I was chatting with a patient about books the other day, and she recommended I read THIS IS GOING TO HURT by Adam Kay. “You’ll like it, it’s right up your street,” she said, “It’s a bit sad at times though…” Yeah, it was. Although it was parts to that hilarious, bewildering, and shocking.
The book is made up of diary entries and commentaries; reflections of a junior doctor on the front line of the NHS, dealing with patients, staffing and resource shortages, while trying to learn and juggle a personal life.
A clinical reflections diary is something I was made to keep in my final year of osteopathy training – and a few of the early entries were scarily close to home. Trying your best at a job you only recently learned how to do, and trying to blag it was basically my whole life as an undergraduate. But where I got to graduate into the cushy life of private practice, Dr Adam Kay went straight into the deep end of the country’s flagging health care system.
The more I read, the more I admired the work the NHS do. Some of the most poignant sections of the book were not just the clinical incidents where things went wrong, but how Adam was unsupported by the non-medics in his life.
My mind kept drifting back to my own friend who is a doctor, and how I didn’t actually know the name of the hospital he works in, or what speciality he’s chosen.
Choosing to be a doctor in the first place, particularly a hospital doctor, it takes quite a specific personality type. Like most of them, my friend is super smart, sporty, with a competitive edge and a wickedly dry sense of humour. But Adam shows in his commentary that these people need emotional support, doing this the most difficult of jobs.
I honestly think anyone coming into contact with the NHS and it’s staff (ie. EVERYONE) should read this book. I closed the final page and immediately sent my friend a message telling him how bloody awesome he is.