Asian Hall of Fame – Class of 2011

White House Physician

Dr. Connie Mariano was born in the Philippines, the eldest daughter of a career Navy enlisted serviceman. Her upbringing involved frequent moves between military bases, but Dr. Mariano still graduated as Valedictorian from Mar Vista High School in 1973. Dr. Mariano received her Bachelor’s Degree with honors from the University of California at San Diego, then went on to earn her Medical Degree from the Uniformed Services University School of Medicine.

Upon graduation, she was commissioned as lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. Dr. Mariano received board certification in Internal Medicine and in 1986 was assigned to run the Specialty Clinic and urgent care facility at the Naval Medical Clinic in Port Hueneme, California. In 1990, she returned to the Naval Hospital in San Diego to become the Division Head of General Internal Medicine.

Her steady rise in the medical field led to a major achievement in June 1992: Dr. Mariano became the first military woman and the first Asian Pacific American in history to be appointed White House Physician. In 1994, Dr. Mariano was named the Director of the White House Medical Unit. The first woman director of the unit, Dr. Mariano was selected by President William Clinton to be his personal

Dr. Mariano served nine years at the White House, during which time she was physician to three sitting American Presidents. She retired from the Navy in June 2001 with the rank of Rear Admiral, making her the first Filipino American in US history to hold this rank.

After leaving the White House, Dr. Mariano became a consultant in the Executive Health Program at the Mayo Clinic before founding the Center for Executive Medicine in 2005. Dr. Mariano currently resides in Arizona and is the author of the book The White House Doctor: My Patients Were Presidents – A Memoir.