Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) suggested he won't spend the rest of his life in politics, claiming he'd like to return to "practicing medicine at some point."
According to CNN, Paul was in Kentucky to perform free eye surgery for patients Tuesday, working to keep up his skills as an ophthalmologist.
"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,'" Paul told CNN. "So I envision myself coming back to Kentucky and practicing medicine at some point."
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."
Despite his success in the polls, Paul has received criticism from social conservatives, including conservative talk radio host Steve Deace, who said Paul has been "trying to thread the needle to appeal to all sides."