Have you watched This Is Going To Hurt yet?
Adam Kay's true-life comedy-drama about the pain (both mental and physical) of being a junior doctor on the NHS has been made into a series - and it's pretty damn good.
Based on his wildly popular memoir of the same name, the series follows doctor Adam (Ben Whishaw) as he navigates the demands and dealings of the obstetrics and gynaecology ward of an NHS hospital.
There's sweat, there's blood, there's every kind of bodily fluid imaginable as Adam makes some difficult decisions that may affect his personal life and will most definitely affect the lives of the patients he's looking after.
Just as Kay's book was praised for its realistic portray of the sheer amount of work, the long hours, and the intense sacrifices made by NHS staff across the UK, the series has been lauded for its realism; oftentimes harsh, uncomfortable, and absolutely not for the faint of heart.
The opening scene sees Adam wake up in his car outside the hospital after falling asleep there post-very-long-shift (of which, it turns out, there are many). Moments away from starting another shift, he encounters a woman in labour outside the hospital and proceeds to lead her to a service elevator when she's incapable of walking any further.
Adam stops the breach baby's umbilical cord from becoming too exposed to the outside air all the while mounting a gurney and being driven around the ward still in his plain clothes. After several moments of frustration and unnecessary interruptions amidst the chaos, the baby is born and all is well.
Over the course of episode one, the same thing happens again and again... and again. Women are pregnant, babies are born, doctors are doing their jobs as well as they can with minimal support and not a lot of experience.
This Is Going To Hurt's first episode not only captures the intensity of the ward but the sheer amount of sacrifice that's requirement by every member of staff. From losing nights of sleep to relationships crumbling to spending an inordinate amount of money on having your clothes dry cleaned, the work doctors and nurses do is not minimised or subsumed by the blight of their patients - it's front and centre, and it's real.
Kay himself, who worked as a junior doctor between 2004 and 2010, spoke candidly about this level of sacrifice back in 2019. He told the Guardian that since the book's publication, the response from other doctors has been "overwhelming."
"The messages that really move me are the ones from healthcare professionals telling me they thought they were the only one who was struggling like this, in the same way that I thought I was the only one who couldn’t cope, the only person who ever cried in the toilet,' he said.
"We need to recognise that doctors are humans. And that’s really what my books are about. Doctors aren’t robots, they’re people who get sick and who make mistakes and who get sad."
This Is Going To Hurt is airing on BBC One now.