Instinct and Inspiration
Dr. Portillo had trouble making sense of his feelings. He knew how good he felt when he was physically active and eating right, yet doctors turned to surgery and drugs to help patients feel well for basic ailments. He had always dreamed of being a doctor, but could he pursue a career in medicine when he fundamentally disagreed with the approach most doctors took?
Having committed himself to a career in the field, he decided to move forward with his plans, enrolling in a pre-med course of study in his freshman year at the University of California, Davis. During a biochemistry lab class, Dr. Portillo was again struck by the feeling that something wasn’t right. He wanted to walk away and leave it all behind, but the idea of abandoning his dream left him feeling unsettled, agitated and angry.
That summer, Dr. Portillo’s oldest brother came home for a visit. He had been out of the home for several years and the two had not been in frequent contact. He shared with Dr. Portillo that he was living in Kansas City, MO, studying to be a chiropractor. Chiropractic was not yet a well-known segment of health care, and Dr. Portillo was highly critical of his brother’s choice. His brother patiently allowed Dr. Portillo to voice his objections before explaining chiropractic philosophy.
As his brother spoke, Dr. Portillo became more and more intrigued and asked many questions. The vitalistic chiropractic model of health, that the body heals from within, made perfect sense to Dr. Portillo. His dream of serving patients in their journey toward wellness had been renewed – Dr. Portillo made the decision to follow his brother’s lead and pursue a career in chiropractic.
A Chiropractic Family
Dr. Portillo began his chiropractic studies at Palmer College of Chiropractic West days after the birth of his third son. His brother had adjusted each of his children just moments after their births, and the medical personal were always surprised at how their color improved and that they calmed so quickly. He and his wife had realized the benefits of chiropractic as well. Dr. Portillo felt blessed to experience the power of chiropractic firsthand and to witness its profound effects on health.
Dreams and Disappointment
From the time he was a young boy, Dr. Juan-Carlos Portillo dreamed of becoming a doctor. He’d always been an athlete and understood the importance of good health, so entering the medical field seemed like the perfect career.
In high school, Dr. Portillo interned for a renowned specialist at Stanford Medical Center. To his disappointment, it became increasingly apparent to Dr. Portillo that medicine was not what he expected it to be. It’s incredible for crisis intervention broken bones and loss of blood, but as far as promoting health it is on a different paradigm than chiropractic care.
Dr. Portillo found he wasn’t comfortable relying on pills or surgical procedures to fix patients’ problems. After all, why did doctors think they could do better than Mother Nature?