This Is Going to Hurt
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, sacrifice and maddening bureaucracy, and a love letter to those who might at any moment be holding our lives in their hands.

This Is Going to Hurt Details

TitleThis Is Going to Hurt
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 7th, 2017
PublisherPicador
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Health, Medicine, Biography, Medical

This Is Going to Hurt Review

  • Petra Eggs
    January 1, 1970
    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. Herbal 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. Herbal 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. Abuse. 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._____________________________________________More anecdotes 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 FOOTNOTESRead 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.
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  • Lola
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars. I have a newfound respect for doctors... and my mom, who is a nurse. I remember when I was a teenager, I would call her at her work to ask if she could get so and so from the store and sometimes she would respond with, ''I can't today, love, I'm too tired. I can barely keep my eyes open. I'll go tomorrow.'' I would be so annoyed when she would say that, not understanding the kind of pressure she was under at work (and just being a selfish brat). I'm so sorry, mom...
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  • Ruby Granger
    January 1, 1970
    SUCH an important book. Anyone who does not work in the NHS should be obliged to read this.
  • Emma
    January 1, 1970
    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 comedy 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.
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  • Lucy Langford
    January 1, 1970
    4****Today crossed the line from everyday patient idiocy to me checking around the room for hidden cameras. After a lengthy discussion with a patient’s husband about how absolutely no condoms fit him, I establish he’s pulling them right down over his balls. Extremely witty and funny!! I fully appreciated the use of Harry Potter aliases.This gives a realistic picture of what it is like to work for the NHS as a junior doctor and jut trying to make your way up the ranks. It is a sad state the way t 4****Today crossed the line from everyday patient idiocy to me checking around the room for hidden cameras. After a lengthy discussion with a patient’s husband about how absolutely no condoms fit him, I establish he’s pulling them right down over his balls. Extremely witty and funny!! I fully appreciated the use of Harry Potter aliases.This gives a realistic picture of what it is like to work for the NHS as a junior doctor and jut trying to make your way up the ranks. It is a sad state the way these doctors and nurses are treated by those who employ them, and of course how they are treated by politicians: no breaks, back-to-back shifts, being under immense pressure, not going home, not getting a proper salary etc. The reality of their job is painful as well as the consequences of their job (examples: no social life, difficulty maintaining relationships, increased mental health issues among hospital staff).Adam Kay worked in the obs and gyn department so had many a funny story to tell, but also had the sadder stories to tell as well. While he is no longer a doctor due to a case he had that completely changed the person he was, he has also found that those still in the profession were also desperately wanting to get out of it at times due to the treatment they receive. While many stay in the profession to reach the level of consultant and enjoy the helping of others, the continuous cuts to NHS services and the treatment of those who maintain this service is completely unfair. It is another call to rally that the doctors in the NHS are under-funded, under immense pressure, suffer from unfair treatment (see above with regards to salary, rest, etc)... which leads to mishaps when dealing with patients (this can lead to many mistakes and negligence and suing when dealing with patients) and severe mental health problems. Adam Kay also reveals the immense stress he was under and how this causes him to have a really high increase in heart pressure when working. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 2009, showed that young female doctors in the UK are two and a half times more likely than other women to kill themselves.
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  • Sonja Arlow
    January 1, 1970
    I am going to be in so much trouble when my sister finds out I gave this book to my niece as this is probably not a very appropriate book for a 17-year-old. But she is determined to become a doctor and she needs to know it’s not just about rockstar surgeries and making buckets of money. It is the most insane working hours, thankless work with crap pay.The diary entries follow Adam’s ascend through the ranks, from a junior doctor to becoming a consultant, specialising in gynaecology or “brats and I am going to be in so much trouble when my sister finds out I gave this book to my niece as this is probably not a very appropriate book for a 17-year-old. But she is determined to become a doctor and she needs to know it’s not just about rockstar surgeries and making buckets of money. It is the most insane working hours, thankless work with crap pay.The diary entries follow Adam’s ascend through the ranks, from a junior doctor to becoming a consultant, specialising in gynaecology or “brats and twats” I learned more about giving birth than I ever EVER wanted to. The writing style is not geared towards making you feel a deep connection with Adam however towards the end my heart really went out to him and is the reason I rounded up to a full 4 stars.The format took a while to get used to as some diary entries were so short they felt like Doctor Doctor jokes, but once I got used to it I could not stop reading.This was really entertaining, in fact at times I had to literally wipe away tears of laughter. But there were a few stories where I felt the author went over the line, where someone should have told him to leave it out of this collection. These made up only about 10% of the book so it was easy to forgive. I also found the footnotes explaining medical procedures very interesting and not as intrusive as footnotes normally tend to be.But this was not just all laughs, there were quite a few very touching stories that brought me back to reality, this is not a book full of fictitious jokes, it’s a book full of real people with serious medical problems. The overall impression I was left with was how utterly grueling the process of becoming a doctor really is, how the NHS is setup to grind the doctors down even further, getting to know the human (warts and all) behind the white coat and how much a thank you from a patient means.If you have an interest in medical memoirs and want a good laugh, then give this a try.
