Whilst some found Adam Kay’s brand of humour ‘laugh out loud’ it was not for all – one or two felt uncomfortable with some of the patient stories in ‘This is going to hurt’ – perhaps some shouldn’t have been shared. However we recognised that such ‘gallows’ humour helps folk to cope with the emotional stress and demands of an extremely responsible job – lives in their hands.
We discussed the experience of working shifts; the pressures put on our dedicated junior doctors with the attendant sacrifice of their personal lives and relationships. We agreed that the underlying messages of the book were important and that the vehicle of humour is the best way to spread that message to as many people as possible. We discussed the problems of recruitment and retention (without any dazzling solutions!), public expectations of the health service and explored the pressures on the wider care sector.
There was a wish that there was more acknowledgement of the role of other professions, but at the end of the day it is drawn from Kay’s diaries of his own experiences and written to give voice to the lived lives of junior doctors at a time when they were being hounded by elements of the press and politicians.