This story originally appeared in UCLA Today, a discontinued publication.

Kodi Azari: Top surgeon finds comfort in nature

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Kodi-Azari.
Photo by Jake Fabricius
Plastic surgeon and hand surgeon Kodi Azari co-directs UCLA’s Operation Mend, which treats wounded veterans with facial and other injuries requiring reconstruction. Before participating in a panel last month on how the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have changed medicine, he talked in the Zócalo green room about the rewarding parts of his job, his battle to stop eating chocolate and why the walls of his living room are bare.
 
 
 
Q: Describe your singing in one sentence or one word.
 
A: Horrible.
 
Q: Are you right- or left-handed?
 
A: Right-handed.
 
Q: What comforts you?
 
A: Being in nature.
 
Q: What would you want for your final meal?

A: Probably sushi.
 
Q: What’s your favorite day of the week?

A: Wednesdays. That’s my operative day. I’m in surgery that day.
 
Q: What promise to yourself do you break most often?

A: Not to eat that chocolate.
 
Q: What’s the best thing you’ve heard from a patient post-surgery?

A: I haven’t been able to sleep for a long time, and taking the pain away allowed me to sleep.
 
Q: If you could time-travel to any year, past or future, which would you choose?

A: I’d probably want to go back to the Big Bang and see what happened.
 
Q: If you weren’t a plastic surgeon, what kind of medicine would you practice?

A: Orthopedic surgery.
 
Q: What’s hanging on your living room walls?

A: Currently nothing because I have two little boys who like balls.
 
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This interview originally appeared on Zocalo Public Square's website.
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