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  • Hamad
    January 1, 1970
    This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book PrescriptionActual Rating : 3.5 stars “A great doctor must have a huge heart and a distended aorta through which pumps a vast lake of compassion and human kindness.” 🌟 Yet another non-fiction I am reviewing at my blog! Who am I???This book is special since it is an insight to the medical field. I read this as a medical student but I am reviewing it as a doctor now.🌟 The book had a shaky start and I was not impressed which I actual This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book PrescriptionActual Rating : 3.5 stars “A great doctor must have a huge heart and a distended aorta through which pumps a vast lake of compassion and human kindness.” 🌟 Yet another non-fiction I am reviewing at my blog! Who am I???This book is special since it is an insight to the medical field. I read this as a medical student but I am reviewing it as a doctor now.🌟 The book had a shaky start and I was not impressed which I actually foresaw. I just didn’t expect that the author’s style is for me from the start but things were going in the right direction and I was intrigued so I continued to give it a chance.🌟 I didn’t know that the author was a Gynecologist and funny coincidence is that I read this one while preparing for my Gyne exam. I am mentioning this because I want to point out that Adam was apparently an excellent doctor and that the book was scientifically very accurate.🌟 The humor may have made a difficult topic easier to approach but it was not always funny nor it was always appropriate. I just wish that the book had a more serious tone at some points.🌟 I like that this showed how doctors and the medical workers in general suffer, it showed how there is a problem with the system. What I am going to say is that we doctors are human!! It may sound stupid but really people do think of doctors as robots who should function on 100% all the time, not have any negative emotions!When I got really sick earlier this year, the first response I was getting from like 99% of the people around me is “You are a doctor, you should not get sick”. I am pretty sure it is all in good spirits and meant as a kind of a joke but people really want that from us!🌟 I am ending with a quote that I loved and that sums our mission in life as doctors. I think Adam said it perfectly: “So I told them the truth: the hours are terrible, the pay is terrible, the conditions are terrible; you’re underappreciated, unsupported, disrespected and frequently physically endangered. But there’s no better job in the world.” 🌟 Prescription: For all people in general and for medical workers specially. I already recommended this to my close friends/ colleagues!
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  • André Oliveira
    January 1, 1970
    This book was just fine.Adam Kay tells us some stories about being a doctor in a hospital, some are really funny, some are tragic. He tackles some NHS problems as well and how they can make a difference between a good or a bad treatment.Some context: My girlfriend is a nurse so some of the stories or situations were not new to me and for me, it's normal that I felt bored reading some of the stories.That being said: this book is important. It shows how working in a hospital is like, the stress th This book was just fine.Adam Kay tells us some stories about being a doctor in a hospital, some are really funny, some are tragic. He tackles some NHS problems as well and how they can make a difference between a good or a bad treatment.Some context: My girlfriend is a nurse so some of the stories or situations were not new to me and for me, it's normal that I felt bored reading some of the stories.That being said: this book is important. It shows how working in a hospital is like, the stress they go through, the patience they need, the hard work they do. Don't dismiss them or don't dismiss when they fight for better work conditions!
