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This Is Going to Hurt

Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor
By: Adam Kay
Narrated by: Adam Kay
Length: 6 hrs and 17 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (199 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Winner of a record three National Book Awards: Non-Fiction Book of the Year, New Writer of the Year and Zoe Ball Book Club Book of the Year.

The million copy best seller. 

Welcome to the life of a junior doctor: 97-hour weeks, life and death decisions, a constant tsunami of bodily fluids, and the hospital parking meter earns more than you.

Scribbled in secret after endless days, sleepless nights and missed weekends, Adam Kay's This is Going to Hurt provides a no-holds-barred account of his time on the NHS front line. Hilarious, horrifying and heartbreaking, this diary is everything you wanted to know - and more than a few things you didn't - about life on and off the hospital ward.

Sunday Times number one best seller and Humour Book of the Year.

This edition includes extra diary entries and a new afterword by the author. 

©2017 Adam Kay (P)2017 Macmillan Digital Audio

Critic Reviews

"Painfully funny. The pain and the funniness somehow add up to something entirely good, entirely noble and entirely loveable." (Stephen Fry)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Important and Funny

Mostly it's a lot of funny stories about being a doctor (in the UK), but underneath the funny stuff are some important, deeper stories.

Medicine may be the most admired career, and yet Adam Kay walked away from it. Why?
That's what this book is about. It's about him coming to terms with giving up something he put so much into, and really took over his life, or perhaps ruined his life. It's a cautionary tale, too, about bad government policies that take a situation where physicians will do heroic work for pennies, and wrecking this valuable part of British society.

I really loved this book. It made me want to have the author as a friend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Eye opening to the general public!

As a medical intern, this was such a therapeutic experience for me. Medicine is such a hard career and this book captures perfectly what we go through. The world must know and understand. I appreciate this book so much and thank you for the honesty and candidness. The world needs it. And other doctors need it.

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brilliant

great book. I recently listened to Adam on Richard Herring's podcast and had to order the book immediately. It didn't disappoint.

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a very funny but interesting book

really enjoyed this book. well written. well narrated.

anyone who has ever worked in an NHS hospital will understand this. a side that patients never see.

went through it well and a great read

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OBGyn colleague stares at himself

I am an obstetrics and gynecology specialist trained in Mexico and currently living in Israel . Reading this book was like taking a look at myself . The book struck a chord within me. Adam kay masterfully portrays the complex life all medical professionals . I can assure that every doctor who reads this book will feel it deeply. This book can be ( as It was for me ) the lifeline many doctors need to know that that they are not alone in their struggles and that there is life waiting outside the clinical and even medical practice. Adam kay is a voice for all the doctors struggling daily in the profession and lives.

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I couldn’t help laughing out loud.

I couldn’t help laughing out loud but was, at times, sure I should be crying for our countries junior doctors and for an NHS that you will never truly appreciate until you have to live without it.
For me having had 2 of my children in NHS hospitals and 1 in an overly priced private hospital halfway around he world, I can’t explain how important the NHS is to me.
I loved every second of this story, Adam Kay managed to raise awareness to a huge problem our country is facing whilst keeping you laughing out loud and craving for more.

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Hilarious insight into the life of a junior doctor

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Couldn't recommend this book more highly, a must read for any soon-to-be or current medic.
Hilarious bite sized anecdotes from the under appreciated life of a junior doctor.

Any additional comments?

Would recommend this book 100% to anyone vaguely interested in medicine or the current state of the NHS.

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Swearing and blasphemy unnecessary!

Interesting stories but due not appreciate the amount of swearing and blasphemy in this book and it does not add any value to the stories I will not order anymore of the author’s books

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Whine-fest.

I was expecting a little more of a story to be spun out of this, not literally a series of diary entries of a relentlessly whining and sarcastic tone.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • The_Animagus
  • 09-23-17

Well written, Well told

Birth, death, and all the dirty stuff in between, Adam has written a fascinating account of being a Junior Doctor and beyond. In addition he tells his tales with the smoothness of a stage performer.
What's more, I'm a vet, and it's nice to know other medical professions get the same problems as we have. But nationalised, and with the health of the country on their shoulders.
Gods bless this NHS

85 of 87 people found this review helpful

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  • rachch
  • 09-20-17

Heartbreaking and hilarious!

