Park Shin Hye and Kim Rae Won decorated a love story of a fateful encounter in the SBS drama, Doctors.

Profoundly sweet and inspiring, Doctors inspires that growth requires time and effort. Penned by screenwriter Ha Myung Hee and directed by Oh Choong Hwan, Doctors is a light medical romance drama. It generally speaks about how real encounters change a person’s life.


Doctors Quick Series Recap

Doctors follows the story of Yoo Hye-jung, a used-to-be delinquent high school girl who was dumped to live with her grandmother after her father gave up on raising her. Through her grandmother’s love, she finds a new motivation to set her life straight and look ahead to what the future may bring her.

She got to meet good friends, Jin Seo-woo and Chun Sun-hee in the new school she moved into, and earned mentorship from their young homeroom teacher, Hong Ji-hong, who is also a doctor.

Her innate talent and intellect earn praise and put Seo Woo, supposed to be smartest girl in the school, on the sideline.

The one-sided rift escalates when Seo-woo discovered Teacher Hong’s feelings toward Hye-jung and an unfortunate fire that pinned Hye-jung as an arsonist cemented the falling out of their friendship.

Hye-jung’s grandmother was diagnosed with cancer and died on the table with Seo Woo’s father as the lead surgeon. Hye Jung firmly believed something odd happened along the way in the operation and vowed to retrieve the truth in the future.

Years later, Hye-jung became a prominent neurosurgeon and met her old teacher who was also working in the same hospital as hers. As she works on her earnest wish to bring justice to her grandmother’s medical malpractice case, she has to confront also her career, life, and love conflicts.


Doctors Series Highlights

Profound Messages About Living Life to the Fullest

Though having a prosaic plot makes it not an engaging watch for some, nonetheless, it scores high by giving importance to raw human emotions. The mentor-mentee relationship between the main leads spawns a whole new kind of watching experience. This is mainly because of the degree of maturity in the relationship the two have.

It is not the usual save-me-from-my-mess female lead trope. The heroine instead embraces the hardships that come her way as means for her growth. Meanwhile, compared to the typical egotistic and emotionally infantile male lead trope, Hong Ji Hong is a total game changer.

Despite having tragic and miserable pasts, they grew up completely gentle and warmhearted – far from the unfair treatment they received from their own relatives in the past. They always make way for things that matter for their personal growth – career, romantic relationship, and family.

The lessons it conveys is way remarkable and meaningful. Most importantly, it exposes the negative effects of experiencing the harshest things in life. Yet again, it still reminds viewers that good things and beautiful moments will come.


Here are some of the characters’ hard-hitting yet inspiring messages.

“Don’t try to be a person someone likes. Become a person you can like.”

This quote reminds us that we should live based on our own means and standards. More importantly, it wishes to say that we should live our lives not for other people but for ourselves. Becoming a person of our own requires acceptance and courage that only we can provide.

Seo Woo (Lee Sung Kyung) struggled due to her manipulative parents and became a person she, herself, hated. But soon as she learned to live for herself and break free from the standards set by her parents, the burdens in her heart cleared out.

“Life is not about waiting for a storm to pass but learning to dance in the rain.” 

An original quote from Vivian Greene, Hong Ji Hong enlightens everyone through these reassuring words. In life, unfortunate and difficult things happen, but like storms, those will soon pass in due time. The true meaning of life is looking for the good things we can get from experiencing such struggles. It gives a beacon of hope that life should and will still go on, and that we should go with the tide.

The scene where Ji Hong and Hye Jung is on a date when it suddenly rained. Sheltering on a telephone booth, Ji Hong invited Hye Jung to dance under the rain. Through similar circumstances, both became each other’s comfort and safe haven. Instead of being pessimistic, they learned the power of optimism. Both learn and grow on their own while having each other’s back.

“It’s not always your loved ones that mend your wounded heart. It could be one of the people whom we cross paths with” 

Wounds are quite ironic. The exact wound a person has can heal someone else’s wound. The same goes the other way around with healing other people’s wounds through your own wounds.

