This is going to hurt, (or make you laugh).

A fellow trainee suggested to me I should read “This is going to hurt” by Adam Kay. As it had been on my reading list for a while, and in a desperate need for a light and entertaining read, I gave it a go.

Let me just say now, I haven’t enjoyed a book so much in a long time. It is one of those books that you start and you have difficulty putting back down without finishing. It made me laugh out loud, which when you are alone in a public place is not ideal.

“This is going to hurt” is a collection of stories, or memoirs, of a junior doctor in the UK. Adam Kay writes about his personal experience, from the moment he started his first junior doctor placement till his last. He does so, in such a truthful, honest and hilarious manner. He shares his everyday experiences while training to become an obstetrician and by doing this, he reveals a side of the NHS that is not as evident to all of us. I do work at a hospital, but my work is a bit more cushioned and flexible than that of a junior doctor. All his accounts are vivid descriptions of the exact events, with some clarification of all the medical jargon that someone might get confused on. He shows how the NHS is understaffed, yet the people working for our organisation give all they’ve got. Sadly, even if that affects their personal lives and relationships.

At the end of the day, the NHS Constitution states; “The patient will be at the heart of everything the NHS does”. Clearly, Adam Kay followed this in his everyday work, whatever the obstacles that he encountered, he persevered until the end.

I recommend you read this book if you want to be a doctor, if you are a doctor, if you work for the NHS, if you work for the Department of Health or if you just want a lighthearted read to keep you company in this very hot weather we are having lately.


Author: Adriana

I am a Clinical Bioinformatician based at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge and a Regional Training Lead for Health Education England. I am all for increasing genomics awareness in and out of healthcare and interested in bioinformatics and genomics and general healthcare science.

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