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  • Jo
    January 1, 1970
    This book was an amazing insight into the life of a former Doctor. It is set out in the format of a diary, which made for easy reading. I found some of the diary entries so utterly horrifying and surprising, I was sitting there thinking, what the hell? Put it this way, there was a tremendous amount of talk on people inserting extremely weird and wonderful objects up their vaginas to improve their sex lives. Yes, I was cringing.This book was written light heartedly, and a great deal of it was act This book was an amazing insight into the life of a former Doctor. It is set out in the format of a diary, which made for easy reading. I found some of the diary entries so utterly horrifying and surprising, I was sitting there thinking, what the hell? Put it this way, there was a tremendous amount of talk on people inserting extremely weird and wonderful objects up their vaginas to improve their sex lives. Yes, I was cringing.This book was written light heartedly, and a great deal of it was actually hilarious. Apart from all the laughs this doctor endured over the years, there were a lot of tears. I think it would be false just to include all the happy and uplifting stories, and leave out the sorrow. It was one particular sad and heartbreaking event that causes this Doctor to decide to leave medicine. Of course, I won't spoil the reason for any readers, so I'll let others discover that for themselves. The sad thing about this book for me, is the stone cold reality of if the NHS was adequately staffed, many near misses, wrong diagnosing and even deaths could definitely be avoided. I've had contact with many doctors, and I've felt messes around, passed from pillar to post while they try to figure out what was the matter with me. I've also had contact with some amazing doctors, that have literally saved my life. Many politicians label junior doctors as money grabbing and rather lazy, but after reading this, you'll realise that certainly isn't the case. The author has caused me to see things from an alternative perspective, and for that I'm glad to have had a sneak peek into his world.
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  • Lauren
    January 1, 1970
    *Unpopular opinion*This was a DNF for me. I went into this book not really knowing what to expect so it probably shouldn't come as a complete surprise then that I didn't finish it. I think this book sums up why I never went into Medicine and in order to survive in the medical world, you need to detach yourself from some pretty horrific things.Kay describes mortality in a very glib way which I suppose is accurate coming from a Doctor who deals with death on a regular basis. To me though life is m *Unpopular opinion*This was a DNF for me. I went into this book not really knowing what to expect so it probably shouldn't come as a complete surprise then that I didn't finish it. I think this book sums up why I never went into Medicine and in order to survive in the medical world, you need to detach yourself from some pretty horrific things.Kay describes mortality in a very glib way which I suppose is accurate coming from a Doctor who deals with death on a regular basis. To me though life is more sacred than that and someone's relative/loved one who has just died is briefly commented upon and then overshadowed by something which is crude and vulgar. Having read the first section of the book, life is deemed as cheap which is something I am not comfortable with (since I have a morbid fear of death) so I didn't appreciate this aspect.Furthermore, there are too many crude references for my liking. Kay focuses far too much on the 'downstairs' , and I'm not sure whether he finds some of these witty but they fall far short of the mark for me. I am not impressed by routine mentions of the word 'ringpiece' - ugh, or how medical professionals refer to Obs and Gynae aka 'brats and twats'. Again, to me this reads as really juvenile and immature humour - cheap laughs from those who don't actually have a GSOH. Although, it doesn't surprise me in the least. Since I liaise with this sector of people, my levels of respect for them have really plummeted. I didn't enjoy this book at all. The humour just wasn't funny, the way it was written sounded like the author was trying way too hard to impress the reader at times - I just couldn't gel with it. 1 star.
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  • James
    January 1, 1970
    ‘This is Going to Hurt’ (2017) is essentially Adam Kay’s account of his time as a junior doctor in the UK’s National Health Service. ‘This is Going to Hurt’ is by turns, funny, moving, revealing, heartening and shocking. Kay has given us a very human account of life in the NHS in the role of a junior doctor and brings into sharp focus the absurdly long shifts and the super-human demands that are imposed and expected of doctors and many other health professionals in the NHS. It’s an account that ‘This is Going to Hurt’ (2017) is essentially Adam Kay’s account of his time as a junior doctor in the UK’s National Health Service. ‘This is Going to Hurt’ is by turns, funny, moving, revealing, heartening and shocking. Kay has given us a very human account of life in the NHS in the role of a junior doctor and brings into sharp focus the absurdly long shifts and the super-human demands that are imposed and expected of doctors and many other health professionals in the NHS. It’s an account that also brings home the very personal, life changing costs of unbelievably long shift lengths (doctors in the UK NHS sign an opt out of the European Working Time Directive – meaning they are routinely expected to work shifts of practically unworkable length) as well as how the personal and