Doctor to the Presidents comes home and shares her story
July 16, 2010
By Marissa Acierto
– On a special evening at Warwick’s in La Jolla, the anticipated presentation of the author of the book “The White House Doctor” was our own hometown second generation Filipina American Connie Mariano, M.D. who was the former White House physician and a San Diego graduate from Mar Vista High School, Class of 1973.
About the author, in 1992, Dr. Connie Mariano became the first military woman in American history to be appointed the White House doctor. The founder of the Center for Executive Medicine, a medical concierge practice providing presidential quality medical care to Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and their families.
Dr. Connie Mariano shared with the audience that this was all very new to her (presenting her book to an audience), she was not use to being in front of a podium. She cracked a wise joke by saying, “Usually most people don’t like to be up in front of the podium and hide because people like to shoot you.” A ball of laughter in the crowd of over 70 or more people who attended Warwick’s.
Some Filipino Americans who attended were family friends of Mariano’s; from the Southbay were Aster Santelices and visitors from the Philippines Professor Oscar Yoshihiro S. Santelices, Chairman of the Department of Sports Science from the University of Philippines; Winston Jimenez, Coach, Malabon Table Tennis Club and Princess Santelices. Then from North County were Lydia Duro, R. N.; Eddie Enriquez, US Army Veteran second generation and Retired American Airlines and former Southern California Lottery Manager; Rosanna Guevarra-Salcedo, former Miss Philippines of San Diego County and some classmates of Dr. Mariano’s in San Diego.
One couple who attended was from Los Angeles, George Paynich and Linda Knight. Linda said, “I am truly impressed by her and am glad that I got to meet her.” She and many others were so enthusiastic and were pleased that they got to meet and hear her speak. One gentleman was excited to say that she is part of our history book and was very honored and proud to meet her. The organizer, Susan E. Mc-Beth was very pleased by the outcome of the audience participation through the questions and answers, and the store was completely full and had to be opened because other people were standing outside to hear her presentation.
She thanked all the people who were instrumental in encouraging and helping her to create this book especially Dr. Michael Palmer.
Her story is the good ‘ol American dream. An immigrant, a girl of two years old coming from the Philippines, living as a military brat in U.S., a woman story, a Filipino story, a person who attended public school, and one day becoming the doctor for three Presidents of the United States of America which was an amazing feat. Dr. Mariano exclaimed, “This can only happen in America.”
She shared a wonderful story that did not end up in the book especially regarding the time around the incident of Monica Lewinsky. The first lady was in the car with her, and she spoke about how Hillary had such a good sense of humor that nobody really knew about. Hillary had just turned fifty, and she opened up a card that she liked and shared it with Connie. It said, “Everything we learned about life was in elementary school… Boys are real stupid.”
Dr. Connie Mariano served 9 years at the White House under Presidents George H.W. Bush, William “Bill” J. Clinton, and George W. Bush. She participated in world headline making news events and traveled all over the world. She cared for visiting dignitaries and was charged with caring for all the members of the First Family. From flirting with King Juan Carlos of Spain to spending the night on the Queen of England’s yacht, Dr. Mariano glimpsed a glittering and powerful celebrity that few ever see.
Congratulation’s to Dr. Connie Mariano! A person many woman and health professionals can emulate. Her tip for the day was be nice to the first lady because she is the one who will be the first voice the President will hear when he wakes up, and she will be the last voice he will hear when he goes to sleep.
The books are available at Warwick’s in 7812 Girard Avenue, La Jolla, CA 92037. For store hours contact, (858) 454-0347. Happy Reading!