|Comedian Adam Kay hasn’t always been a Comedian. In a former life he was a Doctor in the National Health Service (NHS). At the time he dutifully kept a reflective diary, as he was encouraged to do so as best practice.
In the best-selling This Is Going To Hurt Kay shares this secret junior Doctor diary with the world. As a junior Doctor Kay mainly worked in maternity. Kay tells true stories with a humorous flare. Obviously patient’s details have been changed to ensure anonymity.
In this book Kay is completely honest and because of this honesty it really does tell you what it’s like to be a junior Doctor in the NHS. Along with what it’s really like behind the scenes in the NHS.
Throughout the book there are brilliant footnotes that explain the medical terminology in an easy to understand way.
All of the stories are interesting, made so by Kay’s constant use of humor. Writing humor in a book is difficult, so Kay should be highly commended for pulling this off as well as he did. A couple of the stories were so so funny that I laughed out loud reading the book.
Kay’s diary is dated and at each change of job, he explains his mental state and shares his thoughts around topics including: commenting on Politician’s meddling in the NHS; under funding and under resourcing; the staff often working for nothing because they feel morally obligated and want to do the best for their patients; the NHS relying too much on the goodwill of staff (in all roles) to the point were the goodwill is almost gone and staff morale is non-existent; the sneaking privatization and what it will mean for all; that our expectation of Doctors and Nurses to be super-human are unrealistic.
Kay wraps up the thoroughly enjoyable This Is Going To Hurt by telling the story of a patient that made him decide to leave the medical profession. It is deeply tragic, as is Kay’s loss to the profession. Kay describes receiving a letter after 4 years of quitting from the General Medical Council (GMC) removing him from active registration due to lack of required practice hours. The ending of the book caused me to cry.
This book reminded me that every person has and is their own story. We whom work in the NHS should always remember this, along with the fact that patient’s like to share their stories whether good or bad of contact with NHS services. Staff in the NHS generally work there to make a positive difference to people’s lives. We certainly don’t go into it for the money!
The success of This Is Going To Hurt has led Kay to recently publish a follow up book Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas, in time to be a stocking-filler for Christmas. I just hope that this follow up book has new diary entries in, rather than a reprint of stories from the first.