I liked this more than I expected- and I didn’t expect much. I’ll confess, with my recently resurfacing squeamishness, the memoirs of a former Junior Doctor weren’t high on my list. But this incisive, insider vision of the NHS ended up being too hard to resist. While it wouldn’t have been something I’d necessarily seek out, I’m glad this cuttingly comedic story fell into my lap.
Because dark humour is up my street- and this has that by the (admittedly sometimes icky) bucketload. So, rather than telling my fellow borderline-germophobes not to read this, I’d probably suggest skipping the footnotes, because that’s where most of the “arghh my eyes” moments are 😉
Admittedly, I sometimes found the Kay’s experiences unrelatable at times, yet that did not detract from the importance of his narrative. Like I said, this does give valuable insight into the ghoulish state of the UK’s National Health Service, for which I am grateful. This touched on a lot of significant issues, from the obvious issues of overworking and understaffing to how people even end up on this track in the first place (I always find it of particular interest that unis prize candidates who can play the clarinet passably well rather than considering if the 18 in question has the resilience and empathy needed for the job). Needless to say, all of this did not exactly allay my fears of going to the doctor.
Because at the same time as sympathising with a lot of the people who work for the health service, I was also struck by the number of cretins in this world (the example that most springs to mind was the fool interrupting a genuine emergency for a drill and then demanding an apology when this doesn’t go down well). Just for that incident alone, I’d say this isn’t the kind of book that makes you all fuzzy-eyed about humanity.
And on that note, as promised, don’t expect a happy ending. This concludes on the most depressing of stories; this is not a comfortable book to read by any stretch of the imagination. Never before has a book title been so literal. I do not think I can invoke the spectre of it and do it justice. So, I will just leave you with the instruction to read the book and see for yourself:
Rating: 4/5 bananas
And that’s my prognosis! Have you read this? Do you plan to? Let me know in the comments!