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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 listeners say about This Is Going to Hurt

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BRILLIANTLY written & HILLARIOUS!

The narrator was excellent! Could totally feel him. Loved the book with beautiful and unexpected ending!! ❤👌

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very relatable and much needed book

as a doctor I could relate to the author . been through some of the same predicaments . it's true about how much it affects the mental well being of a doctor. if we need good doctors we need to know their side of the story and make sure an optimal situation where everyone is more or less equally benefitted ... funny to listen though ..

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possible to find humour in the saddest situation

loved it. Adam Kay captures the struggles, the emotional unheavals, the joy and the heatbreak of being a doctor with empathy and humour. I was laughing out loud while reading the book. thoroughly enjoyable.

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  • siri
  • 29-08-19

Fun and honest about beeing a doctor

Beeing a medical doctor myself, I was exited about listening to this book. I found myself laughing and crying through the chapters. All the fun stories, the colourful personalities you meet in the hospital (both patients and staff), the fear of mistreating patients and all the extremely long and hard hours of work. It was so recognizable!

I live in Norway and I guess we have both better salary and work hours here, but doctors still work more than any other employee I can think of.

I started my internship married to a resident surgeon. My firstborn was only 1,5 years old at the time. I remember how I sometimes had to leave her with the nurses in the emergency departement because daycare closed and the shift of my husbond ended one hour after mine starded. I was so tired that I sometimes puked in the shower after beeing on dutey. I still feel that it is difficult resting on vacation; I feel that I have somehow lost the touch on how to relax. Still I love my job. It is the most interesting, rewarding and fullfilling job ever! :)

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  • Giveaman Amask
  • 17-06-18

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.

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  • Mustafa Al-Tandi
  • 08-04-21

Interesting enough to keep listening till the very end

Very interesting book. Funny, informative and interesting... a twist of sad just for good measure.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 14-03-21

Hilarious and insightful

This book gives insight into the horrors and humour behind medicine. I would recommend this to any healthcare professional struggling to get their family to understand what they go through on a dailu basis. Also helped me have true introspection into my job and how it's shaped me as a person.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-02-21

Great insight on the hardships of NHS

Great insight on the hardships of NHS. Narrated by the author, which could be a little better.

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  • E. D. Saxon
  • 30-12-20

You'll laugh & you'll cry. Brilliant eye-opener.

I listened to this on my hour release of exercise from lockdown. I laughed a lot at Kay's stories, but shared his frustrations and sadness along the way too. This gave me an insight into the inner workings of the NHS for staff and what we expect from them as patients. It's not good enough to rely on clever people to study medicine for the love of it; we have to support them in their work and to sustain the entire system for public benefit. hlHighly recommended.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 23-08-20

Narration is terrible

This book is likely a great read, but I found it impossible to listen to because of the narration style. Returned it.

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  • Jonas Bech
  • 04-07-20

"Painfully Funny"

When Stephen Fry described this books as "painfully Funny", he hit the nail on the head.
This book is just as likely to make you laugh out loud as it is to make you cry, when you start a new chapter.

Absolutely loved it.

(And as a side note: as someone who wants to start a career in medicin, this book made me feel more sure about my choice.)

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  • Anonymous User
  • 24-02-20

Wow

Hilarious and realistic account of the challenges Doctors face. Quite shocking working conditions and a lack of care towards people in a profession who are expected to provide ultimate care. It also begs the question, what don’t people put up themselves?

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  • Michael
  • 18-12-19

Anecdotes without an antidote.

Boring stories read by a boring reader, a series of little experiences and observations without much humour. It was billed as a funny book which lacks the vital ingredient, humour.

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  • The_Animagus
  • 23-09-17

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

106 people found this helpful

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  • rachch
  • 20-09-17

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.

41 people found this helpful

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  • Dumsey
  • 12-09-17

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.

64 people found this helpful

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  • William
  • 11-09-17

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.

58 people found this helpful

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  • John
  • 26-11-17

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.

20 people found this helpful

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  • P Mac
  • 09-11-17

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.

20 people found this helpful

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  • M
  • 21-12-17

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.

23 people found this helpful

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  • Dr Marianne Ross
  • 04-11-17

Loved it

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

15 people found this helpful

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  • Dave
  • 29-11-17

A wonderful raconteur.

Probably not a good read if you are in the midst of pregnancy. But overall great anecdotes, not too ranty when it comes to the challenges of the NHS, incredibly funny in places and make you remember there’s nought so queer as folk.

21 people found this helpful

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  • Adam Bharmal
  • 21-10-17

Amazing

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

13 people found this helpful

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  • Carron
  • 11-08-18

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.

21 people found this helpful

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  • Theres
  • 13-03-18

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.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Chris K.
  • 03-04-18

Witty, but profound in many ways.

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

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-03-21

Struggled to finish

Didn't appeal to my sense of humour. Found the story a little dull, but enlightening all the same.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Patrick Tolan
  • 27-03-18

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 people found this helpful

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  • Ian
  • 03-03-19

One of the best books

This is a great story. Hilarious, fast paced, down to earth and extremely well narrated. Yes there are a few rude words but only necessary ones, like the appropriate name for the ambulance chasing legal firm. But there is a poignant message at the end which should be a wake up call for everyone about the challenges our medical professionals face, and not just under the NHS. I have read a lot of great books on Audible but this is right up there with the best and one that had me laughing so hard.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anita
  • 17-06-18

Great dinner party stories

Adam Kay would be a fun guest at a dinner party. He offers plenty of laughs about what patients put in their orofices and the funny, rude and outrageous things they say. He also talks about the tough conditions NHS doctors put up with. Most concerning is the extreme sleep deprivation and constant stress that seems to be a daily feature. While his memoirs will make you smile frequently and laugh regularly I think he missed an opportunity to give the issues he raises more substance. Nevertheless there are a number of anecdotes I’ve already repeated to my family.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-05-21

A nurse agrees

As a nurse I wrestle with being completed misunderstood by peers who aren’t medics as to the demands and difficulties of the job, so listening to this was oddly comforting and like talking with a friend. Funny stories and terrible policies all together, until the final three parts of the ending point and recovery from traumatic events really got me. I regularly am part of palliating cancer patients and it’s devastating. What a well written, insightful, honest, funny compilation of diary entries. Truly hope that Adam is enjoying doing things that in the scheme of things, ‘don’t matter’, but maybe give him a more liveable life. Thanks for all you did and still do!

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  • Isabel
  • 03-05-21

I wish it had been longer!

I absolutely loved listening to this book - such a beautifully honest account of life as a doctor. Perfectly narrated. Wonderful book!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 25-04-21

Fantastic read!

This is hilarious, eye-opening, shocking and heartbreaking all at once! Such an interesting peek at the life of an NHS doctor! Please read this book, I am so thankful I found it! 🤩