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

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  51,303 ratings  ·  3,409 reviews
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 ...more
Kindle Edition, 256 pages
Published September 7th 2017 by Picador
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Chloe Edges You can't. The author is not writing for the good of his health. Try amazon or audible.
Muna Ibrahim I recommend that you buy it or borrow it from the library and then pick a nice, comfortable spot and just start reading, don't stop. Don't stop until…moreI recommend that you buy it or borrow it from the library and then pick a nice, comfortable spot and just start reading, don't stop. Don't stop until you've read a couple of pages. Then when you're at the end of an entry that captures your attention, stop. Stop in order to think and reflect on what you would do differently if you were in Adam's shoes? How would you react to certain patients? How would you handle certain situations? This is how I went about reading it. I also found that the best time to read it was when I wasn't massively busy with anything. That way, I was able to concentrate and enjoy the book more than I thought I would. Maybe you could try it and see if this method works for you too :) (less)

Community Reviews

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4.38  · 
Rating details
 ·  51,303 ratings  ·  3,409 reviews

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Petra CigareX
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
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, science
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...
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible
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 ...more
Ruby Granger
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
SUCH an important book. Anyone who does not work in the NHS should be obliged to read this.
Sonja Arlow
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
Aug 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘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
Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 05, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
*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
Leo Robertson
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing

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
Jun 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
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 ...more
May 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Best Medicine

Well, 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
Zuky the BookBum
Nov 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, 5-stars
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
Abby Sowden
Jul 26, 2018 rated it did not like it
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 ...more
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.
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
Joey Woolfardis
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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.
Nat Price
4.5 stars (rounded up due to its societal importance)

Doctors are humans too!
Liz Janet
Oct 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Kate~Bibliophile Book Club
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
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.
Oct 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
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!
Liz Barnsley
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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.

C.L. Taylor
The first few chapters made me laugh out loud. The last few made me cry. An entertaining, insightful and worrying peek into the life of a junior doctor and our struggling NHS. Every MP should read it.
Stacey (prettybooks)
This is Going to Hurt is one of my favourite books of the year. If you're all over book industry news, you'll know that it just won the Non-Fiction Award and Readers Choice Award in the Books Are My Bag Readers Awards, and I'm sure they are the first of many accolades! I know that I've been recommending it to everyone I know, young and old.

Continue reading this review over on Pretty Books.
Chris Hunt
Oct 01, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: gave-up
"I am not completely ok with this book. I understand that to a young, newly qualified doctor, some things are incredibly funny. I worked in the emergency services myself and I get it. But some of the things he says about old people and those suffering embarrassing illnesses are quite hurtful.”
I watched my elderly father pass away in hospital and to think that the medical staff may have been making insensitive remarks behind his back, is particularly hurtful.

I gave up on this book at about 85%. I
Jul 14, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Somewhere around 2.5... maybe 3

Vídeo reseña el 17 de julio a las 10'30 en
Mubeen Irfan
Sep 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Graham King
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Adam Kay is a writer and comedian
He writes extensively for TV and film. His first book "This is Going to Hurt" is out now.
“Her extremely posh eight year-old asks her a question about the economy (!), and before she answers it, she asks her extremely posh five year-old "Do you know what the economy is, darling?"

"Yes mummy, it's the part of the plane that's terrible".

This is how revolutions start.”
“a great doctor must have a huge heart and a distended aorta through which pumps a vast lake of compassion and human kindness.” 13 likes
More quotes…