This is Going to Hurt

This is Going to Hurt

Adam Kay

A series of diary entries depicting the life of an NHS junior doctor, in a comedic style.

A great doctor must have a huge heart and a distended aorta through which pumps a vast lake of compassion and human kindness.

This is Going to Hurt is a funny yet emotionally-moving medical memoir. From the first pages we are introduced to the author, Adam Kay, not by name but by his experience. He opens by explaining the total of twelve years he spent training and as a junior doctor, clearly setting the course of the book. The introduction also informs us of the premise of this account and his motivations for sharing these personal stories. It’s clear from the use of puns in the first few pages that Kay is letting us know how his comedic tone will come into play throughout the text. Broken down into chapters, each with a job title, demonstrating Kay’s progression up the occupational ladder, the text keeps its diary format with sections dated to show the continuation of time over Adam’s twelve-year career. Some sections are succinct, simply containing an anecdote or two, whilst others are more detailed, offering a systematic breakdown of a medical case, the patient and their conditions.

Kay shifts between personal life features, mentioning family and friends, with the job, often intertwining them and showing how one impacts upon the other. The book is a full-blend, there are pages of sadness (as one might expect from a hospital setting), happiness and pride in measures, complete with informative medical snippets and a whole host of comedic entertainment.

This is a sensational read for anyone interested in the inner workings of a hospital/the NHS system. The humour adds a light-hearted feel to the emotional strain that the author shares with us, keeping an entertaining read. There are elements of adult humour which wouldn’t be suitable for young readers, however the book as a whole would function as a useful insight for those considering a medical career. Adam Kay adds footnotes explaining any medical terminology that the reader may not be familiar with, making for a more cohesive book.

How did you find the use of comedy impacted upon what was communicated?

This is Going to Hurt has political motivations. Did this affect how you viewed what was being communicated?

A large proportion of the book is in small snippets. How did you find this format? Did the sections leave you wanting more information or were you satisfied with the short anecdotes?

What did you think of Adam Kay’s informal footnotes? Were they easier to understand than straight forward textbook definitions? What effect did this tone have?

‘The patient was the colour of Homer Simpson – from the early series, when the contrast was much more extreme…’. Did the use of oddly specific pop culture references provide a clear description or were they at times a hindrance and require you to look things up?

What social issues does the book mention?


Sunday, 5 December 2010

A recently married couple arrive in the labour ward, expecting their first baby. After assessment, it appears the mother needs to have a caesarean section. Upon performing the surgery, a problem occurs: the patient has an undiagnosed case of placenta praevia (the placenta inside the uterus is near the cervical opening). There is huge blood loss and the placenta must be delivered then the baby. When the baby is delivered, it is clearly dead and resuscitation efforts are in vain. Adam and other doctors struggle to control the mother’s blood loss. By the time a more experienced surgeon arrives and stops the bleeding it is warned that the mother is unlikely to recover. The mother is moved to intensive care and Adam is deeply upset. Although Adam confirms that his actions weren’t wrong and he wasn’t to blame, he still feels an incredible sense of guilt and as a result undergoes a change in his manner. He writes that there was no more humour in the diaries and that he carried on for six months but was over-cautious, unwilling to let the junior staff learn. He finally terminated his training and now works on sitcom writing. Adam leaves the reader with a thought to consider, to think about the doctors when political matters arise and to remember that sometimes they struggle to deal with their emotions too.

This is Going to Hurt was the second-best selling title in the UK in 2018.

It has won numerous awards including Book of the Year at the National Book Awards.


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📚 #15 – 09/04 to 15/04 🗓 • Reflection 🤓 The book is extremely raw and uncut with everything left open and exposed. As the author works his way up the ranks as a junior doctor in the NHS, he is confronted with everything his 6 years of medical school did not prepare him for. His journey is logged in a diary style format which spans across 6 years on the wards before he left medicine. • While the book left me a bit squeamish, I did also find it insightful to see how life is in a hospital and how misunderstood the perception can be through the media. It felt like a rollercoaster of emotions at every turn of the page. There were several occasions which were hilarious as well as made me a bit concerned for humanity. However, there were also devastating tragedies which left me absolutely speechless. • As for the dark humour, I do understand that some people would not understand it and may find it offensive. However, I felt that this was required to help cope with the amount of trauma dealt with at work. • It shone a light on the NHS crisis as an internal perspective is desperately needed. I do believe that this should be looked at from the perspective of the doctors, nurses, midwives and all other NHS staff. • This doesn’t just apply to doctors, but everyone in the medical field. It really made me think and appreciate how much commitment and dedication is required of all these people. More importantly, they should be treated like people especially after the tireless unpaid hours and the amount of neglect on their personal lives. It is clear you have to be a special type of person to be able to work in a hospital day in and day out 💫 • Have you read this book? Share your thoughts down below! 💭☺️ • 📖 Title: This is Going to Hurt ✍️ Author: @amateuradam, Adam Kay 📚 Publisher: @picadorbooks, @panmacmillan • #thisisgoingtohurt #adamkay #nonfiction #biography #memoir #52and1 #52books52weeks #bookclub #bookcommunity #bookfeature #igreads #readingismagic #bookgram #bookworm #bookstagrammer #epicreads #readersofinstagram #bibliophile #becauseofreading #bookreview #bookreviewer #readthisbook #recommendedbooks

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Are you an aspiring doctor? Someone already in the field? Or obsessed with Grey’s Anatomy, The Good Doctor or House MD? Then this book might be for you 😀 This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay is a funny, heartbreaking memoir of his time as a doctor in the UK’s National Health Service. He kept a journal of his daily interactions with patients as recommended for “reflective practises”. So one day when he was told his name was taken off the medical register (for not having practised medicine for over 10 years) out came these journals. And this book. I found it bitter sweet for I couldn’t help not cracking up at the expense of other people’s weird suspicions and “awkward inflictions”. I don’t know how he kept a straight face through it all 😂 It was bitter cause despite the many too-good-to-be-true encounters there were moments when death and reality kicked in. At those moments you realise just how limited our time here is and how much we take it for granted. Nonetheless, I finally wrote a review at 1am this morning about how I found it in a blog post that is now live. Link is in my bio as always and despite me thinking it would be a good laugh, I left with more to think about 🌸 Happy mid of the week. Don’t worry weekend is just around the corner 😉

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My next read is going to be This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay and I'm really looking forward to it! It's been highly praised by critics and within the bookstagram community plus I like that it's meant to be a humorous read, so I'm expecting a few laugh-out-loud moments here! 😂 . I've noticed that there's been quite a few memoirs published recently which have been based on the medical profession. I spotted The Language of Kindness: A Nurse's Story by Christie Watson in a charity shop earlier so I also bought that in the hope that I'll read that later on in the year, especially if I end up enjoying Adam Kay's memoir. . Have you read any memoirs recently that you've loved and would recommend? 📚 I read Educated by Tara Westover in January and it was a 5-star read for me. I highly recommend it! 👍 . . #currentlyreading #thisisgoingtohurt #adamkay #memoir #secondhandbook #charityshopfind #booksandtea #gingertea #kanukatea #readinginacafe #stalbans #bookrecommendation #whatimreading

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