Medical Memoirs – Adam Kay, The Prison DR

The Prison Doctor – I was drawn to Dr Amanda Brown’s account of her journey from village GP to a Dr behind bars, as so often “prison stories” are (quite rightly) dominated by the inmates, so to have a book from the point of view of someone who cares for the inmates/residents is refreshing, as it provides a new perspective.

” ‘It’s like eating Ready Brek.’ ‘Ready Brek? The breakfast cereal?’ I asked. ‘Yeah, you get that glow inside you. Like the advert, when they start glowing when they eat it. The feeling cocoons you, wraps its arms around you and makes everything feel safe. You can face your worst demons when you take heroin. It gives you strength. It’s your best friend. It’s your mum, your dad, it’s every family member you’ve got…all rolled into one, there for you. That’s what heroin feels like.'”

Since 2004 Dr Brown has dealt with an unexpected traumatic birth, numerous complaints of sore feet (so they can wear their own trainers), a saddening number of self-harmer’s and at Scrubs, umpteen violent incidents, some as horrific as boiling sugar-water being thrown onto a man in the shower. While working at HMP Bronzefield Dr Brown soon discovered that not only were the women she was treating “criminals”, they were equally victims. Victims of emotional and physical abuse, rape, drug addiction and homelessness. Dr Brown’s compassion and commitment is inspirational to all.

Amazon – https://amzn.to/2UCo9kb Audible – https://amzn.to/3bhPXAa

Confessions of a Community Nurse – ‘Lucy Spencer’ beautifully explains the victories and the intimacy of community nursing due to the amount of personal contact, often over the long-term, while also moaning about the disrespect junior medical staff experience ‘just the carer’, the amount of SOS emergencies which turn out not to be an emergency at all and the joys of temperamental technology.

‘There were fruit flies in the kitchen, hovering around old cabbage heads and grocery boxes, and I don’t think any of the doors had handles. How anybody could live there is beyond me. I’m capable of getting cold in the middle of August, it must have been dreadful in the winter. But, he lived there and he was happy there.’

Amazon – https://amzn.to/31GTG5P

This is Going to Hurt is the international bestselling diaries of Adam Kay a former OB/GYN, who gave up a career in medicine to become a comedy writer for shows such as Mrs Brown’s Boys. Kay is currently adapting his novel into a 8 episode comedy show for BBC 2.

‘You may curse the job and the hours, own voodoo effigies of the management and even carry a vial of ricin on you at all times in case you ever meet the health secretary, but on an individual basis you really care for all the patients.’

Kay’s diaries show the struggles and triumphs of working for the NHS on a overstretched labour ward during a period of austerity. Stories of successful deliveries and operations in high risk situations will make you marvel at the amazing skills doctors possess, while entry’s talking about mental health, specifically a colleague’s attempted suicide are incredibly poignant. Nevertheless Kay’s humour makes it an amusing read.

Amazon – https://amzn.to/2UDxbNG Audible – https://amzn.to/2UAuZXg

Twas the Nightshift before Christmas is the festive sequel, which is full of the same humour and medical situations during Kay’s six Christmas’s at work. It features stories of ‘vaginaphylaxis’, observing medical students terrible bedside manners and a catheter leg ‘shandy’.

‘I delivered six healthy babies today to six healthy mothers. The job still gives a lot back, despite all it takes from you: the Christmases, the social life, the family life.’

Amazon – https://amzn.to/2H50zVk Audible – https://amzn.to/37hIYUV

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