It’s not all that unusual for physicians and other health professionals to go into politics. After all, there are currently 19 physicians in the U.S. Congress along with five nurses, three psychologists, and a psychiatrist, according to the Congressional Research Service.
But how often does a Philadelphia-based transplant surgeon transplant himself into politics in Italy and work to transform the car-centric city of Rome into “a more bike-friendly” metropolis?
So far, just once!
The initiative of former Jefferson transplant surgeon Ignazio Marino, MD, who was elected as Mayor of Rome this year was featured in a recent column by The Philadelphia Inquirer’s architecture critic Inga Saffron.
Dr. Marino explained to the Inquirer that “Philadelphia taught me how to go around a city without a car.”
And as Dr. Marino’s former colleague and fellow transplant surgeon at Jefferson, Cataldo Doria, MD, PhD, director of the Division of Transplantation and surgical director of Jefferson’s comprehensive Liver Tumor Center, told the newspaper, “he’s not one of those politicians always going around in a limousine.”
Dr. Doria said his colleague was a new breed of Italian politician.
So, after less than two months as Mayor of Rome, Dr. Marino ordered the Via dei Fori Imperiali—a highway between the Colosseum and the Forum—“closed to nonessential traffic on weekdays and banned motorized vehicles on weekends.”
Click here to read Saffron’s entire Changing Skyline column on Dr. Marino.