Seeing shattered lives, putting targets in the way of patient care and extreme emotional and physical fatigue.

That is just some of what Kiwi doctors go through, says Wellington GP Nina Sawicki.

The mother-of-three is one of several New Zealand doctors featured in a new book, Beyond the Stethoscope.

It comes as junior doctors await recommendations from the Employment Relations Authority after mediation between the Resident Doctors Association and DHBs over contract negotiations.

As well as caring for patients going through chaotic lives, Sawicki has experienced her share of heart-break. Her mother committed suicide, and her son is profoundly deaf.

The doctor, based at the City Medical Centre on Lambton Quay, shares her story in the extract below.

Let's start by talking honestly about what being a doctor is really like. What it's like
on a day-to-day basis in terms of how it impacts on you – there's physical fatigue, there's psychological fatigue and there's also a deeper, kind of spiritual fatigue.

Is it reasonable to ask one human being to see so much pain in a structured job which doesn't actually allow you to even acknowledge that the pain is there, because you've got to make diagnoses, write scripts, have performance indicators and stay at arm's-length? We're not going to get anywhere unless we get doctors together to