professional impact of the daily ‘successes’ and ‘failures’ is felt by those in the firing line.Quite clearly the daily demands of the job of junior doctor in the NHS are inordinately massive – and if it is a ‘job’, then it is one like no other. It is clear from Kay’s book that those embarking on this career path are certainly not in in for the money.Kay’s book is a best seller in the UK and it is easy to see why. So very many of us in the UK are quite rightly, passionately proud and protective of our wonderful institution that is the NHS (now 70 years old). Whilst at the same time, many of us are significantly concerned about the health, future and even the continued existence of our NHS. ‘This is Going to Hurt’ gives us a true, whilst disturbing picture from at least one doctor’s perspective and is written in a very light, accessible, episodic (diary entries) and engaging way. Clearly adept at this sort of writing – Kay is now a script writer/editor for TV comedy.‘This is Going to Hurt’ is a well put together, suitably humorous, respectful whilst irreverent account. It is a book that confirms many of our worst fears concerning life in the cash starved NHS. Importantly Kay provides us with the very human face to at least one NHS doctor – one amongst the 1 million plus health professionals and other employees of the NHS, who are generally faceless to the patient as a service user. Kay I think prompts us to stop and consider what it is like for those working in the NHS and to remember that they too are human and have lives just like us (although perhaps differently lived).‘This is Going to Hurt’ is well written and entertaining and at the same time makes and alludes to critically important points concerning the current state and future of the NHS – as well as the deeply worrying possibility of life in the UK without the NHS in its present form and the privatised alternative. If for this reason alone, Kay’s book should be read by as wide as possible audience – it is perhaps deceptively an important account and an important book and needs to be read. Ultimately it is about a health service of which the UK is quite rightly proud – of which many outside the UK are understandably envious of and which is sadly and consistently under threat from political ideologists within the UK. We should be proud of our NHS and we should be prepared to fight for its future.Long Live The National Health Service.
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  • Kaitlin
    January 1, 1970
    This is a non-fiction read all about the NHS and the way that the system works. It's told in a diary format from the years when Adam Kay was a junior doctor and was part of the system. We see how the NHS has been struggling as time goes on to keep up the standards and staff levels, and we see the strain it can take on a doctor. We also get to see the way that Adam Kay dealt with many of the tests on his own time and relationships.However, at the heart of this story it's all about humour and anec This is a non-fiction read all about the NHS and the way that the system works. It's told in a diary format from the years when Adam Kay was a junior doctor and was part of the system. We see how the NHS has been struggling as time goes on to keep up the standards and staff levels, and we see the strain it can take on a doctor. We also get to see the way that Adam Kay dealt with many of the tests on his own time and relationships.However, at the heart of this story it's all about humour and anecdotes and we get a real look at some of the truly silly and down-right mad things that people do to end up in A & E. We also get to follow some of the stories which were quite embarrassing/funny or down-right painful (hence the title) and I found there were plenty of LOL moments in the book.There's a bit of a shocking ending, and that topped this off as a 4.5*s read for me. I really would recommend this one, and I enjoyed it immensely!
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  • Abby Sowden
    January 1, 1970
    This was a DNF for me, as a nurse working in the emergency room, I can relate to a lot of the references in this book, especially the dark humour - that’s how we healthcare professionals get through the stress of work. However, I could not stand Kay’s obnoxious views on the struggles doctors deal with day to day, yes being a doctor is relentless, stressful and brings little reward, however he seemed to me to be completely disrespectful of other healthcare professionals and actually quite insulti This was a DNF for me, as a nurse working in the emergency room, I can relate to a lot of the references in this book, especially the dark humour - that’s how we healthcare professionals get through the stress of work. However, I could not stand Kay’s obnoxious views on the struggles doctors deal with day to day, yes being a doctor is relentless, stressful and brings little reward, however he seemed to me to be completely disrespectful of other healthcare professionals and actually quite insulting of midwives in particular. Yes doctors have a difficult time, but so does everyone who works for the NHS, from receptionists, to radiographers, to porters - doctors absolutely do not have the hardest time as he would like you to believe, and it’s not all about them!
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  • Joey Woolfardis
    January 1, 1970
    The first time in many years that I have stayed up late at night, curled up in bed, and read from start to finish an entire book.From 8pm until a couple minutes after 1 o'clock the next morning, I devoured this book.It is beautiful, wonderful, poignant, hilarious, heart-wrenchingly sad, happy and every other emotion humans ever feel.A full review to follow, but the NHS needs to be saved right now.