I hardly ever write reviews but this is such a great audiobook I had to! I've seen Adam perform his music live several times and love his dry sense of humour but this book is on another level - but gave me more to think about afterwards than I expected. Excellent as an audiobook read by him.

27 of 28 people found this review helpful

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  • Dumsey
  • 09-12-17

Brilliant!

The best book I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. Adam Kay made me both howl with laughter and cry with sorrow. His writing is eloquent and his reading of the book is brilliant. I highly recommend it to everyone, Fellow NHS staff will empathise with him and his struggles. Non NHS staff should listen to it for an insight into a truly unique world.

52 of 56 people found this review helpful

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  • M
  • 12-21-17

Echoes what is happening in education too

Thanks for sharing this funny but heartbreaking tale of the issues leading up to the brain drain from the NHS and it’s ultimate privatisation. Wish you all the best in your new career but wish you’d been able to use your talents as a doctor as your empathy and emotional intelligence shine through the book.

19 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • William
  • 09-11-17

Life is for enjoying not enduring.

If you could sum up This Is Going to Hurt in three words, what would they be?

Doctors need support.

What did you like best about this story?

The amount I learned.

What does Adam Kay bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Feeling.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Made me feel deeply for all those people who give their all for so little monetary return having to rely on their inner mental and emotional strength.

Any additional comments?

A must read that enables you help those who are helping you.

49 of 53 people found this review helpful

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  • P Mac
  • 11-09-17

A must listen

A compelling book. Interesting, eye opening, funny, sad, awe inspiring and well presented in audiobook by the author. A must listen in my humble opinion.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • John B
  • 11-26-17

Shocking, emotional, funny insight

I was expecting the job to be hard, but nothing like this. I hope this book can help change many perspectives on what a life of a doctor really is.
Great book, would definitely buy a part two even if it was the more mundane.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Dr Marianne Ross
  • 11-04-17

Loved it

Should make all friends and family of medics listen to it. Cathartic, made me want to cry at times

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Adam Bharmal
  • 10-21-17

Amazing

Hilarious and crushingly poignant. Well worth a listen by medical students, doctors and everyone else

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Sarah Rayner
  • 12-06-18

An important message about the NHS

It's almost impossible to listen to a book which has been so widely praised and done so well without raised expectations and humour is a very personal thing. This is probably largely why, over two hours in, I felt baffled not to be enjoying the book more. The anecdotes seemed tonally flat and same-y, and I felt uncomfortable, not because I'm squeamish, but because I had some sense this Kay seemed to be laughing at, rather than with, his patients. Every reader and listener brings their own subjective interpretation to every book, and others haven't found this, so I may be alone here, or it maybe because the book started life as a stand-up show. Nonetheless I found myself thinking: I’m glad I’ve not been his patient. However, I continued listening - it's not a long book - and it was worth doing so, because the last chunk is raw in its honesty and passionately written. As well as explaining why he left the profession, Kay delivers an extremely important message about valuing the NHS and those who work for it with the conviction only someone who has been on the front line can deliver. The glib and occasionally arrogant writing for laughs disappears to be replaced something more sincere and heartfelt. Finally, the interview with Mark Watson is an enjoyable addition to the audio; I have worked with the editor they talk of, and their affectionate comments about her made me smile in recognition.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Carron
  • 08-11-18

Not for the prudish but well written/read

DISCLAIMER: If you are at all squeemish about language or such. Don't read this book. The author is a former Obstetrics and Gynaecology doctor so his anecdotes generally relate to the private regions of both genders, birthing, fertility and related activities. His language is... shall we say "colourful" at times.

