This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay

The decision to work in medicine is basically a version of the email you get in early October asking you to choose your menu options for the work Christmas party.

– Opening sentence

I knew that NHS workers had it tough, but I didn’t realise just how tough until I read This is Going to Hurt. A collection of diary entries spanning six years on the wards, from Junior Doctor to Senior Registrar, Adam Kay’s debut is both hilarious and devastating.

Hilarious, because of Kay’s outrageously unapologetic entries detailing various objects stuck in patient’s various orifices (and there are a fair few of these) and devastating, because of the outrageous working conditions and expectations, lack of resources and lack of support he – and every other NHS worker – he experienced throughout his entire medical career. Don’t even get me started on the abysmal salary.

The current political situation in the UK is one of confusion, unaccountability and desperation. The NHS has been dragged into the electoral debates with reports of secretive talks with the US about privatisation and the price of medicine. I will not pretend that I fully understand the situation at all, but I do think that while the political parties continue to argue and debate and make unrealistic sweeping statements, the NHS is in serious trouble of collapsing due to years of neglect, and this book highlights the wrongdoings that have been allowed to happen for years.

It fills me with both despair and anger that this situation is being largely ignored, and that NHS workers are expected to do things that would be considered unethical, not to mention incredibly unsafe and most probably a breach of human rights if they happened in almost ANY other industry, including hours of unpaid overtime and back-to-back 12 hour shifts with no break.

I’ve probably made this book sound a lot less enjoyable to read than it really is. It’s genuinely laugh-out-loud funny and you’ll find yourself sharing these anecdotes with friends and strangers on the tube because they sound so unbelievable.

But in between the humour are some really dark, confronting moments. This book is so important and I would recommend that EVERYONE reads it.

Your time in hospital may well hurt them a lot more than it hurts you.”

– Final sentence

5 Stars (5 / 5)


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