorable sex

    A genuinely funny collection of stories from a former doctor; some so horrifying, surprising, or amusing that I had those hard-to-breathe-while-laughing moments, immediately making Audible clips and sending them to all my friends. It's not for the squeamish, be prepared for lots of blood, births, bad language, and assorted 'implements' stuck in places they really shouldn't be. Rarely have I been so impressed (if that’s the right word) by the willingness of individuals to achieve a memorable sex life by inserting objects into orifices and then having to go to A&E to have them removed.

    There are, of course, also very sad stories, including the one that led the author to decide he had to leave. It would have been wrong to focus solely on the laughs, denying the inevitable traumas, near misses, and deaths, some of which may have been prevented by having a properly run, well staffed, less overworked team of doctors. If nothing else, you leave the book with the understanding that the NHS is barely getting by. This is the very reason Kay wrote the book, as rebuttal of the politicians' portrayal of junior doctors as money grabbing and lazy, but only in the final section does he address this directly. Instead, he shows you a doctor and other staff worked to the very edge of their ability to cope. It's eye opening and I left it feeling even more grateful for this amazing resource we have. One we need to protect.

    In mixing laughter and reality, Kay has found an effective way to show us some truths while making us laugh so hard we have to hold back tears. It's the best kind of learning.

  • Liz Janet

    Interview with author that brought the book to my attention:

    For years I have been watching news comedy shows from the U.K., mostly Mock the Week and Russell Howard’s Good News, and in every series the panel has to dispel the opinions of some member of the conservative government about how the NHS is a cancer and the portrayal of Junior Doctors as money-grabbing and undeserving people who only seek their own wealth. This book is a more direct answer to tho

    Interview with author that brought the book to my attention:

    For years I have been watching news comedy shows from the U.K., mostly Mock the Week and Russell Howard’s Good News, and in every series the panel has to dispel the opinions of some member of the conservative government about how the NHS is a cancer and the portrayal of Junior Doctors as money-grabbing and undeserving people who only seek their own wealth. This book is a more direct answer to those politicians who believe they can blatantly lie on television in order to support their budget cuts, told in the diary entries of one of the doctors during his training.

    Adam Kay takes on the issue with the most amount of British humour he could possibly muster, considering he had some pretty idiotic people pop into hospital, ( including a couple who turned a condom inside out and obviously got pregnant, which isn’t even the worst one) and the evident fact his and his colleagues hard work was being undermined by bureaucrats who would never understand all the work the doctors actually do.

    “Patient too drowsy to assess.”

    I pop in. The patient is dead.

    But the book is not only the comical experience of an overworked man, but an observation on class and the wealth of the state and their influence on the well-being of the population, a remark on the demands these doctors were expected to fulfill, and how all these lead to the detriment of the doctor’s personal lives. A MUST READ!

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