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This Is Going to Hurt

Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor
By: Adam Kay
Narrated by: Adam Kay
Length: 6 hrs and 17 mins
5 out of 5 stars (769 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Winner of a record three National Book Awards: Non-Fiction Book of the Year, New Writer of the Year and Zoe Ball Book Club Book of the Year.

The million copy best seller. 

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 best seller and Humour Book of the Year.

This edition includes extra diary entries and a new afterword by the author. 

©2017 Adam Kay (P)2017 Macmillan Digital Audio

Critic Reviews

"Painfully funny. The pain and the funniness somehow add up to something entirely good, entirely noble and entirely loveable." (Stephen Fry)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Not for the prudish but well written/read

DISCLAIMER: If you are at all squeemish about language or such. Don't read this book. The author is a former Obstetrics and Gynaecology doctor so his anecdotes generally relate to the private regions of both genders, birthing, fertility and related activities. His language is... shall we say "colourful" at times.

Having said that, he brings a window into the world of a "junior" doctor and the impact that has on their lives, relationships and mental health, in a fresh and amusing way. I put "junior" doctor in quotation marks because he rises up the ranks with around 6 years clinical experience but "junior" apparently refers to anyone below consultant.

I enjoyed the fact that he used Harry Potter pseudonyms for anonymity and linked them somewhat to the characters. Particularly unpleasant patients or superiors shared names with death eaters, annoying ministry officials took the names of annoying ministry of magic employees, an early tutor was "Professor Flitwick" and Adam's best friend was Ron Weasley.

Most of the book takes a light hearted look, and somewhat sarcastic jab, at the NHS. In fact the book was born out of a comedy act which sought to redress what Adam felt was an unfair portrayal of junior doctors by politicians. However, it ends with quite a serious explanation of his departure and a very clear expression of his feelings about the NHS vs Junior Doctors disputes of 2015/2016. As a teacher in NZ facing similar industrial disputes I found I identified with much of what he was saying in this section. Obviously not the level of consequence/responsibility doctors carry, but many of the other aspects like a workload in compatible with a personal life (although for NHS doctors it's far worse), serious understaffing, underfunding causing issues with patient (or, for us, student) care, the government's blame game, and the stress caused by unfair expectations, to name just a few.

Overall, I felt this was an accurate representation which had the ring of truth. Adam clearly has a gift for comedy and writing as well as the intelligence for medicine.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

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Witty, but profound in many ways.

Worth a look at, especially for those who have aspirations of status and medical prestige.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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10/10 recommend this!

Where does This Is Going to Hurt rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

By far one of the most memorable books I have listened to.

What other book might you compare This Is Going to Hurt to, and why?

Eye opening, witty and very raw. The dry and straight faced humor is second to none.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I LOL'ed...and I sat in sad silence.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Laugh out loud funny

Great book
This generation’s House of God
Funny and poignant.
Who would want to be a Dr in the NHS?

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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trigger warning: vaginas ahead

The audio is a bit scrappy at times but that's the only nit to pick. This is a call to arms for public healthcare, the greatest achievement of the British modern age, and it's being torn down every day by their government.

Is this book for you if you're worried about everything that can go wrong with pregnancy, childbirth and general women's health? Absolutely yes, just be aware that it's a relentless stressful experience and could be triggering for some, so be prepared. Adam the author saved lives when people didn't even know they were at risk. It's at time an emotional rollercoaster but it is so funny and touching and worth the stress.

This is a must read if you liked E.R., Grey's anatomy, Scrubs, Green Wing or any other medical drama. You never knew how real scrubs was!

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hilarious

amazing hilarious I liked this book very much though wish there was more support for drs

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Thought provoking book, highly recommend.

Well done Adam a great book!! Interesting, funny at times and enlightening, just loved it!!!

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Authentic

Adam Kay artfully captures the exciting, gruelling, funny, and sometimes utterly awful world of the junior medical officer. He tells stories that should (but sort of shouldn’t) be told in a way that could only be done by somebody who has been there. Made me cheerily determined to be a kinder person to my patients, my junior colleagues and ultimately, to myself. Thanks Adam

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Incredibly funny

Easy to listen to, great narration and had me laughing all the way to work

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very funny

Lots of laugh out loud funny moments. A great read. I'd recommend it to anyone who's after a light hearted read.

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  • Giveaman Amask
  • 17-06-2018

Important and Funny

Mostly it's a lot of funny stories about being a doctor (in the UK), but underneath the funny stuff are some important, deeper stories.

Medicine may be the most admired career, and yet Adam Kay walked away from it. Why?
That's what this book is about. It's about him coming to terms with giving up something he put so much into, and really took over his life, or perhaps ruined his life. It's a cautionary tale, too, about bad government policies that take a situation where physicians will do heroic work for pennies, and wrecking this valuable part of British society.

I really loved this book. It made me want to have the author as a friend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Gabrielle
  • 23-10-2019

Life changing

I learned so much from this book. I laughed and cried and thought of people I knew. I wish I had listened to this book before spending a few years wondering how much I would need to sacrifice to become a doctor (I decided it would be too high a price for my kids). Thank you for the insights, Adam. Beautiful performance too!

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  • Mireia Sainz Canela
  • 15-10-2019

A must-read

A brilliant, hilarious, and also devastating account of what life is like for doctors at the NHS. An absolute must-read!

