(CNN) – Sen. Rand Paul, who practiced as an ophthalmologist for 17 years before entering Congress, is back at home performing free eye surgery for patients Tuesday.
The Kentucky Republican said it's "an amazing thing to see someone sit up and be able to see better," but he's also keeping up his skills so he can eventually return to the medical field.
"I think that we need to have people who are willing to reclaim their place in regular life after politics and not just say, 'You go into politics and that's what you're going to do forever,'" he said in an interview with CNN. "So I envision myself coming back to Kentucky and practicing medicine at some point."
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Senate ethics rules prohibit Paul from maintaining a for-profit practice while he's in Congress, so he does pro bono eye operations multiple times a year.
On Tuesday, he's working on four patients in Paducah, Kentucky. Each of them are in their 50s or 60s, need cataract surgery and don't have health insurance. The procedure, he said, can normally range from $5,000 to $8,000.
He plans to travel to Guatemala in August to perform operations with a team of surgeons from the University of Utah. "We're excited about that. I operated on a bunch of kids, oh, 15 years ago in Guatemala–some of them are grown now."
Paul, who's seriously considering a run for president, said the procedures are a nice break from his current day job on Capitol Hill.
"We don't argue...We figure out what the problem is and we try to fix it, which is a lot more effective way," he said. "I wish politics was a little more like medicine."