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  • ALLEN
    January 1, 1970
    A funny, excoriating memoir about a "junior" ob/gyn physician who is "nervous in the service" -- not the military, but Britain's National Health Service during recent years of budget retrenchment, 2004 to 2010. Adam Kay and his colleagues had to deal with weirdly ineffectual decisions coming down the chain-of-command that are spun to send spuriously comforting political messages to the "folks at home" rather than merely save money at all costs. When a volunteer translator renders the Punjabi wor A funny, excoriating memoir about a "junior" ob/gyn physician who is "nervous in the service" -- not the military, but Britain's National Health Service during recent years of budget retrenchment, 2004 to 2010. Adam Kay and his colleagues had to deal with weirdly ineffectual decisions coming down the chain-of-command that are spun to send spuriously comforting political messages to the "folks at home" rather than merely save money at all costs. When a volunteer translator renders the Punjabi word indicating a chronic bleeder into "hermaphrodite" rather than "hemophiliac," it's funny but potentially deadly. When an NHS decision from on high takes away the doctors' sleeping cots, remember that your next deliverer of a C-section may have been on his/her feet for 18 hours. God forbid those lazy malingerers should try to stay alert and refreshed! Adam Kay's writing style is funny, but we can see the humor and patience wearing thin when a hemorrhaging patient splashed blood on his scrubs, pants, expensive CK boxers and manhood underneath. The pay these young physicians received for their herculean efforts is usually pitifully small, and once again the invisible bureaucracy seems to have them in their sights--when the docs switch from the Nike type of trainer (athletic) shoes to the much cheaper Crocs, the brass ban use of Crocs but offer no clothing allowances. It's at this point Kay begins to wonder whether the joy of delivering baby after healthy baby really compensates for the occasional heartbreaking failure, the ridiculous hours, low pay, bureaucratic turgidity that ignores success but comes down hard on trivial infractions, and above all the inability to schedule a social life when everyone seems to be slotted in as backup for everyone else. That last problem really hits the fan when time off the author had been promised for a two-week overseas vacation is nullified by a weekend of duty right in the middle. Nobody's fault, but there's no going AWOL. A couple of notes about the language in this highly entertaining memoir with a high "can't-put-it-down" quotient: typically, Kay uses the common four-letter term instead of "manhood" above; Yanks who object to profanity may find the use and frequency of it in this book disconcerting. British slang is freely applied, too, but I forgive him all this for his scrupulousness in footnoting medical terms (which he very much intends to be read), so we readers can understand what references like "trans-vaginal probe" and "pre-eclampsia" and the convoluted acronym "TAH BSO" all mean. We readers know from the introduction to this powerful book that Adam Kay eventually left the National Health Service for a turn at comedy. While the National Health Service does not (yet) subject its patients to American-style five- and six-figure bills, we have to wonder about the priorities of any society that rewards gag-writing for telly so much more handsomely than saving the lives of mothers and fetuses. This shocking (but very funny) black-humored account remains a brisk seller on both sides of the Atlantic. Update: August 31, 2018
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  • Leo Robertson
    January 1, 1970
    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 Saxual Healing, 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.
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  • Zuky the BookBum
    January 1, 1970
    I’ve never read a book quite like This is Going to Hurt! It was equal parts hilarious, saddening, and eye-opening. I am so supportive of the NHS and it’s workers in this country, this book is proof of the amazing work doctors and nurses do for us every single day that a lot of us take for granted.I’ve said it a million times before, but I find comedy in books really hard to connect with and I rarely laugh out loud at books. To begin with, I thought the humour in this one felt a bit forced and I I’ve never read a book quite like This is Going to Hurt! It was equal parts hilarious, saddening, and eye-opening. I am so supportive of the NHS and it’s workers in this country, this book is proof of the amazing work doctors and nurses do for us every single day that a lot of us take for granted.I’ve said it a million times before, but I find comedy in books really hard to connect with and I rarely laugh out loud at books. To begin with, I thought the humour in this one felt a bit forced and I was sure I wasn’t going to enjoy this as much as I’d hoped but soon enough I began really enjoying the humour and found myself outwardly laughing at some of Kay’s anecdotes. I even read some of the passages out loud to Matt, now that’s praise!The writing in this book is really well done. It’s full of wit, sarcasm, and self-deprecating humour while also being filled with some controversial and powerful moments. Told in diary form entry this is a really easy book to speed through, even when it comes to some of the harder hitting moments.Call me heartless, but unlike a lot of others who’ve read this book, I didn’t find myself on the edge of, or even in, tears. There is definitely a fair share of upsetting entries, so be warned but it didn’t hit me as hard as it did others.Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this short read. It light-heartedly highlighted the ever-growing struggles of NHS workers while offering a humorous outlook of working as a junior doctor. I can also tell you this has put me off having kids for life!
