The true story behind Adam Kay's This is Going to Hurt

15 February 2022, 08:25 | Updated: 15 February 2022, 11:49

This Is Going To Hurt is based on a true story
This Is Going To Hurt is based on a true story. Picture: BBC

Is Shruti real in This Is Going To Hurt? And Is This Is Going to Hurt a true story?

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**Warning This Is Going To Hurt spoilers below**

If you’re anything like us, you’re probably already hooked on the brand new BBC series This is Going to Hurt.

Starring Ben Whishaw, the drama sees junior doctor Adam Kay struggling to navigate his high pressure job working for the NHS, while also keeping on top of his personal life.

The emotional storylines have already left most of us in tears, but how much of it is true to life? Here’s what we know…

This Is Going To Hurt is based on Adam Kay's memoir
This Is Going To Hurt is based on Adam Kay's memoir. Picture: BBC

Is This is Going to Hurt a true story?

This is Going to Hurt has been adapted from Adam Kay's best-selling memoir This Is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor, which was released in 2017.

Adam Kay worked as a junior doctor in the NHS from 2004 to 2010 – which is why the series is set in 2006 - and when it came to writing the book, he consulted his diaries from the time.

This means many of the storylines in the gynaecology and obstetrics ward detail real-life cases from his high pressure hospital work.

Opening up about the inspiration behind his book, Adam said: "My diaries were published in the first place because I wanted people to understand the true nature of a doctor’s job.

Adam Kay wrote This Is Going To Hurt from his diaries
Adam Kay wrote This Is Going To Hurt from his diaries. Picture: Alamy

"I think people were definitely surprised: the constant tsunami of bodily fluids, earning less than the hospital parking meter, and the difficulty in maintaining friendships and relationships when you’re working 97-hour weeks.

"I certainly didn’t know any of this when I applied to be a doctor in the first place, and I rather wish I had"

Directors of the BBC series, Lucy Forbes and Tom Kingsley, hired a team of medical advisors who were on set every day to bring the story to life, while some supporting actors were even real-life medical staff.

Lucy previously told The Times: "The most important thing was that it felt real. This is what it's like — it's what doctors experience and the women experience. We have to stop shutting the door and saying, 'Oh no, don't look at that, it's a bit messy.'"

Actor Ben also endured intensive training with real doctors via Zoom.

Shruti is not a real character on This Is Going To Hurt
Shruti is not a real character on This Is Going To Hurt. Picture: BBC

Is Shruti real in This Is Going To Hurt?

No, Adam’s colleague Shruti is not a real person and was a character created for the TV adaptation.

Actress Ambika Mod plays Shruti and said she tried to make the character as 'authentic and real' as possible.

“She’s so complex, she’s so well written, she exists in and of her own right and she has an amazing arc,” she told the Chester Standard.

“You just don’t get young south Asian women written like that.

“When you’re auditioning you see a lot of the same tropes again and again, so not only was Shruti as a character really refreshing to play but I also think she’s important.

“It’s who she represents in terms of her job, her age group, her ethnic minority, her class – she’s a working-class character.

“But at the same time she is just one person, she can’t possibly represent every person who comes under those umbrellas.

“I just tried to make her experience as authentic and real as possible.”