Updated REVIEW: “This is going to hurt” (Adam Kay)

(Si quieres leer la versión traducida de la reseña, pulsa aquí)

Hello everybody and welcome to The Paper Booklight website! At the moment – and in order to add some new content to the website I am starting to add some remarks to the reviews I have done in the past.

In this post you will see a bit more about “This is going to hurt” (Adam Kay). I attended his event in Toppings & Co, a Bathonian independent bookshop and I have to say I loved it! If you have the occasion of going to one of his events ( I will leave you the dates here) , please do it! It’s hilarious and a good opportunity to know more insights of his experiences. If I am honest, this is a book I would love to see translated in Spanish. Also, Picador has bought the rights for a second memoir, “100 patients who changed my life” due to be released in 2019.

This book is the author’s memoir on his 6 years of experience working as a Junior Doctor (OB/GYN – Been pronouncing GYN as GIN but that’s not correct) for the NHS in London. Now a comedian and writer, Kay shares these experiences in a brutally honest, sarcastic tone.  

Here you can see the video:


Structure-wise, the book (260~ pages) is divided in ten different parts that include some of the different stages of training for a Junior Doctor: House Officer, Senior House Officer, Registrar and Senior Registrar. Within these parts, you can see that each chapter is presented itself in the form of a diary entry.  Life, death, combining medicine with the social and romantic life… each of these entries brings us a new perspective of what is the life of a young doctor as well as the “behind the scenes” of an hospital.

As you can see from the review, this book is hilarious and I experienced “a rollercoaster of emotions”: one second you’re reading a really funny remark (“righty tighty…”) and then you’re reading how a patient has months left to live.  I have to say that the change of tone towards the end – where he explains why he quit medicine – caught me off-guard.  Indeed, I cried a bit when he talked about it in the event. It was intense, heart breaking and totally understandable. In this book you will find that there are a loooot of medical jargon, but don’t worry because he makes it super simple and enjoyable by explaining it on the foot-notes.

I really liked the fact that he spoke out about mental health {Spoiler} From his friend’s case, how he felt he should have seek help when the incident at the end happened {/Spoiler} , it is really brave from him to speak about these issues. From a personal experience, I believe we need to de-stigmatize the fact of seeking professional help and promoting more things such as self-care.

In my opinion, this book has a lot of layers and it also serves to denounce the current situation of junior doctors (special mention to the letter to the Secretary of State for Health) it is a draining job, with a lot of responsibility and little recognition sometimes.

Why did I connected so well with this book? As mentioned in the video, one of my career choices before I took my Bachillerato (I ended up studying Media, but that is another story!) was precisely, OB/GYN. I liked the idea of delivering babies and helping other women but this nerd here did not end up in med school for two reasons: a) The sight of blood; B) I was not vocational enough – indeed, I was going through a complicated time when radio and arts came to my life, so, I did not choose it.

The second reason, the sense of humor. I loved it! Sarcastic, witty and with bit of dark humor. I had a good giggle with this book and as I have said, it is even funnier when you hear it read from him. Mind you, this book has got strong language and some graphic descriptions.

The third one, because of my current circumstances. After getting out of the #appendexit situation, I started to read experiences from different NHS staff. It surprised me how much a Junior Doctor earned. Also, the concept of  Junior Doctor is somewhat a bit misleading, as there are like 6 years minimum of additional training when you finish school. I wonder if it is like in Spain that after you finish uni you need to sit an exam called MIR, where you get your placement.

To sum it up all, if you’re looking for a hilarious, brutally honest “behind the scenes” of the medicine sector, you will love this book!

(Some) Remarkable mentions Because I don’t want you to spoil ya the whole book. Go and buy it! :

  • Orthopedic’s (LOL)
  • The “stag party diagnose”.
  • The sarcastic, sometimes dark humor.
  • “Righty, tighty…”


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