The White House Doctor, a Memoir by Connie Mariano
Did you know that the White House has a staff of doctors on site to treat the First Family and visiting dignitaries? Neither did Connie Mariano – until she was offered the job.
In 1991, Eleanor Concepcion “Connie” Mariano was the division head of the internal medicine department and director of the internal medicine clinic at a naval hospital in San Diego. She was nominated by her boss as a candidate for the position of White House physician, which was supposed to be a two-year assignment.
She stayed for nine years and was the first female Director of the White House Medical Unit. “The White House Doctor: My Patients Were Presidents” is Dr. Mariano’s memoir of her experience.
She was hired near the end of George H.W. Bush’s last year in office, but grew close to the First Family. Although she trained intensely with the Secret Service to provide trauma care to the commander-in-chief in the case of an emergency, she also describes some of the more “mundane” parts of her job, such as searching her medical bag for a Band-Aid for President Bush while he played golf. She also stitched First Lady Barbara Bush’s arm after a fall on the Bush’s last night at the White House.
The majority of her years as White House Physician were spent caring for President and Mrs. Clinton. Not only did she care for the First Family as part of the White House Medical Unit, she also accompanied the President on 132 overseas trips, where she met Kings, Queens, and even the Pope. She cared for President Clinton’s mother before she succumbed to cancer and she was there when the President tore his hamstring at the home of golfer Greg Norman.
During her years at the White House, Dr. Mariano was promoted first to Navy Captain and then Navy Rear Admiral – both by President Clinton. She was also promoted to director of the WHMU and asked to become Clinton’s personal physician.
Today, Dr. Mariano is retired from the Navy and founded the Center for Executive Medicine in Scottsdale, Arizona – a medical concierge practice which provides presidential-quality medical care to CEO’s and their families. In May 2009, she was nominated by Hawaii Senator Will Espero for the position of Surgeon General of the United States. The position was ultimately given to Vice Admiral Regina Benjamin.
“The White House Doctor: My Patients Were Presidents” is an enjoyable look inside the workings of the White House Medical Unit and its staff of doctors and nurses.
Note: A copy of the book was provided to the author of this review by Meryl Moss Media Relations.