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  • Jurgis
  • 01-10-2019

A gem of reality based comedy

Really loved the book! And would pay twice as much for an unredacted version with more cringy stories as well. A well crafter story of a young doctor plowing through incredibly difficult career. Full of funny stories and a incredibly depressing NHS situation as a background. If you like stand-up - you will love the book.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 23-09-2019

Great book, a bit annoying extra

The book itself is a great rollercoaster of emotions (I'm a junior doctor myself). Honest, sometimes brutally, but very true.
The interview at the end was annoying, not because of the author, but the interviewers voice and lip smacking.

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  • Soumyanil Saha
  • 13-09-2019

Awesome !!!

Awesome depiction of life as a JD..can see myself therein ..nice one as a read !!

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  • siri
  • 29-08-2019

Fun and honest about beeing a doctor

Beeing a medical doctor myself, I was exited about listening to this book. I found myself laughing and crying through the chapters. All the fun stories, the colourful personalities you meet in the hospital (both patients and staff), the fear of mistreating patients and all the extremely long and hard hours of work. It was so recognizable!

I live in Norway and I guess we have both better salary and work hours here, but doctors still work more than any other employee I can think of.

I started my internship married to a resident surgeon. My firstborn was only 1,5 years old at the time. I remember how I sometimes had to leave her with the nurses in the emergency departement because daycare closed and the shift of my husbond ended one hour after mine starded. I was so tired that I sometimes puked in the shower after beeing on dutey. I still feel that it is difficult resting on vacation; I feel that I have somehow lost the touch on how to relax. Still I love my job. It is the most interesting, rewarding and fullfilling job ever! :)

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-08-2019

Eye opening to the general public!

As a medical intern, this was such a therapeutic experience for me. Medicine is such a hard career and this book captures perfectly what we go through. The world must know and understand. I appreciate this book so much and thank you for the honesty and candidness. The world needs it. And other doctors need it.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-08-2019

brilliant

great book. I recently listened to Adam on Richard Herring's podcast and had to order the book immediately. It didn't disappoint.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 27-07-2019

a very funny but interesting book

really enjoyed this book. well written. well narrated.

anyone who has ever worked in an NHS hospital will understand this. a side that patients never see.

went through it well and a great read

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  • The_Animagus
  • 23-09-2017

Well written, Well told

Birth, death, and all the dirty stuff in between, Adam has written a fascinating account of being a Junior Doctor and beyond. In addition he tells his tales with the smoothness of a stage performer.
What's more, I'm a vet, and it's nice to know other medical professions get the same problems as we have. But nationalised, and with the health of the country on their shoulders.
Gods bless this NHS

92 of 95 people found this review helpful

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  • rachch
  • 20-09-2017

Heartbreaking and hilarious!

I hardly ever write reviews but this is such a great audiobook I had to! I've seen Adam perform his music live several times and love his dry sense of humour but this book is on another level - but gave me more to think about afterwards than I expected. Excellent as an audiobook read by him.

33 of 34 people found this review helpful

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  • Dumsey
  • 12-09-2017

Brilliant!

The best book I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. Adam Kay made me both howl with laughter and cry with sorrow. His writing is eloquent and his reading of the book is brilliant. I highly recommend it to everyone, Fellow NHS staff will empathise with him and his struggles. Non NHS staff should listen to it for an insight into a truly unique world.

56 of 60 people found this review helpful

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  • William
  • 11-09-2017

Life is for enjoying not enduring.

If you could sum up This Is Going to Hurt in three words, what would they be?

Doctors need support.

What did you like best about this story?

The amount I learned.

What does Adam Kay bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Feeling.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Made me feel deeply for all those people who give their all for so little monetary return having to rely on their inner mental and emotional strength.

Any additional comments?

A must read that enables you help those who are helping you.

52 of 56 people found this review helpful

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  • P Mac
  • 09-11-2017

A must listen

A compelling book. Interesting, eye opening, funny, sad, awe inspiring and well presented in audiobook by the author. A must listen in my humble opinion.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • John B
  • 26-11-2017

Shocking, emotional, funny insight

I was expecting the job to be hard, but nothing like this. I hope this book can help change many perspectives on what a life of a doctor really is.
Great book, would definitely buy a part two even if it was the more mundane.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • M
  • 21-12-2017

Echoes what is happening in education too

Thanks for sharing this funny but heartbreaking tale of the issues leading up to the brain drain from the NHS and it’s ultimate privatisation. Wish you all the best in your new career but wish you’d been able to use your talents as a doctor as your empathy and emotional intelligence shine through the book.

21 of 23 people found this review helpful

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  • Dr Marianne Ross
  • 04-11-2017

Loved it

Should make all friends and family of medics listen to it. Cathartic, made me want to cry at times

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Adam Bharmal
  • 21-10-2017

Amazing

Hilarious and crushingly poignant. Well worth a listen by medical students, doctors and everyone else

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Dave
  • 29-11-2017

A wonderful raconteur.

Probably not a good read if you are in the midst of pregnancy. But overall great anecdotes, not too ranty when it comes to the challenges of the NHS, incredibly funny in places and make you remember there’s nought so queer as folk.

18 of 20 people found this review helpful