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Family Doctor Joins Adventist Health Sonora


Adventist Health Sonora welcomes Michael Portillo, M.D., a doctor of family medicine, who arrives after having completed his residency at Dignity Health, Mercy Medical Center in Merced, CA. There he provided a full-spectrum of primary care services, including pediatrics, geriatrics, labor/delivery, ICU and internal medicine. In addition, Dr. Portillo provided primary care for underserved populations in the Merced area, including prenatal care and chronic disease management.

Dr. Portillo earned his medical degree at the Dr. José Matías Delgado University of El Salvador, where in his final year of schooling he provided free medical clinics in rural villages, treating acute and chronic illnesses common to the region. After completing a year as a primary care physician at the Paisnal Health Clinic, also in El Salvador, he completed a clinical preceptorship at the Sky Lakes Medical Center in Klamath Falls, OR. Dr. Portillo credits his father, a chiropractor, for his path into medicine. “The connections he had with his patients is what impressed me and made me want to pursue medicine. And he supported me every step of the way.” That impression influences how Dr. Portillo practices medicine today. “I try to empower the patient to be more conscious of their health. That way they can help me better understand their needs. And as we move forward, we’re moving together.”

Originally from Burlingame, CA, Dr. Portillo moved to El Salvador, his father’s home country, when he was 14, but his roots in Tuolumne County run deep. His grandparent’s owned and operated the dry goods store in the historic Columbia, CA, where his mother would spend summers away from San Francisco working in the store. Additionally, Dr. Portillo’s in-laws have lived in the area for nearly two decades and his mother in-law, Marguerite Bulkin, currently serves as Tuolumne County’s Superintendent of Schools.

When away from work Dr. Portillo is an avid runner who also enjoys hiking, skiing, soccer and biking. He and his wife, Carmel, an elementary school teacher joining the Belleview School in Sonora this year, also enjoy exploring the outdoors with their two children, Sidney and Leroy, with whom they look forward to building new memories, drawing from the foundations of their own. “It’s funny. I remember rollerblading down the main street of Columbia as a kid and the countless days at Pinecrest. Now we get to live it again.”