This work investigates the motivations of eye doctors who heal among the world's poor and it explores why this kind of service strikes us so deeply. It provides an insight into medicine, public health and medical ethics across cultures. The study analyses how western tradition often conflicts with traditional and contemporary belief, with examples and personal stories of opthalmologists in eight countries provided. The doctors range from missionaries to those in private service and the countries include: Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, India, China and Pakistan. The stories provide medical data on each country, descriptions of treating the poor, and illustrative details about the physical and cultural settings and how these settings influenced the doctors' reactions. This text offers useful reading for a variety of school classes, public health programmes, courses in international medicine and courses in medical ethics. It should also appeal to physicians in private pracitce and trainees for foreign service.