When Hae and Dal’s father (Nam Goong Min) is about to end his life, Hye Jung related to him. Through certain words rooted in her past miseries, Nam Ba Ram regains hope and strength to fight for his two sons.

“True relationships can change people. The person I’m involved with can transform my life. That is why people can be both sources of hope and despair.”


Stellar Cameos

Nam Goong Min as Nam Ba Ram

As expected from the outstanding actor, Namgoong Min’s cameo stood out for me the most. The hardworking single-dad plot left us in a bucket of tears.

His two sons suffer from different diseases at the same time. Due to life burdens; being physically exhausted, financially unstable, and having two sons to take care of, he opted on committing suicide. Later on, he recovered from his unfortunate situation, and with the help of Hye-jung, he found hope in living for his sons.

Lee Sang Yeob as Kim Woo Jin

Kim Woo Jin was with his wife on their way to their wedding when they suddenly get caught in a car accident. His wife who was completely unconscious was pregnant. Later on, she suffered from a semi-comatose state.

Though the obstetrician confirmed that the fetus was healthy, the injuries her wife received from the accident are too severe. The only thing that Kim Woo Jin held on is his decision to wait until the baby arrived. While his wife is barely hanging, the baby was safely delivered.

As he arrived at the hospital, he witnessed his wife’s vital signs decline. While holding her hands tight, he finally tells her the words he wasn’t able to say when she was still alive, “I love you”. In a few moments, his wife passes away.


Doctors Series Musings

The early episodes of Doctors were full of exciting moments, reasonably crowning the most re-watchable scenes of the show. Fighting a mob of gangsters with bare hands, being caught red-handed for stealing, and starting a riot in a bar – Park Shin Hye made quite an impression.

Although the intensity deflated in the latter episodes, the episodic patient storyline earned its winning points. The heartbreaking stories of every patient they came across taught them lessons that eventually moved the plot forward.

Some Noticeable Drawbacks

When the surgeries took over the story, it was a feeling of journeying to Mt. Mordor to destroy the one ring of them all. At some point, the circling plot feels like a confusing medical documentary.

Hye-jung in her rational self was indecisive if she will go full throttle with her vindication plan, she will just forgive and forget, or she should just worry about the things that would have mattered to her at the moment. There’s just so much from her angsty world that did not blend well with the narrative.

Adding to that weak execution of conflict tests patience. Almost all the side conflicts they scattered just happened for some minutes and viewers were prepped for another drama surgery.  Even when Ji-hong’s father died, the characters grieved a little and went to proceed with guess what?  Another surgery.

There were writing gaps that did not even complement the character sketches when they could have expanded it more given the complexity of the main roles drawn.  A little believable sprinkle of love complications would have broken the languid development of the story, but they throw in a lovable second male lead who settled to the proverbial fate of second lead syndrome.

In closing the story, they led grandma’s culprit to sickness and voila! we had another surgery where Director Kim had to rely on the people he had wronged to prolong his life. Then they put some forgiveness ribbons to highlight karmic justice doesn’t mean you have to punish the bad villains but paved a way for them to change for the better.

Fortunate Saving Graces

Staying true to present Hye-jung’s journey of personal peace, her admirable journey of healing is one of the key takeaways of the series. Notably, Doctors emphasizes healing requires personal choice. If you can let your support system enter, much better.

At the same time, Hye-jung reminds us to be gritty and refuse to bottle up emotions because it won’t do any good.

Becoming the driving force of the show, the sweet romance between Park Shin Hye and Kim Rae Won was a sure watch. Since it is not the conventional K-Drama romance mood, with distrustful couples and noble idiocy, the whole concept presented a sensible love story.

Though the initial revenge plot loose its power, the heart-fluttering romance, and poignant scenes with a dose of a comical breather from the hospital cast members provided relish and satisfaction.

By depicting and interpreting different people’s perspective, Doctors ascertains that a person’s growth depends on what kind of person he/she encounters.


Photos: SBS Drama

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