I’ve seen This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay around a lot. I knew it was about life in the NHS and written by a doctor. I’d heard it was quite good. BUT WHY DID NOBODY TELL ME HOW GOOD?!
Seriously, I loved this book. It had me laughing out loud (and I’m not the kind of person who generally laughs out loud at books) within seconds of picking it. It is very, very funny. And a real eye opener on life inside the NHS. We all have our own experiences of the NHS, don’t we? We can probably all think of both good and bad experiences. We know that the NHS is under pressure, but reading this book makes you realise just how much pressure.
This is Going to Hurt is a series of real diary entries by Adam Kay, a junior doctor, over the course of six years of working in NHS hospitals, mainly in labour wards. Through the book we learn that, on night shifts, there is often only one doctor on duty in an entire hospital (apart from A&E, of course). So while the patients are theoretically safe and in good hands, if anything happens to them in the night – a heart attack or a fall, for example, there is only doctor to deal with it, who could be rushing from patient to patient and ward to ward on no sleep whatsoever, trying to save lives.
The book paints a picture of a life devoid of sleep and a social life, with relationships clinging on by a thread. Faced with the choice of saving a life or attending a family wedding, doctors will opt to save the life every time. The hours they work is quite ridiculous and the pay for junior doctors (which means any doctor who isn’t a consultant) is low, particularly taking into account the years they’ve studied for and the hours they work. Reading this book makes me wonder how anyone ever survives medical training and actually goes on to become a doctor, let alone a doctor with a relationship and a family.
But this is not a depressing book. That stuff is interesting and thought-provoking, but mainly this is a very funny book indeed. It’s not for the squeamish – there is an awful lot of bodily fluids sprayed and a lot of objects stuck up vaginas, but if you find that stuff funny, this book is definitely for you. I can’t tell you how much I loved it!