A REVIEW OF THIS IS GOING TO HURT BY ADAM KAY

Photo Source:booksonthe747.com

When you are about to read a medical memoir, you tend to have certain expectations; and I can bet that dark and wickedly humorous are quite low on that list. Well, that’s where this book hits. It is a unique book, some would say paradoxical.

Let’s start with the fact that it is authored by a doctor turned comedian; and then add that the book addresses a very sensitive issue, all the while cloaked in humour so excellently done the fusion is beautiful. The story recounts Adam’s medical journey to becoming an obstetrics and gynaecology specialist, and highlights the daily madness and pain that becomes the norm in a junior doctor’s life — being under appreciated and woefully under compensated, as Adam particularly reiterates. He recurrently makes comparisons with a friend of his who is an accountant (a saner career choice, in his words).

Notable in this book is Adam’s brutal honesty and very relatable wicked humour. It is easy to see who is behind the pen — a funny, clumsy and somewhat eccentric persona. The chronology gels as well, from clueless timid house officer to competent and rather haughty senior registrar; but more timely is how the book is an exposé on the life of healthcare workers, whom society can ignorantly term ‘greedy’ when they demand their due rights. I mean, it is supposedly a humanitarian service, and we do take an oath, right? And, let’s not forget the fat salaries the doctors are paid! But isn’t it that nothing could be further from the truth? It is honestly refreshing to see medicine bare without the glamour of prestige. You then really begin to appreciate the near fanatical passion required to follow through a career such as that.

The book is especially dear to me, given the fact that I am training to be a doctor. A line in the book particularly struck me and had me doing some inner reflection: “Every doctor makes their career choice aged sixteen, two years before they are legally allowed to text a photo of their genitals”. Although it is rather raunchy, it is deep; raunchy and hilarious with a dash of deep is the tone Adam masterfully employs throughout the book. So medico or otherwise, this book is a refreshingly exciting read, and I know you will enjoy it immensely. Have at it.

Hillary Alemenzohu

400L, Medicine.

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