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This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor - The Sunday Times Bestseller Paperback – 24 April 2018
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THE MILLION COPY BESTSELLER
BOOK OF THE YEAR AT THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARDS
'Painfully funny. The pain and the funniness somehow add up to something entirely good, entirely noble and entirely loveable.' - Stephen Fry
Welcome to the life of a junior doctor: 97-hour weeks, life and death decisions, a constant tsunami of bodily fluids, and the hospital parking meter earns more than you.
Scribbled in secret after endless days, sleepless nights and missed weekends, Adam Kay's This is Going to Hurt provides a no-holds-barred account of his time on the NHS front line. Hilarious, horrifying and heartbreaking, this diary is everything you wanted to know - and more than a few things you didn't - about life on and off the hospital ward.
Sunday Times Number One Bestseller for over eight months and winner of a record FOUR National Book Awards: Book of the Year, Non-Fiction Book of the Year, New Writer of the Year and Zoe Ball Book Club Book of the Year.
This edition includes extra diary entries and a new afterword by the author.
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Winner of the Books Are My Bag Non-Fiction Book of the Year
Winner of the Books Are My Bag Readers' Choice Award
Winner of Blackwell's Debut Book of the Year
Winner of iBooks' Book of the Year
"The humour is unflinching in its darkness . . . Yet I did laugh. A lot. Kay is a skilful, muscular writer, his narrative swinging from laugh-out-loud anecdotes to tales of sheer horror. The book's title is harrowingly apt." --Independent
"A heartening, laugh-out-loud confessional . . . Kay's warts-and-all account will not only bring plenty of laughs but also delivers a moving report." --Financial Times
"We know that junior doctors have it rough. But it takes Kay's account of his 97-hour-week struggle to see just how rough. . . hilariously gruesome." --Sunday Times
"If you read one book this year, make it Adam Kay's hilarious, horrifying, heartbreaking insight into the life of a junior doctor . . . an eye-opening and brutally funny insight . . .What a terrible loss Adam Kay is to the medical profession. But what a tremendous gain for your bookshelf." --Daily Express
"Adam Kay writes with scalpel-sharp wit . . . a genital-warts and-all account of what life is really like for junior doctors . . . Witty, wise and frequently moving." --Mail on Sunday
"Painfully funny. The pain and the funniness somehow add up to something entirely good, entirely noble and entirely loveable." --Stephen Fry
"It documents the heart-lifting highs and gut-wrenching lows, offering a brutally honest depiction of life as a junior doctor." --Deadline
"Hilarious and heartbreaking . . . I howled, yelped and occasionally choked with laughter . . . This book may hurt, but in an important and necessary way." --Times
"frank and excruciatingly funny...this is a moving tribute to the people who keep the NHS going."--The Guardian US
"If you are at all squeamish, I recommend you read This is Going to Hurt lying flat on your back. More than once on my commute, as I raced through Adam Kay's hilarious, heartbreaking book, I felt the legs begin to wobble . . . some entries are so funny, they make you howl." --Daily Telegraph
"Very funny."--Scott Eastwood
"Shocking, sad, funny and alarming . . . A truly laudable book, hilarious, moving and caustic . . . The patient stories impact and linger in the mind. . . Kay's book is vital and timely." --Scotsman
"A brilliantly written, funny, and hugely emotional book." - Euan Blair, cofounder and CEO of WhiteHat
So clinically funny and politically important for supporters of the NHS that it should be given out on prescription. ― The Guardian
Painfully funny. The pain and the funniness somehow add up to something entirely good, entirely noble and entirely loveable. -- Stephen Fry
Finally a true picture of the harrowing, hilarious and ultimately chaotic life of the junior doctor in all its gory glory, dark comedy and unavoidable sadness. A blisteringly funny account shot through with harrowing detail, many pertinent truths and the humanity we all hope doctors conceal behind their unflappable exteriors. -- Jo Brand
As hilarious as it is heartbreaking - and it IS heartbreaking (also hilarious). -- Charlie Brooker
- Publisher : Picador; Reprint edition (24 April 2018)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 256 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1509899472
- ISBN-13 : 978-1509899470
- Dimensions : 12.7 x 2.03 x 19.69 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 236 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The read itself is enthralling, amusing and disturbing - all the lightest possible of ways. So - if you are looking for a book that gives you an insight (albeit a singular one) into a system which, at your worst of times, SHOULD be your savior - then read this. Then eat well, keep fit and stay away from harm as your life may depend on it...
