How an Immigrant Became a White House Physician

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 “I had heard the title ‘Breaking the Bamboo Ceiling.’ In a lot of ways, bamboo is harder to break than glass,” said former White House doctor Connie Mariano.

She shared her views on the topic “Breaking the Glass Ceiling” with approximately 65 people on May 14. Held at the Hotel Bellevue, her appearance was organized by the Seattle chapter of Ascend, a professional organization whose mission involves leveraging the leadership and global business potential of pan-Asians.

“Anytime there’s a ceiling, there’s a limit placed on you, but if it’s glass, you know easily glass can be broken.”

Her audience ranged from college students to CEOs of their own companies, including a few people who flew in from the Bay Area. They all gathered to listen to a woman who broke many barriers such as being the first military woman to become a White House physician.

Her message ties in with May, Asian Pacific Islander Heritage month, the annual celebration of contributions made by Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in this country.

As the first female to head the White House Medical Unit, Mariano worked with three presidents, both George Bushes and Bill Clinton. University of Washington senior Michelle Mascardo asked Dr. Mariano how she handled feeling intimidated around them. Read more here.