Life in Pictures: Dr. Kristi Funk

Photographs by Lauren Dukoff

Age: 44
Followed for: 13 hours
Date: May 21
Location: Beverly Hills, Calif.

6:55 a.m.
When my triplets [Sebastian, Justin, and Ethan, almost 5 years old] wake up, they’ll come straight into my room. Photo: Lauren Dukoff

7:14 a.m.
Each triplet gets to choose a book. Before I leave, I will try to read each of their picks ” or a part, because if they pick a long one, it’s a no-go. Photo: Lauren Dukoff

7:23 a.m.
They’ll run down [to the end of the street] in their pj’s, or occasionally naked, and just stand there. I’ll drive close so that they can each give me one more kiss before I go. Photo: Lauren Dukoff

8:09 a.m.
Every Wednesday morning, I have a meeting with Dr. Edie Smith, who runs our genetics program. We give women educated calculations on their risk for certain cancers, so they leave with a plan that makes them feel in control of their future. Photo: Lauren Dukoff

8:29 a.m.
Sebastian has started filling a backpack with things like his doggy and his Batman wallet [to show off], and has me bring it to work in hopes of getting presents back from the nurses. He got a couple of syringes and a pair of exam gloves, so he was over the moon. Photo: Lauren Dukoff

9:10 a.m.
I’ll look at patients’ mammograms before I walk in the room. The first two patients of the day were newly diagnosed BRCA-mutation carriers. That’s the gene that Angelina Jolie has. It puts you at incredibly high risk for both breast and ovarian cancers. Photo: Lauren Dukoff

10:50 a.m.
Whenever I meet a carrier patient, I examine their breasts. I’m also getting a sense of the cosmetic potential if we were to walk down the road of mastectomies”where would I put the incision, those things. Photo: Lauren Dukoff

11:15 a.m.
On days where there are no surgeries, I see 22 patients. Twelve new and ten follow-ups. My goal is to make sure there is no recurrence or new cancer popping up. There was none that day. Photo: Lauren Dukoff

11:29 a.m.
I hug everybody. Photo: Lauren Dukoff

11:33 a.m.
At the beginning of my career, I was interested in the esophagus and stomach. I went to Cedars-Sinai to do a surgical fellowship, and about a week in, they said, “We have a breast center we need help running.” ” Photo: Lauren Dukoff

11:39 a.m.
Frankly, back then, I felt it was an underutilization of a massive skill set that I had worked hard for if I were to become “just a breast surgeon,” which from a technical standpoint is not that challenging ” Photo: Lauren Dukoff

11:59 a.m.
What I came to realize is it would offer me a better lifestyle. There are fewer people to see after-hours, even if it is actually the poorest-reimbursing surgery. I fell in love with the field. It was a privilege to come alongside patients in their darkest moment and carry them through. Photo: Lauren Dukoff

12:12 p.m.
My patient Elina started an organic-soup company, and she brought me three of the soups. Usually, I’ll order the antioxidant salad from the place down the street. It’s a lot of mixed greens, strawberries, nuts, and salmon. Photo: Lauren Dukoff

3:05 p.m.
This was a young mother who’d stopped breast-feeding a year earlier. She felt a rather large mass out of the blue. It was a cyst: a benign fluid-filled mass that was very easy to puncture with a tiny needle. Photo: Lauren Dukoff

7:36 p.m.
The boys meet me at the end of the street sometimes. Sebastian just sits on my lap, and he drives. Justin is in charge of the music, and Ethan is in charge of the windshield wipers and the flashing lights. I’m not recommending this parenting strategy to all the world. Photo: Lauren Dukoff

7:47 p.m.
Four nights a week, we [the boys and their au pair, too] will do a workout video. We try to put some variety into it. You have to warm up for a minute, and so we’ll run around the pool or go into the other room. Photo: Lauren Dukoff

7:55 p.m.
I have one simple secret, and that is to do one thing. Whatever you’re doing at that moment in life, you need to give it your full attention and your best effort. Photo: Lauren Dukoff

Life in Pictures: Dr. Kristi Funk