This is Going to Hurt – Adam Kay – 2017 – Memoir
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.
I loved the writing style of this memoir. Kay has written for comedies such as Mrs Brown’s Boys and Mitchell and Webb, and his humour is evident throughout the book. There’s a quote from Jonathan Ross on the cover saying “Laugh-out-loud funny and heartbreakingly sad” and I would definitely agree – this seems to sum up the state of our NHS at the moment.
I also learnt a lot from this book, not only about the medical terms Kay teaches readers, but also a new perspective on what it is like to be an NHS Junior Doctor. I know a Junior Doctor and it made me sad to think that anyone in his position would feel the way that Kay did. We are so often bombarded by politicians in our press saying JD’s are overpaid and underworked, that this book shows another perspective.
One of the only things I didn’t like in this book was that at times the humour could be a little bit offensive. Some of the comments about religion and medicine were framed in humour that was a bit too sarcastic for me personally, as he refers to Jehovah’s Witness’ beliefs on blood as “fucking stupid”. I’m not religious, but I just didn’t think that was a necessary comment.
Overall, I gave this book 5/5. I’d definitely recommend this book (as so many others have) and have already pressed it into my mum’s hands!