Rand Paul has Eye Toward White House and the Operating Room

May 29, 2014

U.S. Senator Rand Paul, R-KY, performs free eye surgeries for the uninsured while in Congress.
Credit Rachel McCubbin, Deputy State Director for Senator Paul

He may have his eyes on the White House in 2016, but U.S. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky also wants to return to medicine one day.

While Congress is on spring recess, Senator Paul spent time this week in Paducah, performing pro bono cataract surgeries on four patients who didn’t have insurance.

"Sometimes it's more rewarding than politics because you diagnose a problem and fix it, and people usually see better within a day or two," commented Paul Thursday in Bowling Green.

Paul was an ophthalmologist for 17 years before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010.  Senate ethics rules prevent him from practicing medicine for profit while in Congress. 

While he mulls a presidential run, the free surgeries are a way to keep his surgical skills sharp.

"Part of our problem is that we get people in office who give up on what they used to do and never want to come back to what they used to do," Paul said.  "I think it's good to have people who are not necessarily in there for a career, but that have other careers."

Senator Paul will go to Guatemala in August where he will perform about 200 similar surgeries in three days with a team of surgeons from the University of Utah.