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This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay. I urge you to read this!

(24 Posts)
Lurleene Thu 08-Feb-18 20:36:39

I've just finished reading This Is Going to Hurt and I'm really surprised I can't find a thread already about it. This is the true story of Adam's experiences as a Doctor in the NHS. He is a comedian now and the book is laugh out loud funny but not at the expense of the patients. As well as the humour there is tragedy too, which is written about sensitively and very moving.

The book is also very good at getting over the sheer exhaustion and pressure on the NHS, at one point Adam is woken up by a phone call as he is late for a shift only to find he fell asleep in the car park. His personal relationships are under constant strain and he would probably have earnt more per hour doing a paper round.

I'm no book reviewer but in my inarticulate way I urge anyone to read this, it gripped me unlike anything else I've read in years. I would love Mumsnet to get Adam Kay in for a webchat.

AgentProvocateur Thu 08-Feb-18 20:40:46

I’ve just finished it too. I read it in a couple of hours. It was eye-opening.

I’ve also seen him as a comedian at the Edinburgh fringe. He sings satirical songs and plays the piano. V funny.

NewYearNiki Thu 08-Feb-18 20:44:29

He is a comedian now and the book is laugh out loud funny but not at the expense of the patients.

That surprises me. He used to be involved in some pretty nasty stuff.

Yes that is his voice singing.

Have a listen....fucking bastard he is.

mellicauli Thu 08-Feb-18 20:47:31

The book was very interesting and funny. That clip not so much..

JohnnyMcGrathSaysFuckOff Thu 08-Feb-18 20:47:44

Really? I thought it was very much at the expense of patients and was pretty horrified by him. There is a bit where he imagines sarcastically telling a woman "yes madam, you will shit yourself in labour" as she is concerned about losing dignity, and another where he prescribes anti-Ds to a woman who has had severe pelvic pain for ages and basically says it must be in her head.

He describes obstetrics as "brats and twats". I thought he was a nasty, cocky little fucker and no great loss to medicine. Like hell are the patients he's mocking not going to recognise themselves.

I am sure he is representative of lots of callow young men with no real life experience having to get to grips with a lot of reality fast in their first hospital job - but he made me shudder, frankly.

NewYearNiki Thu 08-Feb-18 20:53:42

I agree @JohnnyMcGrathSaysFuckOff he is a nasty filthy bastard.

Take a look at his previous stuff. He speaks of patients as if they are beneath contempt.

A disgusting song ridiculing those with colostomies.

A song taking the piss out of a someone who had a stroke

I have to say after seeing them at a show by chance at the O2 if i ever found myself at a hospital appt with Dr Kay I would refuse point blank to be seen by him.

He washed out of medicine anyway. Couldn't cope.

NewYearNiki Thu 08-Feb-18 20:54:34

Also wrote and sang songs making light of paedophiles.

Lurleene Thu 08-Feb-18 21:00:10

Ah, I must admit I hadn't seen any of that other material. I knew he was a comedian but this book is the only thing I know of his.

NewYearNiki Thu 08-Feb-18 21:01:41


That's how his comedy career started. He's an arsehole.

southeastdweller Thu 08-Feb-18 21:17:25

Been put off this because of a suspicion he’s exaggerated some stories for comic effect. He’s got another book out next year:

CannotEvenThink Thu 08-Feb-18 21:17:42

I have read it. As a midwife there were some parts I identified with. There were many, many others where I felt he looked down on us and on women. He seemed very much of the opinion that a birth plan guarantees you a trip to theatre and that birth is dangerous and should be managed by doctors. His descriptions of patients were horrible at times. Yes sure at work we exchange stories but they will be off genuinely funny moments not taking the piss out of women.

However, the incident at the end that began his exit from medicine was heart breaking and really resonated. I think throughout the book he did a good job of describing what life is like for junior doctors, exactly what junior doctor means and what the nhs expects from them and that's a good thing.

olympicsrock Thu 08-Feb-18 21:33:54

It’s black humour. Sometimes when you see really terrible things you make light of them as a coping mechanism. I’M sure Adam and Suman have great respect for their patients.

JohnnyMcGrathSaysFuckOff Thu 08-Feb-18 21:40:32

Olympics I've got a sense of humour and a pretty dark one at that. It doesn't extend to mocking people who are vulnerable and scared, and whom I have in my power.

NewYearNiki Thu 08-Feb-18 21:41:25

It’s black humour. Sometimes when you see really terrible things you make light of them as a coping mechanism.

That would wash if so much of their old comedy act had nothing to do with medicine.

Neither one of them did couples counselling and yet wrote a song about a man who hates his girlfriend with a fat arse and that is why he beats her up.

Or the paedophile song?

Or the song ridiculing a woman after a one night stand as she looks like shit with her clothes off.

Sorry the coping mechanism doesnt wash.