Then I read the positive reviews which said I would laugh out loud. Well, the anecdotes were amusingly written and I applaud Dr Adam for his openness which gives us an honest look behind the scenes.
It was an eye-opener for me and I thoroughly recommend it to anyone who has either fell under the scalpel or held one.
There are some real laugh-out-loud moments. The guy who stuck his dick in a fan comes to mind, for example. And it’s surprising what people will put up themselves. A doctor often needs to psychologise his way past patients with weird ideas, inflicting common sense by any means available.
For all this lightness of touch, though, Kay’s final message is grim. Obsessed with KPI’s and cost-cutting, successive governments have screwed the idealism of medical professionals to breaking point. The conditions these people work under are brutal and would not be tolerated in any other profession. So why, when it’s a case of life and death, or the difference between a healthy life or an impaired one, is the government so insistent on forcing these highly trained people to leave either medicine or the country? This is a crie de couer that should be read by every Brit.
He puts his finger on the real problem of unrealistic expectations of the public and administrators and that neither think of doctors as humans. If an individual behaved the same way as this system, we would call them a psychopath and lock them up for the safety of society. It should be a compulsory text for administrators involving tests and dismissal for failure to appreciate the point of the book, but that won't happen either.
Top reviews from other countries
I completely understand about black humour in times of stress and it is a stressful job but all of what he lists as ‘anecdotes’ were human beings and even if they did some weird things and weren’t too bright - they still didn’t deserve to be the butt if his jokes and used to earn him a penny or two when he gave up doctoring.
I’m not even sure that he liked his patients and I think it’s probably just as well he has left the profession. I finished the book but I wouldn’t recommend it and I’m not sure how it gets all the good reviews - well I am, he no doubt has a very good agent and publicity machine.
I have been the impatient Nurse paging an already overstretched junior doctor to come and review a patient, prescribe more pain relief or fluids, check Gent or Vanc levels or write a discharge letter (as the patient is standing in front of me dressed, holding their packed belongings with their angry relative who has come to collect them...because the Consultant told them 7 hours ago on the ward round they could go home after dinner).
I have taken junior doctors a cup of tea, a biscuit and a “patients sandwich” from the ward fridge because it’s 6pm and they haven’t eaten or drank anything since before their shift started 9 hours ago.
I have been there on a ward round when they have been belittled by a Consultant in front of their colleagues and the patient for not ordering a test the day before, or because they didn’t give an answer to a seemingly straightforward question and have been met with raised eyebrows and “did you graduate from medical school Dr?” from said Consultant.
I have also been the nurse on Nightshift when things have been the “Q” word, turning a blind eye as a junior doctor sneaks into the Day unit next door for some shut eye because they are exhausted on their 5th night. Or sitting at the Nurses Station swapping comical stories about patients, because sometimes you need that shared humour to get you through to the end of your shift.
I left the wards for a less stressful stint in Occupational Health after 6 years of working rotational shifts, which I appreciate on the grand scale of things is not that long at all. However, for my own sanity I felt I had no choice. I was burnt out, stressed, irritable, permanently exhausted through crazy shift patterns (3 nights, a sleep day then a day shift, off for two then back in for 3 days?) sick of constantly being short staffed, being left unsupported (especially on nights) and having to make decisions above my pay grade then being chastised for it in the morning by Sister, missing countless social and family gatherings because of “being on shift”, my husband and I were on the road to starting IVF treatment after unsuccessfully trying for a baby for nearly 3 years....the list goes on.
The NHS relies on the goodwill of its staff working past their time, (usually writing up notes or Incident forms that you haven’t had time to do during your shift), or swapping their shift due to staff shortages at the last minute, relies on them building their own support network instead of giving them the right support to deal with traumatic events that are all too common in the job (but no amount of training will ever prepare you for), working through their breaks “because the ward is too busy”....etc, etc
The pressures of the job are increased ten fold by the pressures of management, audits, paperwork (sometimes its like paperwork for the sake of paperwork) which is generated by our unrealistic government. And also not forgetting the negative attention the media places on the situation giving some patients/relatives the idea that your fair game in questioning your abilities and informing you the papers said this or that so it must be true...it’s sad to think that this wonderful system that was once the envy of the world has been brought to its knees, leading valuable and extremely competent staff to leave the profession in their droves.