Are you into the thrill that comes with different medical crises? Or are you attracted to the knowledge and quick thinking that a medical team employs to respond to it? Korean dramas have a good amount of notable medical series. But if you wish to be truly entertained, here are 9 that might convince you to even consider a career in the medical field!
Park Si-on (Joo Won) is autistic, he also possesses savant syndrome, which means that he has genius capabilities when it comes to memorization and visualization. He had a difficult childhood that is riddled with losses and was mocked for his disability.
After being abandoned by his Mother, Si-on was raised by a Doctor who recognized his unique gifts. The good doctor helped the young boy towards his goal of becoming a surgeon. Unfortunately, he hit a brick wall when his highly impressive credentials were disregarded due to his disability.
Since his surrogate father-figure was a director at a University Hospital, he asked his place of employment to take a chance on Si-on as a resident for six months in order to prove himself and have his credentials reinstated. With the hospital administration currently embroiled in issues left and right, this oddly enough facilitated Si-on’s acceptance.
Once on the job Si-on meets Professor Kim Do-han (Joo Sang-wook) who is not impressed by his intelligence because he relies solely on his photographic memory and disregards his patient’s feelings. But amidst the competitive medical field, he finds a compassionate company in Dr. Cha Yoon-seo (Moon Chae-won).
Throughout the series, we see that on top of their gifts and abilities, these doctors must learn to work as a team and learn from each other for the good of their patients.
Following a tragic medical accident, Hong Ji-hong (Kim Rae-won) gives up on becoming a doctor. Overcome with guilt, he chooses a quiet life as a high school biology teacher. Perhaps drawn together by fate, he comes to mentor Yoo Hye-jung (Park Shin-hye), a problematic female student with a tough childhood.
They lost touch and later reconnected when Ji-hong went back to work as a doctor and Hye-jung was already working as a resident in the same hospital. Amidst the personal relationships that develop in the workplace, audiences also get to witness the constant clash between the two groups of doctors. There are the ones who believe that the hospital is not a profit-making business and should focus only on the patient’s welfare, while the other half believed that for them to survive in the future and cover all the expenses, the hospital should do what it takes to increase profit.
What makes the show unique is the fact that they displayed realistic visual content during the surgeries and consultations. This made the content more believable to the audience and for the ones who are not familiar with medical terms, they provide small descriptions to keep audiences in the loop. The scenes shot in the operation theaters were so convincing that one could easily believe that the actor was actually going under the knife.
The drama has a unique storyline as it depicts the life of jaded army doctors who attempt to bounce back from their own individual setbacks looking for a fresh start. Together, they sail on a “Hospital Ship” to provide medical services to different island residents.
What makes this series interesting is it doesn’t have enough medical tools available, so the medical team on board had to be more creative—there isn’t even an operation room for emergency care. The doctors may be experienced, but they fight a lonely battle to save the lives of people who are in need.
The story is unique and intense with every episode which will only allow us to appreciate the hard work and the passion of the doctors and the rest of the team on board.
Medical Top Team
Kwon Sang-woo stars as maverick doctor Park Tae-shin, a skilled general surgeon with an impeccable commitment to his patients. He crossed paths with cardiothoracic surgeon Seo Joo-young (Jung Ryeo-won) for an emergency case which sparked off a relationship of mutual respect and rivalry.
Both are recruited by Han Seung-jae (Ju Ji-hoon), the chief of Kwanghye University Hospital’s Internal Medicine Unit to become part of the Medical Top Team. This group is meant to consist of elite doctors whose aim is to make medical breakthroughs in patients suffering from diseases with less than 50 percent survival rate.
However, politics gets in the way as the hospital’s Vice President Shin Hye-soo (Kim Young-ae) starts a power struggle with Chief Han over the operation of the Top Team, which places business first and patients second. Things take a turn for the worse when family ties become involved in the struggle.
In 1994, the political relations between North and South Korea were so tense that many feared an inevitable war. Park Hoon (Lee Jong-sook) and his father Park Cheol (Kim Sang-joong), a doctor, are tricked into going to North Korea to perform an operation on its leader.
