“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, sacrifice and maddening bureaucracy, and a love letter to those who might at any moment be holding our lives in their hands.”
This makes an entertaining alternative read for a book group. It is non-fiction and very readable.
The book has laugh-out-loud parts and the style of writing, although rather glib to start, matures over time, matching the progress of the author in levels of seniority through the departments of the NHS.
The book is not for the squeamish but an eye opener on the NHS and is alarming in parts. It is a personal, social and political commentary with an insight into how the petty and needless frustrations and demands caused by management have an impact on how one does one’s job. It also reveals the effect on his personal life.
The author handles this serious life or death topic well in a light hearted way, perhaps as a coping mechanism for the dramas about which he writes. His writing can both horrify and move the reader. Towards the end of the book one really feels compassion for his commitment.
Recommendation: A good choice for a book group. Not to be recommended for anyone pregnant or planning a pregnancy!