Some of their most offensive stuff had nothing to do with medicine or patients.

For example

olympicsrock Thu 08-Feb-18 21:49:54

I found that clip funny... it’s a song about beer goggles .

NewYearNiki Thu 08-Feb-18 21:53:42

Because he is so attractive himself?

Are any of you from up north?

If so Dr Kay considers you to be a lazy, ugly, whore who smells of burgers.

Coping mechanism.

Yeah right.

I think mumsnet webchat would be great though so you can quiz on all this.

olympicsrock Thu 08-Feb-18 22:02:41

Actually agree about that one - it’s incredible offensive.

CapnHaddock Thu 08-Feb-18 22:11:03

He delivered my baby. He did a pretty neat job of sewing me back up again, I'll give him that

Vix888 Wed 14-Feb-18 19:28:16

A few months ago he did a book signing and talked for an hour about his book and basically slated the NHS. He couldn't handle the pressure of being a doctor how relationships failed due to long hours and how he finally quit due to patient losing baby and having to have hysterectomy and being in 20s so no chance of children. It was very sad listening to him at times he was extremely bitter he tried to make fun of things but he had already lost me. Did not bother to purchase the book.

Deathraystare Sat 17-Mar-18 17:36:26

Funny how a number of doctors become comedians, yet in the surgery I find most have no sense of humour. I did find one - a German! I properly teased him about him having a sense of humour, and is that why he left Germany?! He took it well!

Wildernesstips Mon 19-Mar-18 11:42:52

I haven't looked at the clips, but have just finished the book which I found fascinating. There were a couple of moments when he was condescending but overall I think he writes quite empathetically. I don't fully agree with him on the birth plan, but I don't think the realities of child birth are fully laid out when you write them. I can't believe how naive I was with my first, wanting a "natural no painkiller" birth but ended up with all the pain relief going and delivery by ventouse and forceps.

notmypropername Wed 11-Apr-18 08:41:50

Oh my! What a disgusting human being. Making fun of those with colostomies is so fucking cruel, and from a doc. One of my close friends had to have a colostomy and it was the hardest thing for her to come to grips with. Even now 2/3 years later she does struggle. Tight bastard

KeithLeMonde Wed 29-Aug-18 10:32:33

Hum. Just finished the book, and remembered I'd seen a thread about it - resurrecting this to put in my 2p.

In Kay's defence, I guess he didn't set out to write the ultimate best-selling "state of the NHS book". It sounds like he was angry about the junior doctors' strike and the anti-medic smear campaign by the then Health Secretary, and thought it would be a good time to publish his diaries as an insight for laypeople into what it's really like to be a hospital doctor. Maybe if he'd known how widely it would sell he might have written it differently, who knows?

1. I wish there were more politics in it. The question of why the NHS has got into this mess, and what we do about it, touches on so many of the key issues that matter to people from all political persuasions. Perhaps, though, the fact that it's "funny" and not political is why it has been so popular, and maybe that's not a bad thing - getting those who "don't do politics" or who shudder at the sight of a picket line to consider why the doctors went on strike.

2. It's very me, me, me. This is entirely a book about what it's like to be a white, male, middle class, unmarried, childless doctor. Fair enough, it's a book from a doctor's perspective so he doesn't touch at all on what it's like for other NHS employees (those midwives that he works alongside for example) and only briefly on what it's like to be a patient in such a system. I found it less forgivable that he skirts around the issue a couple of times to the idea that some doctors will have it harder than others (the racist patient who abuses his colleagues, the enormous pressure of those trying to combine the ridiculous working hours with being a parent) but every time chooses not to go there. I wonder whether he ever had these thoughts but chose not to put them into the book, or if it just isn't something that he's ever thought about?

3. Yes, yes, black humour, coping mechanism etc. But still, there was a level of contempt in talking about many of his patients which I was very uncomfortable with. Time after time he talks about patients in vulnerable, frightening, humiliating positions, and very rarely does he recognise their fellow humanity. Maybe because he's in Obs and Gynae (and therefore safe in the knowledge that he will never be in that hospital bed himself), or maybe just because of his character, he sees those patients as "other", and the shitty attitude shown in the links posted here doesn't surprise me.

4. Just generally not funny. Tried too hard with the humour and mostly fell flat.

All of that said, like PP I felt that the handling of the incident that caused him finally to leave medicine was done well - I felt only sympathy with him over this and the way it made him feel.

Dottierichardson Wed 29-Aug-18 12:43:10

Keith really clear, convincing summary. I wasn't that keen on the idea of the book but so many people are reading it, was starting to entertain the possibility, glad to feel won't have to bother. I suppose the absence of a political dimension might have been a marketing decision but seems hard to imagine that people buying books about NHS doctors don't support its continuance or have an interest in its future/current state. He sounds awful and horribly familiar at the same time.

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