Having said that, he brings a window into the world of a "junior" doctor and the impact that has on their lives, relationships and mental health, in a fresh and amusing way. I put "junior" doctor in quotation marks because he rises up the ranks with around 6 years clinical experience but "junior" apparently refers to anyone below consultant.

I enjoyed the fact that he used Harry Potter pseudonyms for anonymity and linked them somewhat to the characters. Particularly unpleasant patients or superiors shared names with death eaters, annoying ministry officials took the names of annoying ministry of magic employees, an early tutor was "Professor Flitwick" and Adam's best friend was Ron Weasley.

Most of the book takes a light hearted look, and somewhat sarcastic jab, at the NHS. In fact the book was born out of a comedy act which sought to redress what Adam felt was an unfair portrayal of junior doctors by politicians. However, it ends with quite a serious explanation of his departure and a very clear expression of his feelings about the NHS vs Junior Doctors disputes of 2015/2016. As a teacher in NZ facing similar industrial disputes I found I identified with much of what he was saying in this section. Obviously not the level of consequence/responsibility doctors carry, but many of the other aspects like a workload in compatible with a personal life (although for NHS doctors it's far worse), serious understaffing, underfunding causing issues with patient (or, for us, student) care, the government's blame game, and the stress caused by unfair expectations, to name just a few.

Overall, I felt this was an accurate representation which had the ring of truth. Adam clearly has a gift for comedy and writing as well as the intelligence for medicine.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Chris K.
  • 04-03-18

Witty, but profound in many ways.

Worth a look at, especially for those who have aspirations of status and medical prestige.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Patrick Tolan
  • 03-27-18

Laugh out loud funny

Great book
This generation’s House of God
Funny and poignant.
Who would want to be a Dr in the NHS?

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Theres
  • 03-13-18

10/10 recommend this!

Where does This Is Going to Hurt rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

By far one of the most memorable books I have listened to.

What other book might you compare This Is Going to Hurt to, and why?

Eye opening, witty and very raw. The dry and straight faced humor is second to none.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I LOL'ed...and I sat in sad silence.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-13-19

Fabulous, funny and fantastic

A really thoroughly enjoyable book. Very funny at times and also very sad at times too. Anyone that has ever used the NHS or will ever use it, should listen to this book. It really paints a clear picture of what Doctors go through. I felt the author’s despair and rolled my eyes for him so many times (often wanting to give him a big hug!). Will definitely be listening to it again.

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  • Martin Castilla
  • 08-10-19

Bloody (no pun) hilarious.

This is a very funny book - actually it's hilarious. I thought it was just me but my wife and I drove somewhere for 45 minutes and I asked her if she minded listening to what I'd been laughing about the past few days. Everybody's SOH is different, there's no predicting if another will enjoy it. I warned her certain parts (truly) are cringe-inducing, arse puckeringly graphic. Anyway, we drove along laughing our heads off - a huge hit. If you're in the health profession, particularly, I'm guessing you'll even more closely relate to the subject/s. I have a new-found respect for student doctors, nurses, midwives and (as if I already didn't) birthing mums. This book is a WINNER.

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  • Danni-lee
  • 08-01-19

Very entertaining (and a little sad)

Good fun for the most part with some sad stuff being a drs memoir. Short sharp sections make it perfect for the commute or those shorter opportunities, or you can binge listen as well.

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  • Elizabeth O'Dea
  • 07-16-19

Great on all levels

Laugh, cry, bemoan. I have friend going through these same hours as a 'junior doctor' in Australia. It's insane what we put our doctors through.

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  • Kim
  • 07-03-19

Brilliant Five stars

Adam has a knack of making you laugh out loud when you least expect it. The funniest “listen” I have had in years-well done mate.

A mixture of hilarious and unbelievable stories, tempered at times with heartbreak and anger at what Doctors have to do to take care of us.

The NHS are poorer without you

Are you writing another book soon?????

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  • Julia Baranowski
  • 07-01-19

Eye opening, funny and horrifying

This is a great book! The author brilliantly and humorously expresses what life is like for a doctor. I loved every minute listening to this.