Korean medical dramas bring a unique South Korean twist to the world of medical procedurals, spanning genres from comedy and romance to suspense and the supernatural. These shows explore various medical specialties and offer gripping life-or-death scenarios in a hospital setting. While romance often plays a role, it’s not a prerequisite, making these K-dramas beloved by audiences in South Korea and beyond.
Dr. Romantic (2016-2023)
Dr. Romantic unfolds the tale of Dr. Boo Yong-Joo (played by Han Suk-Kyu), renowned as one of Korea’s leading surgeons. His life takes a dramatic turn after a devastating incident, prompting him to vanish from the medical scene.
The triple-board certified doctor then resurfaces under a new name: Kim Sa-Bu, and takes a job at a small clinic where he takes on the challenge of teaching young residents to fight for their patients. The heartwarming show has left both critics and audiences entranced.
Hospital Playlist (2020-2021)
Hospital playlist combines the medical and “young group of friends” feels. The show, which was renewed for a second season, follows five young doctors who’ve been friends since medical shcool. Hosptial playlist has these doctors facing life challenges, while also navigating the challenges of a being a doctor, but always with a touch of humor.
Good Doctor (2013)
Fans of The Good Doctor are sure to adore this medical tale, as the American adaptation featuring Freddie Highmore drew inspiration from it.
The story centers around Park Si-On (played by Joo Won), a 20-year-old doctor with autism. Si-On embarks on a journey as a pediatric surgery resident at a hospital, with just six months to demonstrate his capabilities. His task is made more challenging by the skepticism of the hospital’s staff and doctors, who doubt his abilities due to his autism.
Doctor Prisoner (2019)
Doctor Prisoner caters to the appetite of revenge story enthusiasts. The series revolves around Dr. Na Yi-Je, portrayed by Namkoong Min (known for his role in the baseball show “Hot Stove League”), who finds himself behind bars, wrongly convicted of malpractice.
While incarcerated, he assumes the role of a physician and establishes connections, all with the purpose of seeking retribution against those who falsely accused him.
Poong, The Joseon Psychiatrist
Yoo Se-Poong (played by Kim Min-Jae), a skilled physician once in the employ of the royal family, found himself ousted due to his involvement in a conspiracy. He subsequently embarks on a new chapter in the picturesque Gyesu Village, where he encounters Seo Eun-Woo (Kim Hyang-Gi) and Gye Ji-Han (Kim Sang-Kyung). It’s in this charming village that he not only hones his medical skills but also gains a deeper understanding of mental health issues, leading him to provide treatment for such conditions.