Rand Paul steps off the Senate floor, into operating room


by Brooke Hasch


Posted on August 12, 2014 at 1:05 PM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 12 at 1:05 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- It became his passion years before he ever stepped onto the Senate floor.

Tuesday, Sen. Rand Paul put on his scrubs and, if only for an hour or so, stepped into the role of an eye surgeon, a title he's managed to hold for decades, even after entering into politics.

"It's a way for me to get back into surgery and do some good at the same time," Paul said.

Paul spent almost 20 years practicing medicine in the Bowling Green area before running for the senate in 2010. After he won, Paul sold his practice, but he still takes time during August recess to help those in need, free of charge.

"I'm seeing this every day. They can't pay for surgery, for their office visits, because they can't pay their deductibles," Dr. Frank Burns, a ophthalmologist, said.

Paul joined Burns at the DuPont Surgery Center in St. Matthews where, together, they performed several pro bono cataract surgeries.

“I go to Washington to talk about issues and we start talking about cataracts, which is fun and he doesn't get to talk about it often," Burns said.

Paul will take his trade to Guatemala in the coming weeks, a first for him as an eye surgeon. He's previously helped kids from the area who traveled to Kentucky for care.

"So, we're going to meet with them and re-examine their eyes and see how well they're doing," Paul said.

We asked which he'd prefer, if he could only choose one of his two passions: politics or optics?

"Is that a trick question?” Paul laughed. “It's a lot different. This is more immediate. You diagnose the problem and then you fix it, and people do see better. In politics, we diagnose the problem correctly, but sometimes we misapply and give the wrong solution, or no solution at all. So, this is a good reprieve from Washington. We know what we need to do and most people will get better vision from this.”

You can hear more from Paul on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. during the Powers that Be, with WHAS 11’s Joe Arnold.