I first heard about Adam Kay’s This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor in The Russell Howard Hour and was immediately interested. The whole interview with Adam Kay seemed unbelievable – are there really people that say that doctors want bigger pay and better hours because they are greedy? As it turns out – yes, there are such people. And this is more of a rant about those people than a review. 

Kay’s book came as a response to claims that doctors are greedy and it consists of many diaries he kept while he was a practitioner. These diaries feature many stories that make your heart swell up with happiness, but unfortunately also many stories that break your heart.

This book made me sad and happy at the same time that I’m not a doctor and it made me think a lot about friends and classmates that chose a profession in medicine.

The book is written well, it’s full of funny remarks and a lot of jokes. It seems like a way to cope with the situation and the profession, but although all the reviews I have read, talk about understanding the book, I have a feeling that there might be some people, who would think that it is “not that bad for doctors” after reading joke after joke about serious and hard matters. Because they would only see the side that is shown, not the one that is hidden. Because of that, I wanted more sad stories, more reality.

I also heard that a TV show deal is being considered and Kay is planning to write a follow-up book. I’m definitely waiting for that to hit the bookshops and will be reading more about his experiences! To be honest, though, I couldn’t read big chunks of this in a row – I wanted to, but I noticed that because these are the selected and the “interesting” stories, it was just too much. So I took it slowly and really enjoyed my time.

I don’t understand how people can claim that someone, who sacrifices their own life, is greedy. I don’t understand, how can someone who goes home after good and bad days at the A&E and still turns up the next day be stomped in the mud. I can’t even live with a minor mistake I have made without overthinking million times in million ways what I could have done differently to try to avoid the error (and I’m not even close to saving people’s lives), while these people see death, suffering and still are expected to show up for the next surgery in 10-20 minutes from getting that emotional scar. They will become numb after a while, you will say… But do we really think that is a good thing?

The last story in this book was absolutely heartbreaking and I’m really glad that this book exists and hope that those people whose minds need to be changed, will change.

I highly recommend reading this book, even if you do not live in the UK, I’m sure, the book will be interesting enough and show a great insight into doctor’s work.

And lastly, I have had one surgery under the NHS, it was to remove my appendix. People took care of me and they were lovely despite everything they have to go through every single day. Starting from the nurse who offered me biscuits when I was admitted in the middle of the night, to the nurse, whom I hugged as soon as I woke up after surgery, to the doctor who talked about bobsleigh to me and showed me pictures of how I look from the inside to the Junior doctor who interviewed me and made me be just as silly and just as humorous (well, probably not THAT humorous) as Adam Kay, pushing the sad bits aside and just having a laugh. Thank you all.