Park Hoon is held captive in North Korea as a prisoner, where he was trained to become a cardiothoracic surgeon by his father, but he later flees back to South Korea. He then worked as a doctor at Myungwoo University Hospital, one of the country’s top hospitals. He struggles with his renewed freedom and finds himself increasingly estranged from his own home.
Anybody with a penchant for medical-surgical drama would find the procedures interesting and engaging to watch. It provides a perfect amalgam of knowledge and entertainment.
Kim Sa-bu (Han Suk-kyu) was once a famous surgeon at the peak of his career at a major hospital. But he suddenly gives it all up for a life in seclusion and works as a neighborhood doctor in a small town. He now goes by “Teacher Kim” and refers to himself as the “Romantic Doctor”.
Meanwhile, Kang Dong-joo (Yoo Yeon-seok) became a doctor to make something of himself despite his poor background. He seeks out VIP patients to achieve the success that he desperately wants. Meanwhile, Yoon Seo-jung (Seo Hyun-jin) is a passionate young surgeon who is haunted by a mistake from her past and tries to get over it. When Dong Joo and Seo Jung meet the quirky Teacher Kim, their lives and careers will never be the same again.
Besides the interesting plotline and relationships that developed between the characters, because every episode shows a new case of a rare or formerly incurable disease that the doctors had to deal with. Medical K-drama fans will enjoy the surgeries performed in this series because they showed such detail.
Doctor Romantic comes with a second season with a more compelling story as Teacher Kim takes in new doctors to Doldam Hospital. The second season stars Ahn Hyo-seop and Lee Sung-kyung.
When a 6.5-magnitude earthquake strikes Seoul, a medical disaster team tries to help the survivors and restore order to the paralyzed city.
“D-Day” provides a fascinating look into the challenges faced during a natural disaster, showing the lives of doctors and other responders as they deal with the aftermath of an unprecedented 6.5 magnitude earthquake that leaves Seoul in shambles. This drama focuses on three doctors who decide to put their prestigious hospital careers on hold and team up to help those injured by the disaster, even if that means putting their lives on the line as the city structures continue to crumble.
When there was only one surviving hospital left, the catch was that it only catered to rich people. With thousands of patients all in distress, the medical team had to make the right calls.
The characters depict the adrenaline rush involved in emergency response situations. It also shows how a medical practice should be an altruistic effort. It should mean putting the patient first, above all other concerns.
The story unfolds to reveal a large amount of corruption that exists within a university hospital. When confronted with this information by their new corporate masters, most just look the other way. Yet, some doctors maintain their integrity to fight back, believing that the medical profession should put patients’ medical care above profit.
Cho Seung-woo plays the part of the new hospital president, recognizing that the hospital is awash in red ink, seeks to turn the hospital finances around while at the same time increase corporate profits through some fairly shady means. Throughout the story, he becomes increasingly disenchanted by the corporation to which he’s given his allegiance. Over time, he becomes influenced by the doctors’ principled stance.
Lee Dong Wook becomes one of Koo Seung-hyo’s (Cho Seung-woo) primary foes who remains confused at what the new president seeks to attain. But as the story unfolds they find themselves on the same side as clandestine corruption comes to light.
If you wish to veer away from the usual Medical drama tropes, Hospital Playlist is a breath of fresh air. Yes, it is different from any medical drama you may have seen before. It doesn’t feature action-packed scenes or mind-boggling, multiverse possibilities. Neither does it serve sappy romantic comedy, hospital politics, and a corrupt chairman out to misuse the hospital’s funding.
This series gives us interesting medical emergencies that are not over-the-top. Patient storylines don’t get dragged out too long and there is no unnecessary panic. Rather, it’s a “slice-of-life” series that peeks into the ordinary lives of five middle-aged doctors who have been best friends since medical school. Even if you don’t have prior knowledge of medical terms, this drama will leave you feeling a bit smarter, and maybe even inspired to become a doctor!