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  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    Kay practiced medicine for six years before leaving to write comedy for TV. These occasional diary entries spanning 2004 to 2010 are very funny indeed. He specialized in obstetrics and gynecology (“brats and twats”), and some of the humor is rather puerile but stays just the right side of tasteful. Although he plays his experience for laughs, he can be serious, too, showing how overworked and underappreciated young doctors can be – especially thanks to recent NHS policy. The incident that led to Kay practiced medicine for six years before leaving to write comedy for TV. These occasional diary entries spanning 2004 to 2010 are very funny indeed. He specialized in obstetrics and gynecology (“brats and twats”), and some of the humor is rather puerile but stays just the right side of tasteful. Although he plays his experience for laughs, he can be serious, too, showing how overworked and underappreciated young doctors can be – especially thanks to recent NHS policy. The incident that led to him leaving medicine is particularly wrenching. Still, if you think of all the lives he saved and new lives he ushered into the world during six years of practice, he can be so proud of his achievements.Favorite entry:“Tuesday, 21 October 2006Moral maze. In the labour ward dressing rooms after a long shift. I’m leaving at 10 p.m. rather than 8 p.m. thanks to a major obstetric haemorrhage ending up back in theatre. I’m meant to be going to a Halloween party, but now I don’t have time to go home and pick up my costume. However, I am currently dressed in scrubs and splattered head to toe in blood. Would it be so wrong?”
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  • Anni
    January 1, 1970
    The Best MedicineWell, you may not die laughing, but I was certainly in stitches and convulsed with hysterics, not to mention emotionally distraught, reading this diary of a junior doctor‘s training in the NHS. Apart from the side-splitting humour, it is an excoriating account of the manifold administration deficiencies throughout the National Health Service, once the jewel in the crown of Britain’s welfare society. The author decided to specialise in ‘obs & gynae’ (known in the medical worl The Best MedicineWell, you may not die laughing, but I was certainly in stitches and convulsed with hysterics, not to mention emotionally distraught, reading this diary of a junior doctor‘s training in the NHS. Apart from the side-splitting humour, it is an excoriating account of the manifold administration deficiencies throughout the National Health Service, once the jewel in the crown of Britain’s welfare society. The author decided to specialise in ‘obs & gynae’ (known in the medical world as ‘brats and - something I can't repeat here beginning with ‘t’) because you end up with twice as many patients, unlike in geriatrics, and it's a tragi-comedy from there on.You will never look at your hospital doctor the same way after reading this, but I would recommend you do so, rather than turn up in A &E if you can possibly avoid it.
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  • Nat Price
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars (rounded up due to its societal importance)Doctors are humans too!
  • Francesca
    January 1, 1970
    I think this is the first nonfiction book I've ever given a full five stars to. Usually the highest they get is 4.5 which is usually rounded down to 4 as I save the 5 star ratings for truly incredible books or ones that really had a profound effect on me. This book deserves every single star. Hilarious and heartbreaking all at once, it highlights the importance of the NHS which we should all be fighting to protect and make better. Can not recommend this book highly enough! Full review to come.
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  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    This is the second book I read this year that I wish I had written (and, had I kept a diary, I probably could have - except the horrific penis-related injury I treated was not a de-gloving, but a fracture).I'm a *junior* doctor, and his stories of life, death and everything in between just sound so reassuringly familiar. It's kinda nice to know that somebody else has been there, done that, got the T-shirt and got it stained by blood almost immediately. Relationship breakdown? Check. Missing out This is the second book I read this year that I wish I had written (and, had I kept a diary, I probably could have - except the horrific penis-related injury I treated was not a de-gloving, but a fracture).I'm a *junior* doctor, and his stories of life, death and everything in between just sound so reassuringly familiar. It's kinda nice to know that somebody else has been there, done that, got the T-shirt and got it stained by blood almost immediately. Relationship breakdown? Check. Missing out on weddings/birthday parties/funerals because you had to be in work? Check. Developing a scathing, sarcastic sense of humour in order to deal with the death, tragedy and pain that constantly surrounds you? Also check.For those who are not medical professionals, I would highly recommend reading it. It sheds a light on a reality that some might not know exists: what goes on behind the scenes and what happens to your doctor on a day-to-day basis (spoiler alert: it ain't all good). And, honestly, we probably need more people to read it if we want to save the NHS.
