This is Going to Hurt: What I Thought

I was an alcohol-fueled, selfish student when the junior doctors went on strike. As with many strikes, I was simply under the impression the strike was over pay or pensions. I knew I supported them, regardless of the reason, because innately – most of us – believe a doctor’s level of care is first and foremost of importance to them, and they wouldn’t just step away from the job, potentially leaving hospitals at risk, for no good reason.

This book put it all into perspective. And then some.

This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay. Adam provides us with a perfect ratio of life as a junior doctor, from the inside of the hospital, as well as the effects on his personal life on the outside. What personal life? he might ask.

Cleverly documented in diary format, we don’t simply learn about the long hours NHS staff work, paired with the imbalanced wages they receive. We discover what it truly means to them to suffer loss of life. As well as the lows, we also learn of the highs of the medical world: the reasons why junior doctors want to be junior doctors in the first place (and why the consequential mistreatment of these people and the institution, basically, sucks ass). Importantly, we’re reminded how stupid humans really can be.

I discovered this book a little late to what everyone else did, however if you’re in a minority that haven’t gotten around to reading it, please do. Even if you’ve no interest in medics or the NHS, read it. Even if you have a cold heart and find absolutely nothing remotely amusing, read it: you may just crack a smile. Even if you don’t read books (you ok hun), read it. Especially if you’re living in the UK and utilise the NHS, please do read this book. It’s a hilarious, heartbreaking insight into the real heroes who should swap incomes with those idiots sat inside parliament, and then some.

On a sort of relatable side note, I had a visit to hospital with chest pains in the midst of reading this book. It provided me with an extra layer of respect for the doctors who are so professional and kind, despite being who knows how long into a who knows how long shift. I hope to never have to meet these doctors again (in the nicest way possible, of course), but I am forever grateful for the work they have done and carry on doing, long day after day, after switch to night shift, etc. Thank you. (Read the book.)

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