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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

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  91,012 ratings  ·  6,123 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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Popular Answered Questions
Chloe Edges You can't. The author is not writing for the good of his health. Try amazon or audible.
Muna 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)

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Average rating 4.40  · 
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 ·  91,012 ratings  ·  6,123 reviews


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Petra-XoPlanet
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 c
...more
Lola
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...
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.
Emma
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
Nicola
Jun 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Heartbreaking! Horrifying! Hilarious!


‘This is Going To Hurt’ is a series of diary entries written between 2005 and 2010 by Adam Kay when he worked as a junior doctor specialising in obstetrics and gynaecology.

Although there are many laugh out loud moments revelling in the comedic side of hospital life.It is a both a heartbreaking and horrifying look at the the immense pressure a frontline NHS junior doctor is under.

The diary entries follow Kay’s career f
...more
Sara
I loved this. In part funny and heartwarming, yet also utterly heartbreaking and disillusioned. I think this strikes a particular cord with me at the moment as the author was an obs & gynae doctor, and I’ve recently spent time myself as an inpatient on such a ward.

This is the first book in a while where I’ve read passages out to my husband while laughing out loud one minute and then had to hold back tears the next. It’s a full on rollercoaster of emotions that also seems to very accurately
...more
Lucy Langford
Apr 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 stat/>Today
...more
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 o
...more
Sara
Jul 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book had me laughing hysterically one minute and desperately trying not to cry the next.
It was heart warming, hilarious and devastating all at once.
Easy 5*s
Hamad
Mar 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: e-books, 2019-reads
This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription

Actual 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 wh/>Actual
...more
André Oliveira
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
...more
Jojo
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 w
...more
Lauren
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
...more
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
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.
Johann (jobis89)
Jun 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
“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.”

A first-hand account of life as a junior doctor in all its joy, pain, sacrifice and maddening bureaucracy.

A really eye-opening read that provides insight into what it's really like to work for the NHS. My mother has been a nurse for 30+ years and
...more
Kaitlin
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 hum
...more
James
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
...more
Renee Godding
4.5/5 stars
This book meant more to me than I was expecting, mostly because of how painfully relatable this when it comes to the reality of the medical profession.

I could write a review from the point of view of a medical student/medical intern, who has also been a patient for years, but I’m not sure if I’m up for that right now. Let me know if you would be interested in seeing that in the future though.
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 f
...more
ALLEN
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
Rebecca
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
Lo O'Neill
“3am attendance at labour ward triage. Patient RO is 25 years old and 30 weeks into her first pregnancy. She complains of a large number of painless spots on her tongue. Diagnosis: taste buds.”

I realised that I was going to love this book when I read the dedication and introduction, Kay’s brand of humour is right up my street; who doesn’t love a book whose dedication reads:

To James:for his wavering supporting.
And to me:without whom this book would not have been possible".


Then on to introduction ex/>To
...more
Leo Robertson
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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 leav
...more
Anni
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
...more
Nat
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars (rounded up due to its societal importance)

Doctors are humans too!
Kiki
Jul 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm supposed to be taking a break from social media right now, so I'll just say this: I feel better, more whole, more comforted, and more hopeful after reading this book. It's visceral, funny, and so poignant; what a memoir should be, real commentary on real life. It's unpretentious, as if Adam Kay had come round for a chat and we got to talking about his time as a junior doctor. It's heartbreaking, a love letter to the people who make the NHS such a precious institution, and a retort to those w ...more
Kathryn Speckels (Metaphors and Miscellanea)
4.5/5 stars...someday, maybe Goodreads will actually let us do half-star ratings...

This book was…laugh-out-loud hilarious? Painfully sad? Excellent validation that I made the right choice in not becoming a doctor? Honestly, all of the above. With candor and a never-ending stream of (often dark) humor, this collection of journal entries by a former medical resident paints a vivid picture of all parts of the medical profession: the funny, the bizarre, the awful, the heartwarming, the disgusting, the pers
...more
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 i
...more
Francesca
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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The Cosy Bookish ...: November BOTM 1 - This is going to hurt 1 3 Nov 03, 2019 08:47AM  
Read With Me!: This Is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor 1 4 Sep 02, 2019 03:16PM  
Reading challenge 2 56 Apr 30, 2019 03:26AM  
The Busy Bee's Li...: Medical Memoirs 2 13 Apr 16, 2019 01:59PM  

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643 followers
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.”
26 likes
“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.” 20 likes
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