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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 (209 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the Specsavers Popular Non-Fiction Book and New Writer of the Year 2018.  

Welcome to 97-hour weeks. Welcome to life and death decisions. Welcome to a constant tsunami of bodily fluids. Welcome to earning less than the hospital parking meter. Wave good-bye to your friends and relationships.... 

Welcome to the life of a junior doctor. 

Scribbled in secret after endless days, sleepless nights and missed weekends, comedian and former junior doctor 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 by turns, these diaries are everything you wanted to know – and more than a few things you didn't – about life on and off the hospital ward. And yes, it may leave a scar. 

Read by the author, this audiobook contains exclusive extra features, including an interview with the author by comedian and author Mark Watson and extra diary entries not featured in the book. 

©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)

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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.

1 of 1 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.

1 of 1 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?

1 of 1 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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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an important story that all should hear

Funny, accurate, interesting and heartbreaking. This book should be listened to by everyone, as a medical professional it was comforting, as a human being horrifying. I hope the message changes the system.

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Brilliant!

I love books that are ready by the author. There is something that makes it feel like you are just being told a great tale by a friend. The reading was very natural and heartfelt and dry in all the right places.
Not many books can make me laugh out loud, like this.... Laughing one second, pulling a disgusted face the next... A fun and fascinating way to learn about the plight of doctors in England.

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funny, then serious, but always good

really enjoyed it. told well. it's diary entries but flows well.
(review word limit filled)

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Outstanding Memoire

I will never ever forget this book. My grandfather was a surgeon who died before i could meet him. I am forever grateful to Adam the author for opening his heart and his diary to the clueless public

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Wish I could give 10 stars

This book is literally laugh-out-loud funny. The author narrates the book and has a perfect delivery for the absurdities and hilarities that he encounters as a doctor in a labour ward.

As other reviews have said, this is extremely graphic in both language and description of gyno-procedures - which adds even more to the hilarity! There is a sober message as well, as to the importance of doctors/medical staff and how under-paid and over-worked they are.

So, so good. Definitely recommended.

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What a shame you are no longer a Dr.

Into my 38th year as a nurse and now a Nurse Practitioner I can relate to so much in this book, having been trained in the NHS I also understand the culture.
I laughed out loud at many of the diary events and was saddened by others.
Adam delivers this audio in a clear and humorous way with good diction that never bores.

A must read or listen for anyone wanting to join the health profession to get a 'brief view' into what they can expect.
I am still nursing because of the 'Thank you cards' I get versus all the other stuff, like Adam, that I have experienced.

How was your day?

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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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  • Lauren
  • 23-09-2017

Hilarious insight into the life of a junior doctor

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Couldn't recommend this book more highly, a must read for any soon-to-be or current medic.
Hilarious bite sized anecdotes from the under appreciated life of a junior doctor.

Any additional comments?

Would recommend this book 100% to anyone vaguely interested in medicine or the current state of the NHS.

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  • Needles
  • 23-08-2018

Whine-fest.

I was expecting a little more of a story to be spun out of this, not literally a series of diary entries of a relentlessly whining and sarcastic tone.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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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

53 of 54 people found this review helpful

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  • A. Grainger
  • 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.

40 of 42 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.

12 of 12 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.

11 of 11 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.

19 of 20 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.

19 of 20 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.

14 of 15 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.

13 of 14 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

9 of 10 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

9 of 10 people found this review helpful