This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay

This collection of diary entries take me through Kay’s career—every waking hours of his duty as a house officer to a senior registrar. Reading this book was like I was given the front row seat to the life of a junior doctor in NHS although I have zero knowledge of medicine. But hey, I’ve religiously watched a few hospital dramas in past years so get the basic of it and plus, I tend to visualize things a lot.

Kay is a brilliant writer with a great sense of humour. His wittiness eases some of the squeamish events he retold but that won’t stop you from wincing occasionally and laughing out loud very often, too. He also diligently pointed out the saddening truth of the life of NHS staffs: understaffed, underpaid, and unappreciated. As much as he humours some hilarious hospital stories in his ward as an Ob-Gyn, there are heartbreaking ones, too. Being an eloquent narrative, Kay’s journal entries weaves in and out of his patients’ lives and tells about pain and joy of working so close to death.

Throughout his career as a doctor, Kay delivered over 1,200 babies and saved many lives. After 6 years, exhausted and traumatised, he leaves the profession and now works as a writer for TV and films. It is true that non-medics like us won’t truly understand how tough it is to be a doctor and the impact it has on real life. However, reading this will give many of us a nudge to think for those those working in medical fields. And try to be in their scrubs for some 260 pages so we can be more understanding of their lives and appreciative and supportive towards them. Especially in a time like this.

I think Kay’s humorous tone is essential in this book cause you don’t want a monotonous narrative in these harrowing stories.


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