Like everybody else, I am one of those people who got sucked into the world of K-drama during the quarantine. Although I’ve been a fan of Korean movies ever since My Sassy Girl and have been watching Korean series every now and then, it was only last year that I started binge-watching K-dramas, all thanks to NetFlix.
This list is going to take forever if I include every single series that I love, so I figured I’ll just narrow it down to Medical K-drama. These types of series are some of my favorites to watch because, once upon a time I studied Nursing and my fascination for hospital action and medical practices is still there even if I am a non-practicing nurse.
If you are a fan a Grey’s Anatomy and Dr.House, here are some of the best Medical K-dramas you should watch.
Doctor Romantic 1 & 2 (a.k.a Romantic Doctor)
I used to binge-watch House M.D. before and it’s definitely one of my favorite medical dramas of all time. After watching the first episode of Doctor Romantic, I’m convinced that Kim Sa-bu (Teacher Kim, Boo Yong-joo), starred by Han Suk-kyu is the Korean counterpart of Dr. House.
Dr. Romantic is a story about Boo Yong-joo (Han Suk-kyu), a triple-board certified surgeon, who was once at the top of his field and used to work at Seoul’s top medical center, Geosan University Hospital. After a traumatic incident, he disappears and changes his name to Kim Sa-bu. He begins working at a small hospital named Doldam, located in Gangwon Province, where he trains young medical practitioners to become great doctors by teaching them to fight against power and money for the sake of patients.
This drama has a lot of ER (emergency room) and OR (operating room) action, which is why it was easy for me to binge-watch. Sometimes there are too many things happening at once that I couldn’t take a break. LOL! It’s definitely my favorite Medical K-dramas to date. Although I would say, this is not for the faint-hearted. If seeing blood weakens your knees, this is not for you.
Meseu (scalpel), anyone?
Doctors (a.k.a Doctor Crush)
Starred by Kim Rae-won and Park Shin-hye, this medical k-drama follows the story of Yoo Hye-jung (Park Shin-hye), a headstrong girl in high school with a gangster personality. She comes from a broken family and has a lot childhood scars, however after meeting her mentor Hong Ji-hong (Kim Rae-won), a sought-after neurosurgeon, she begins to change and turn her life around. Thirteen years later, they meet again when Yoo Hye-jung had become a doctor and started working with Kim Rae-won.
Two things I love about this series – 1.) Kim Rae-won who used to be my crush after he starred in the movie My Little Bride, and 2.) Neurosurgery hits close to home because of what my sister went through.
Good Doctor is a story about Park Si-on (Joo Won), an autistic savant who was sent to a specialized care center as a child, where he was discovered to have a genius-level memory and keen spatial skills. He eventually enters the field of pediatric surgery as a resident, where he is given six months to prove himself capable. However, due to his atypical mental and emotional condition, Si-on faces conflict from his peers and patients, who view him as childlike and unreliable. This series was adapted into an American medical drama in 2017 starring Freddie Highmore.
This series may not be as fast-paced and action-packed compared to Doctor Romantic and Doctors, but this one made me cry the most. I actually watched the American version first before I discovered the Korean version. But just like Freddie Highmore, Park Si-on truly captured my heart and I found myself crying on each episode. Make sure you have a box of tissue at the ready because you’re going to need…A LOT!
Doctor John (a.k.a Doctor Yo-han)
.Doctor John follows the story of Cha Yo-han (Ji Sung), an arrogant but genius anesthesiologist. He specializes in dealing with people having mysterious acute pain and chronic pain, and tries to find out what causes them. The story is based on the Japanese novel On Hand of God by Yo Kusakab.
In some ways, Doctor John also reminds me of Dr. House in a way that he, too, leads a team of diagnosticians dealing with other people’s pain. This series also broke my heart one too many times.
Note: This series has a few trigger warnings, with euthanasia being a recurring theme. So bear that in mind before watching.
If you’re wondering why Descendants of the Sun and Hospital Playlist is not in this list, it’s because I didn’t really like them as much as I did the other ones. Don’t get me wrong, they are still great medical k-drama series, but I feel like they were a bit dragging and are not exactly binge-worthy. But that’s just me =)
Do you have other Medical K-Drama recommendations? I would love to know. =)