Review | This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay

“So I told them the truth: the hours are terrible, the pay is terrible, the conditions are terrible; you’re underappreciated, unsupported, disrespected and frequently physically endangered. But there’s no better job in the world.” 3.5/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: hospital wards, placentas, cocoons, surgeries, baby deliveries, crocs, bodily fluids, scrubs, sleepless nights, and life and deaths decisions.

This is Going to Hurt is a nonfiction book about the daily life of the at-the-time doctor, Adam Kay – who is also the author of the book. It is written in small diary entries which makes it very easy to read, and I can honestly tell you it was an absolute rollercoaster. I think it’s the first time I experienced so many strong, different feelings while reading a book. I was laughing out loud in one entry and then I was absolutely disgusted in the next one, and then I was balling my eyes out in the next one after that!

What makes this book so great is that it gives you a good insight of what is like to be a doctor and what they go through daily. I don’t work in the health area, so it was a great way for me to understand what healthcare professionals go through on a daily basis. And don’t worry, even though there are some medical terms here and there that are not common, he explains them all so you can keep up with the stories. 

I loved Adam’s sense of humour and I really appreciate his honesty in this book. As an obstetrician/gynecologist, he dealt a lot with child births and people who shoved objects up in their vaginas, and it was hysterical. He also shared in the book a few moments where he was talking to his colleagues… and I lost it when I read the “cocoon” entry! And unfortunately, he also experienced a few deaths which he talks about in the book as well. Like he says, even though he was overworked, constantly tired and underpaid, he still describes it as the best job in the world. He talks about a high you feel after helping someone and seeing that all the efforts are paid off, and can understand what he means.

But even though the book talks about the doctor’s daily lives, it has a bigger message behind it. This book is a plea to the british government to not take doctors for granted, to not disrespect them and to take in consideration what they go through. Not only do they sacrifice their time, money, relationships and energy, but according to Adam they don’t even get psychological support if they need to. They go through a lot of losses and difficult situations that could really mess up their mental health, and they have to go to work the next day like nothing ever happened. They still do it, not for the money but because they want to help others. I’m not saying all doctors are like this, but I can see this being a reality for a lot of them. And I know this book is focused only on doctors, but there are so many other professionals in the health area that go through similar situations like the long shifts, the low income and stress. I have SO much respect for these people and what they do everyday to help others.I think the book is very well accomplished in showing the good, the bad and the ugly of the job.

I think it’s a must read for anyone who wants to become a doctor/nurse, because you’ll get a good idea of what awaits you. But even if you’re not, I still think it’s an important read.

xoxo, Neide

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