Book Review: This is Going to Hurt – Adam Kay

Book Review: This is Going to Hurt – Adam Kay

July 23, 2019 (17)
Release Date:
September 7th 2017
Publisher:  Picador
Pages: 280
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I bought a copy of this in my local supermarket
Rating: 4/5 stars


Adam Kay was a junior doctor from 2004 until 2010, before a devastating experience on a ward caused him to reconsider his future. He kept a diary throughout his training, and This Is Going to Hurt intersperses tales from the front line of the NHS with reflections on the current crisis. The result is a first-hand account of life as a junior doctor in all its joy, pain, sacrifice and maddening bureaucracy, and a love letter to those who might at any moment be holding our lives in their hands.


Copy of book cover - 2020-04-17T100406.445This is Going to Hurt is an account of Adam Kay’s time as a junior doctor in the NHS. Written in diary form the book gives an inside look into the highs and lows of life as a doctor.

I want to hold my hands up and say this is definitely not the type of book I would normally read. I very rarely read non-fiction, but at a recent book event I was recommended this book and I thought I would give it a shot. Equal parts hilarious and heart breaking, I can easily see why this book has won so many awards and is adored by so many people.

The thing that struck me about this book is just how honest it felt. There are plenty of moments that will make you laugh out loud, but there are also lots of sobering ones that are difficult to read. It paints a very stark picture of what working in the NHS is like, and should probably be required reading for everyone. This is Going to Hurt is an eye opening reading experience, and it definitely made me view the brave NHS staff in a whole new light.

Kay has a really captivating writing style and I ended up reading this book in an entire sitting on a journey to visit family in England. It’s quite a quick read too, despite the medical terminology I didn’t have any trouble following along. Each chapter takes you through Kay’s life as he progresses in his career before his eventual decision to stop practising medicine altogether.

This is Going to Hurt is definitely one of those books that sticks with you and if you’ve been interested in picking it up but maybe weren’t sure if it would be for you, I’d absolutely recommend giving it a go – you won’t be disappointed.
4 Stars

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