This book is at the same time sad and happy, and disgusting and endearing. It is a hilarious account of many heart-wrenching incidents in the author Adam Kay‘s life as a doctor.
I know the trouble you go through when you change professions, having done so one too many times. None of those changes were as messy or difficult as Kay’s was. Yet, Kay does not whine and try to justify his decision in this book. He tells us his experiences in detail, probably so that we and the authorities understand what junior doctors experience.
Kay, who is now a writer and comedian, manages to describe even the most traumatic procedures with a touch of humor and simplicity. However, the background of the book is not all that simple. It points out the issues in a system where junior doctors are expected to work long hours and to cope with many unfamiliar situations. They are admonished when they make mistakes, but not applauded when they perform well.
Having been on both sides of a hospital desk I know how tense the scenarios there can be. I was never a doctor; I was a social worker who worked in healthcare settings. I am also an MS patient who spends much time in such settings—clinics, waiting rooms, hospital wards, and operation theatres.
As a hospital employee, I got to see the trepidation associated with the handling of each patient. As a patient, I hope everything goes smoothly and that the medical staff knows what they are doing. A fine mess, as you can imagine!
Overall, a good book. It reminds you that no matter what profession you are in and how much ever you practice or prepare, you will invariably make mistakes. It also reiterates how important it is to provide adequate rest and encouragement to all employees.