Expectations are heightened when secret and diaries are juxtaposed. Samuel Pepys partially wrote his in code and James Boswell’s revelations were fiercely guarded for very good reasons. Neither of those diaries were published during their lifetimes so they really were ‘secret’. But Adam Kay is very much alive. So what are Kay’s secret diaries up to?
Kay had a stellar career as a doctor and was clearly destined for a consultancy until his career was brought to a grinding halt by a professional tragedy. The narrative arc shows a man driven by dedication and humanity. Promotions come at a steady pace and always to the benefit of both patients and colleagues. He’s erudite (and does flaunt it a bit) and very witty but anyone reading this book solely for a laugh is going to be disappointed. It’s far more than that. Operating theatres, with all the drama that accompanies them, are profusely described; as is the relentless pressure of being constantly on a ‘bleeper’. Exhaustion, critical professional decision-making and managing colleagues is the everyday world of a senior junior doctor. Witty yes, but so very much more.
Why you should read this book: It is erudite, humane and very witty.
Why you shouldn’t read this book: You’re expecting your first child.