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