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The White House Doctor: Behind the Scenes…

The White House Doctor: Behind the Scenes with the Clinton and Bush…

by Connie Mariano

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A fascinating behind-the-scenes account of the work of the White House medical team and in particular, Dr. Mariano, physician to presidents H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. It never occurred to me that the president would have a medical team but it does make sense for doctors to trail the leader of the free world on every excursion. Dr. Mariano's overhaul of the White House medical system and her sheer determination to prove herself as a woman of color make for inspiring reading. The main dark cloud of her story is the negative impact her career had on her marriage and family. But hooray for her becoming the first Filipina rear admiral! Now she heads a practice that serves corporate executives...obviously, she has done very, very well for herself. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
As memoirs go The White House Doctor was both fun and informative. I like both political and medical memoirs, so this book was one that I gravitated toward naturally.

I hadn’t realized prior to reading this book that the White House had its own medical team that travels everywhere with the president, but it does make sense if you think about it. I had been hoping for the inside scoop on the lives of the presidents and their families, but realized that there is doctor-patient confidentiality, so I wasn’t too surprised that there wasn’t a lot of gossipy news. While you do get to read some anecdotes about the first families, most of the book is about Dr. Mariano’s experiences as part of the medical staff and the role that she played while she was there. I wish that there would have been more detail when it came to medical procedures and/or politics, but as I said, I can understand why she stuck to writing about her personal experiences in the job.

I enjoyed reading about the extra training that she received from the secret service when it came to preparing for an emergency, and about all of the travels that she did. I think the biggest surprise was in how all-consuming the job was. Although there was a team of medical personnel who would relieve each other from duty, a white house doctor had to accompany the president on all occasions. ( )
  akreese | May 16, 2013 |
Very interesting recollection of her 9 years as the White House physician to the first "patient"...George H. W. Bush for one year and then Bill Clinton for eight years. I have a greater appreciation for this job and the impact this repsonsibility had on Dr. Mariano's personal life....she didn't have one for 9 years and this had lasting effects on her marriage. Well written by the doctor herself and not a memoir "as told to..." ( )
  LivelyLady | Apr 1, 2011 |
What saved this book is that she was the White House doctor, and thus had interesting stories to tell. I was going to say I guess it's not fair to expect such a personage to be a good writer as well, but I've actually read many books by very good doctor writers. This was pedestrian at best, and the personal asides (which were, unfortunately, much more than asides) intruded and, unfortunately, make me dislike Dr. Mariano. She continually talked about how inadequate she felt, but, paradoxically, also viewed herself as an essential part of the Presidential entourage. ( )
  bobbieharv | Feb 1, 2011 |
First, thumbs up to Dr. Connie Mariano for being only the second female white house phsycian in American history and the FIRST Filipino American White House Doctor AND becoming the first Filipino American Admiral in the US Navy. That's all quite an accomplishment.

Now, about the book.. It was a very eye opening read about life in the white house and following the president around for 9 years. Dr. M, a Navy doctor, first steps into the position as a white house doctor thinking it will be a two year stint. She becomes hooked to the rush, the white house life, gets a promotion and when the Bush Sr. administration switches to the Clinton administration, she stays on. Her total time serving in the white house becomes 9 years.

In those nine years, some funny things happen like Bush Sr. throwing up on the Japanese Prime Minister, some bad things happen, like Hillary Clinton having a blood clot in her leg, some stressful things happen, like a potential suicide in Ireland, and much more.

Dr. M also talks a lot about being Filipino American in a mostly "white" house. Her entire life was spent feeling as tho she "wasn't good enough" and she goes above and beyond the call of duty to prove she is good enough, earning not only the respect of two US presidents, but also the rank of Admiral before ending her Navy career.

To be honest tho, despite the fact I found myself admiring Dr. M, I have to admit sometimes she came across as a bit full of herself and very controlling. In the 8 years she followed Clinton around, she pretty much abandoned her own family (a husband and two children) to care for the first family. At times I found myself wondering, "Out of all the doctors in the United States, does she not trust a single one besides herself to follow the president around or is this an ego trip?" She went with Clinton on over 130 some overseas trips alone. Basically, this woman had no life for 8 years besides the white house. It's her memoir and she'll tell it like she wants to, but at times I felt she portrayed herself as too good to be true, Wonder Woman.

Thus, four stars. This book was better than I expected it to be. Amazing look at white house life.

Thanks, Book Trib. ( )
1 vote Soniamarie | Jul 28, 2010 |
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With love and gratitude to Andrew, Jason, and Richard
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I never slept with the president.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312534833, Hardcover)

A riveting look into the personal lives of our presidents through the eyes of their White House doctor

Dr. Connie Mariano served 9 years at the White House under Presidents George H.W. Bush, William 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. White House Doctor is a fascinating look into what goes on behind closed doors at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:17 -0400)

A White House doctor who served during the administrations of George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush shares her insights into each president's personal life while describing her travels and treatments of visiting dignitaries.

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