Sunday Book Review – This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay

Book reviews by D.G. Kaye


Welcome back to my Sunday Book Review. This book wasn’t exactly on my reading list, but my bestie was in town last month visiting from the UK and gave me the book before she left. After sharing some of the tidbits of the book with me I felt compelled to start reading it and pushed it up to the front of my big fat TBR list. I’m glad I did.





‘Painfully funny. The pain and the funniness somehow add up to something entirely good, entirely noble and entirely loveable.’ – Stephen Fry

The Sunday Times Number One Bestseller and Humour Book of the Year
Winner of the Books Are My Bag Book of the Year
Winner of iBooks’ Book of the Year

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.

As seen on ITV’s Zoe Ball Book Club

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


My 5 Star Review


Funny, Sad, Enlightening

Dr. Adam Kay takes through his years of becoming a doctor working in a British NHS hospital. Most of the book is written as diary entries where the clever doc shares some of his more unusual situations he’s had to deal with earlier as an intern as well as once he became a full-fledged ob/gyn doctor.

It was truly amazing to learn just how many people enjoy shoving foreign (and not so foreign) objects into whatever orifices strikes their fancies. But besides the oohs and awes and laughter, the realism shines through from Kay about not only the NHS and its financial shortcomings, and the often long and under-appreciated hours the doctors and nurses put in on their long days, which often run into two and three day shifts with no sleep. This book evokes the actual emotional turmoil a doctor experiences on a daily basis. Doctors are only human like the rest of us. They may not wear their hearts on their sleeves, but most carry with them the sad and painful things they see daily.

How much can one doctor take? A doctor who has studied and interned for years and saved many lives shares his accounting here of both, his most triumphant moments as well as his hardships and sacrifices he’s made along the way to becoming a doctor. This book really brings to light how patients come first above everything else, and how doctors sacrifice personal relationships in the name of emergencies. Read this book and find out for yourself.

A most informative look and touching account of one doctor’s saves, misses, and an enormous decision weighing on Dr. Kay to give it all up.

25 thoughts on “Sunday Book Review – This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay

    1. Omg, me too Jaye!!!!! All of the above!!!! I was saddened to learn Code Black just finished it’s SERIES finale, not season finale. I just loved that show. 🙂 xx


  1. Great review and I will just say my friend Gilly was a sister on A & E and told me a few funnies about objects and orrifices x


  2. I am not sure but I think this might be on my list already. As a doctor who did the training on the NHS, perhaps it will be a bit too familiar (and as I’ve left the NHS and the UK disenchanted, perhaps not the best thing to read right now) but thanks for the recommendation, Debby.


    1. I surely get it Olga, especially after reading this book. But if you’re ever into a light-hearted read with a few good laughs you may enjoy it. 🙂


  3. Hi Debby – I’ve a god-daughter who has just qualified … and yes to all the things the book appears to tell us … I’ll enjoy the read in due course … but thanks for the thumbs and if I need a good laugh – here I will go … cheers Hilary


  4. An interesting book, Debby. I’ve never read anything like this, and I imagine it’s fascinating, funny, and heartbreaking. It must be a stressful job. You see people in situations of pain, loss and hope, and hopefully, there are enough happy endings to keep going. Great review!


    1. Thank you Diana. I realize it’s not for everyone, but there’s something for everyone. I happen to love all things medical so it was up my alley. 🙂 xx


  5. Sounds like an interesting read. How can a doctor still function and not make mistakes after being awake for days and doing multiple shifts in a row, one has to wonder… NHS? Does that mean National Health System in the UK? I’m glad you enjoyed the book, Debby!


    1. Yes it does Liesbet. And yes, it does certainly make us wonder how interns can keep up with the pressure and no sleep for long periods of times. Interns certainly go through the mill, but thankfully have senior doctors to confer with in their sometimes sleepless states. 🙂


  6. So is this memoir rather than fiction, Debby? You’ve given it a good rap (as did Stephen Fry). I’m not sure about the bits I don’t want to know. Maybe I could close my eyes when I get to them? 🙂


    1. Lol Norah, close your eyes 🙂 No but seriously, it’s definitely not fiction, sort of how I like to write my books – memoirish/nonfiction storytelling. Lol, is that a new genre? And actually, a lot of the stories are told in a manner to evoke humor. I don’t think you’ll have to close your eyes. I’m squeamish too. 🙂 xx


  7. Hi Debby! This is an interesting book. Thank you for the awesome review. I’m very intrigued. This book is completely outside the genres I normally read, but I think I would enjoy it. I’m putting it on my TBR list. 😀 xx


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