Review: Adam Kay – Undoctored

Undoctored
The Story of a Medic Who Ran Out of Patients
Adam Kay

“Now, Adam Kay returns and will once again have you in stitches in his painfully funny and startlingly powerful follow-up, Undoctored: The Story of a Medic Who Ran Out of Patients. In his most honest and incisive book yet, he reflects on what’s happened since hanging up his scrubs and examines a life inextricably bound up with medicine. Battered and bruised from his time on the NHS frontline, Kay looks back, moves forwards and opens up some old wounds.”

The title of this book is misleading. It suggests that Dr Kay literally ran out of patients, and mislead me into believing that this book was going to tell me how it happened! Instead, it’s a chronocle of sorts about his life after leaving medicine with a few bits of past-medical scenarios thrown in. I found it unsurprising that the medical system in the UK is just as broken for training doctors as Australia!

I read this book in a little under 3 hours – there wasn’t too much there that took me time to digest and contemplate. I felt that the humour felt crude to me and I wouldn’t read his other books for that reason. I think it is a loss to medicine that he gave up medicine – all those years of training and money put into it. I confess that I just don’t find a comedian to be as personally valuable to me as a doctor.

I’m not saying that Dr Kay’s experience should be overlooked or isn’t as valid as someone else’s trauma. However I didn’t find the book particularly funny or insightful. I’ve been blessed by some excellent non-fiction lately in this genre, and this book in comparison felt a bit cheap and left me undewhelmed. I definitely felt that I’d wasted my time and not gotten anything out of it.

This book is going to be best for someone with a British sense of humour and who has read the past books by Dr Kay. It’s not for me, and I think that Australians have far better sources of medical memiors at home.

Hachette | 13 September 2022 | AU$32.99 | paperback

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