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  • Liz Janet
    January 1, 1970
    Interview with author that brought the book to my attention: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_co...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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_co...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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  • Kate~Bibliophile Book Club
    January 1, 1970
    Not being in the UK, I can’t pass comment on the NHS or any of that, but I had seen plenty of chat about Adam’s book so I loaned it from the library to see what it was like. I am a fan of medical memoirs, so it was right up my street.Adam writes with wit and humour, and even in the worst of situations this levity really makes a difference to the narrative. Doctors see people on the worst days of their lives, but we also see them on the worst days of theirs, even if we don’t realise it. We don’t Not being in the UK, I can’t pass comment on the NHS or any of that, but I had seen plenty of chat about Adam’s book so I loaned it from the library to see what it was like. I am a fan of medical memoirs, so it was right up my street.Adam writes with wit and humour, and even in the worst of situations this levity really makes a difference to the narrative. Doctors see people on the worst days of their lives, but we also see them on the worst days of theirs, even if we don’t realise it. We don’t know what they are going through, but Adam has given an insightful look into his life as a Junior Doctor and just how much it impacted him.I think what I enjoyed the most was the almost conversational aspect of the book. It’s written in diary entries from his time in hospitals, so they are often brief, but some of the entries are very powerful. Others really made me feel for him as his own personal life suffered at the hands of working absolutely crazy hours and nobody could understand why he was missing important events outside of work.I really enjoyed This Is Going To Hurt, even though enjoy seems like the wrong word considering the subject matter, but you know what I mean. Adam Kay has a way with words, and it made this a really easy read. Tough subjects obviously, but he made it more relatable with his affable writing manner.If you enjoy glimpse into the medical profession, and a little humour with your non-fiction the you should most certainly add this one to your list!Recommended!
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  • HP Saucerer
    January 1, 1970
    In This is Going to Hurt, Adam Kay provides a no-holds-barred account of his time on the front line of the NHS. Through a series of diary entries we begin to see how, under the weight of the huge responsibility placed upon them - with minimal supervision and little pastoral support - doctors are working themselves to exhaustion, crumbling under the strain of an excessive and unmanageable workload. The book reveals a (darker) lesser-known side to the NHS, a service that so many depend on and yet In This is Going to Hurt, Adam Kay provides a no-holds-barred account of his time on the front line of the NHS. Through a series of diary entries we begin to see how, under the weight of the huge responsibility placed upon them - with minimal supervision and little pastoral support - doctors are working themselves to exhaustion, crumbling under the strain of an excessive and unmanageable workload. The book reveals a (darker) lesser-known side to the NHS, a service that so many depend on and yet take for granted. I was astonished by the sheer and blatant ineptitude of hospitals when it comes to caring for their staff. How could this be? But then is this really that surprising, given that the junior doctor dispute a few years ago served as a reminder of how little the government value those who are willing to devote most of their working lives to serving the public. (Okay, down from the soap box and back to the actual book)Whilst many of the accounts Kay recalls so candidly are hilarious (the dance floor pessary/pram wheel confusion was a personal favourite), others are horrifying and absolutely heartbreaking. I did find one or two accounts disrespectful and even disparaging; at times Kay appears to be looking for cheap laughs, and here the humour becomes base and a tad infantile. On the whole though, this is a must-read that perfectly captures both the pain and joy of working in close proximity to despair, disease and death every day. Brilliant.
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  • Pip
    January 1, 1970
    I totally read this in one sitting. This is a mixture of a testament to how brilliant and immensely readable this book was, mixed with me being smug and braggy.A hilarious, honest, heartbreaking and incredibly quick read. I can understand why this book has done so well. Glorious!
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  • Nick
    January 1, 1970
    this sounds fun
  • Ray
    January 1, 1970
    An excellent book which portrays the life of a junior doctor with honesty and humour. There were numerous laugh out loud moments which I suspect may have disturbed the people around me in the airport. Many of these involved "introduced objects" which sadly shows you my level. And there was me thinking that the TV remote control was for switching channels.Well worth a read.
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  • Liz Barnsley
    January 1, 1970
    Should be required reading for politicians everywhere, this is a brutally honest and realistic but absolutely hilarious memoir, where you will laugh and cry and wish that this dedicated, genuinely caring guy was still practicing medicine. Incredible.
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  • Mubeen Irfan
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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