Thursday, 19 September 2019

This Is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay

This Is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior DoctorThis Is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What's not to like about an entertaining and informative book about a service we all (almost) rely on? Well, plenty as it turns out. Not because the doctor/writer hasn't done his job and done it (both of them) well. But because of the shocking state of the service in question; because of the horror of having to make life-and-death decisions on next-to-no sleep after working shifts that border on conditions of modern slavery; because there are plenty of people out there (politicians, obviously but also, it seems, consultants who - rather like the school bully who thinks it's ok to nick the first years' dinner money 'cos he was bullied) seem to take rather less than their fair share of the burden.

I could be wrong. I'm no expert. Adam Kay is. And he's not alone. The system that demands such extremes of so many, the system that is woefully under-staffed, obviously under-funded and appallingly badly run is well documented by all except, perhaps, Jeremy Cunt. I wonder if the erstwhile Health Secretary read Adam's book at all during his dispute with junior doctors (which amount to ALL doctors below the level of consultant)?

I am something of a self-appointed expert as far as writing goes, I suppose. And in that capacity I can point out that the pay-off lines can become a bit relentless, partly as they come at the end of almost every diary entry and - as you’d expect in a book written in diary form that covers several years - there are plenty of them.

Nevertheless Adam Kay writes entertainingly enough for me to read every word - including the acknowledgements and footnotes - sometimes that I don’t think I’ve ever done before. It's a remarkable book and I'll be reading the follow-up as soon as it hits the shelves.

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