This is Go­ing to Hurt: Se­cret Di­aries of a Ju­nior Doc­tor by ADAM KAY

Cosmos - - Spectrum - — GEETANJALI RANGNEKAR

Pi­cador (2018) RRP $22.99

ADAM KAY DE­LIV­ERS a scalpel sharp, caus­ti­cally hu­mor­ous, and at times, har­row­ing ac­count of his time work­ing as a ju­nior doc­tor for the Na­tional Health Ser­vice (NHS) in Eng­land.

The au­thor was a step away from be­com­ing a con­sul­tant, the high­est rank in the hi­er­ar­chy of med­i­cal prac­tice. He chose in­stead to turn away from it all af­ter an un­fore­seen tragedy be­fell a pa­tient, break­ing his re­solve and mak­ing him ques­tion the very or­gan­i­sa­tion he worked for. Kay’s Sun­day Times best­seller is a col­lec­tion of pithy di­ary en­tries that make for a quick yet in­tensely im­mer­sive read. Each anec­dote pro­vides the reader with a can­did peek into the labour wards and clin­ics of the NHS.

The reader fol­lows Kay as he starts off as a floun­der­ing house of­fi­cer and grows into a weath­ered, sure-footed se­nior reg­is­trar in ob­stet­rics and gy­nae­col­ogy, deftly deal­ing with mul­ti­ple rag­ing med­i­cal co­nun­drums.

Each ac­count is mem­o­rable, be it the equal parts shock­ing and cringe­wor­thy story about lost ob­jects in pa­tients’ nether re­gions, his face­tious deal­ings with ec­cen­tric birth plan re­quests, the snip­pets of ba­bies born safe de­spite in­cred­i­ble odds, the heart-warm­ing and un­ex­pected kind­ness of pa­tients and co-work­ers, and the sto­ries of failed preg­nan­cies that will en­gage your tear ducts.

So if you work on a ward, this col­lec­tion may make you feel a sense of ca­ma­raderie with the au­thor, or, if you have been on the re­ceiv­ing end of life-sav­ing treat­ment, it may prove an eye opener. Ei­ther way, in this age rife with mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tion for the sake of self-ag­gran­dis­e­ment, it is re­fresh­ing to see some­one lay bare his mis­takes and short­com­ings in or­der to im­prove the health­care sys­tem, for the sake of the pa­tients who rely on it, and for the pro­fes­sion­als who make it tick.

GEETANJALI RANGNEKAR is a med­i­cal doc­tor, re­searcher and blog­ger for Cos­mos.

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