Juan Carlos Portugal Del Pino
Clinical and Sports Cardiologist
I’m a clinical and Sports Cardiologist in Barcelona. I was born in Lima Peru and I moved to Spain after graduating in medical school to start my cardiology training. While doing the residency in Cardiology I had the opportunity to perform a stage training in l’hôpital Cardiologique Louis-Pradel in Lyon (France), where I was also able to improve my French skills. I am very passionate about preventive medicine because you can always improve your quality of life regardless of your age or health condition.
Why did you choose to relocate to Barcelona?
I chose to relocate to Barcelona because this city has so much to offer. Not only is it a growing metropolitan city with rich culture, but it also has a beautiful nature element with beaches and mountains. Another unique aspect of Barcelona that I appreciate is the transportation system. You can go anywhere in the city on the metro, bus or cycling which makes exploring the city fairly easy.
What were the biggest adjustments you had to make when settling into life here in Barcelona?
Spanish culture is unique in many ways. It was important for me to adapt to the mannerism, traditions, and ways of expressing myself in order to connect and create bonds with local people. After a few weeks of adjusting to the cultural differences, I was able to feel like a Spanish local.
What are the core values of your company?
My goal as a doctor is to bring back the old-fashioned model where insurance wasn’t limiting patients’ time or the necessary equipment that is needed regardless of the price.I strive to give patients the best quality of care I can by investing in high-range equipment, good facilities, and spending the right amount of time with each patient, so everyone feels confident leaving their appointment.
What are things that ex-pats should know about the Spanish healthcare system?
There is room for improvement when it comes to the design of the healthcare system. The Social security system in Spain is one of the best options when it comes to emergencies and critical care but the efforts that are put into health prevention needs to change. Insurances, however, try to solve this problem by bringing patients to doctors and facilitating tests and procedures even at the primary prevention level but the budget is limiting the time of consultation and the investment in equipment. Big healthcare groups are solving this problem by providing care to big volumes of patients so the margin profit can still be positive but the revenues to doctors are among the lowest in the region.
As someone who loves to exercise, where is your favorite spot to exercise in Barcelona, and why?
I think exercise is extremely important regardless of where you do it. When it comes to exercising, you can always find a spot to do so, even if it is in your living room. Although, ideally it’s always nice to incorporate exercise with exploring the city. In Barcelona, I love to run in Collserola because of the trail with amazing views, or Carretera de Les Aigues which is also a great place to run. For short distances, I recommend Montjuic, the Olympic facilities and even Castles that you can run/walk by.
Do you have any tips for expats in Barcelona?
Yes, luckily there is a big community of expats here in Barcelona that is continuing to grow massively. There are also lots of clubs that are specifically targeting expats, where you can share experiences of your transition to life in Barcelona. For example, I sometimes send my patients to a running club so they can move their bodies and meet other expats.