By Mark Abrams
ROME, Italy (CBS) — The newly elected mayor of Rome has Philadelphia ties and helped save hundreds of lives before answering the call to public service in his native land.
Dr. Ignazio Marino, who received nearly two-thirds of the votes cast in the recent mayoral election in Rome, served as a transplant surgeon at Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia for four years.
Before he left to return to Italy to run for a senate seat, the Genoa-born Marino had performed some 200 organ transplants here and rose to the position of director of Jefferson’s transplant program.
His successor, Dr. Doria Cataldo, says Marino’s training as a physician prepared him for his new vocation.
“You have to learn how to be a good politician, besides being an excellent doctor, and that’s how you become successful in this field,” he says.
And Cataldo believes it’s not the last stop for his best friend.
“I would not be surprised if, in five years from now, he will be the next president of the country or the next prime minister,” Cataldo tells KYW Newsradio.