Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim: Episode 10
I’m so proud of all our doctors for making such great strides in their progress and teamwork to become caring and humane healers. It’s crazy how all of their painfully loud shouting matches and past confrontations now seem to have been so necessary for them to mature into the better doctors this episode has demonstrated them to be. After all the dramatic conflicts they’ve had to endure, everything jelled so well together this episode that I’m actually a little afraid for what will befall our heroes next.
CHAPTER 10: “Crush”
On their car ride back to Doldam Hospital, Dong-joo gently admonishes Seo-jung for abruptly leaving without a word and tells her, “Don’t ever do that again, Yoon Seo-jung.” In front of him, a large tanker truck is skewed sideways, blocking the highway, and Dong-joo slams on the brakes. When they get out of the car, they see that the entire road is littered with crushed automobiles and bodies.
Seo-jung calls 911 and informs them about the six-vehicle accident. Dong-joo pries the bleeding truck driver out of his seat, while another person crawls out of his car and hysterically insists that it wasn’t his fault. His passenger was thrown through the front windshield and died on impact, so Seo-jung and Dong-joo look for other survivors.
Back at Doldam hospital, Nurse Assistant Park throws a flying punch at the Geodae investigator who has been harassing Teacher Kim, leaving everyone shocked by the usually easygoing young man’s temper. Incensed by the assault, the investigator demands for his subordinate to call the police.
Nurse Assistant Park points out that the patient needs emergency surgery, and that Teacher Kim is the only person in the hospital to perform it, but the investigator insists that it’s all an excuse. He warns Nurse Assistant Park that he will be pressing charges for assault.
Another nurse dashes in and tells Teacher Kim that Dong-joo is on the other line with a mass traffic accident on his hands. Dong-joo apprises Teacher Kim of the situation, counting more than ten total patients who need treatment. Teacher Kim looks around the emergency room, seeing most of the beds occupied by patients on an already busy Friday night.
With a frustrated sigh, he starts issuing orders. He tells Dong-joo to send any pregnant women, children, and heavy bleeding patients to Doldam. For the rest, he tells Dong-joo that it is imperative for them to keep their body temperatures stable in the freezing cold, especially the unconscious victims. The truck driver opens his cargo hold to reveal boxes full of thick winter coats, which he then distributes to everyone.
At the accident site, Seo-jung discovers the original cause of the mass collision: the two drunken men who are still red-faced in their inebriated state. Around the corner, she discovers a road worker with excessive hemorrhaging and an open fracture on his lower limbs. She gives him her coat, while he whispers that he has a partner nearby in the same condition.
A woman wakes from her unconscious state to discover that her daughter in the back seat won’t wake up. Her frantic screams draw Dong-joo to her car, where he takes the pulse of the unresponsive four-year-old child. He suspects internal bleeding, and sends the pair immediately to Doldam Hospital.
In-bum, who was traveling on the same road to go back to Doldam Hospital, also sees the sideways truck and stops. A granny calls for a doctor when her elderly husband starts wheezing, and upon realizing that the car crash victims need him, In-bum jumps on the scene and starts taking decisive action. He provides the grandpa with a nebulizer treatment as well as oxygen.
When Dong-joo triages a female driver hanging upside down in her overturned car, she points out another man lying crushed underneath the drunk driver’s car. It’s the partner of the road worker Seo-jung found earlier, and she and Dong-joo work together to roll the car back so that they can extract their patient.
To keep him from bleeding out, Dong-joo offers his belt as a tourniquet, but they need another, because both the man’s legs are crushed. That’s when In-bum comes to the rescue with his belt. (Yay! My two favorite cuties finally working together to save a patient.)
At Doldam Hospital, Teacher Kim works at clearing the ER beds and calling in reinforcements for the imminent arrival of the traffic accident patients. The Geodae investigator asks Teacher Kim if he really wants to do this the hard way.
Since the investigator had put a restriction on all of Teacher Kim’s medical activities, having him treat any of the traffic accident patients would be a direct violation of orders. Teacher Kim asks the investigator whether he’s willing to take responsibility if any of the victims die, but the smug investigator just replies that this situation wouldn’t exist if Teacher Kim had complied earlier.
Just then, the crying mom accompanying her unconscious daughter arrive at the ER, rolling past the confrontation between Teacher Kim and the investigator. Spotting the investigator, the woman’s eyes grow large as she calls out, “Honey?” Straightaway, the investigator looks at the bed beside her and realizes that it’s his daughter who has just been admitted into the ER.
After wrapping up the most urgent cases, In-bum and Dong-joo get ready to go back to Doldam, while Seo-jung has been charged with staying at the accident site with the less critical patients. After she says goodbye, Dong-joo bids her to wait a moment, and takes off his coat to wrap around her. Seo-jung accepts it without a word as In-bum looks at the romantic gesture in half-bewilderment.
She goes to the police officers surveying the scene, as they wait for the drunk driver to finish throwing up beside his car. She asks how high his blood alcohol content was, but they say that he’s refused the test.
She jabs a syringe in the drunk driver right on the spot, taking his blood with precision and ease. She forcefully tells him not to drive after imbibing ever again, adding that it’s equivalent to manslaughter. When he asks who she is to tell him off, she replies, “I am the crazy whale of Doldam Hospital, Dr. Yoon Seo-jung,” and strides off.
Back at the hospital, the CT results for the investigator’s daughter show that Dong-joo was right – she has internal hemorrhaging that requires pediatric surgery. Only Teacher Kim can perform the operation, so he asks the investigator what he wants to do. Despite looking heartbroken at the prospect of his daughter dying, the stubborn investigator says that a rule is a rule, and that he must stick to his principles.
Teacher Kim shoves the investigator, calling him a useless fool. The doctor says that he will proceed to do his work despite any interference, and dares the investigator to try to stop him if that’s what he wants to do. He quotes his motto: “My one rule is to save the patient. No matter what.”
Dong-joo and In-bum arrive at the Doldam ER. Teacher Kim notifies them that he will be operating on the pediatric patient, while one of them has to perform surgery on the patient with Boerhaave syndrome.
When he asks the two who has prior experience with Boerhaave syndrome, Dong-joo hesitates, which gives In-bum the chance to say that he has done the procedure once through laparoscopy. Teacher Kim assigns Dong-joo to assist In-bum. This time, without a word of complaint, Dong-joo hurries off to prepare himself to help In-bum.
The suicidal manhwa artist (Shin Seung-hwan) watches the entire scene with wide eyes. Suddenly struck by inspiration, he rushes to grab a pen and a paper from the nurses’ station and starts to draw.
An EMT calls Seo-jung to say he has not been successful finding any hospital that will take the two road workers with crushed legs, so she tells him to bring the patients to Doldam Hospital.
In the doctors’ break room, Dong-joo catches In-bum in front of a laptop simulating the surgery scenario. He asks In-bum why he’s studying a simulation when he said he’s already performed the surgery once before, and In-bum responds that he’s just practicing. Dong-joo seems suspicious, but says that he will go to the operating wing to prepare first.
Before the investigator’s daughter’s operation, Dr. Nam gazes with a vulnerable expression down at the child, who he has just anesthetized. Teacher Kim asks if he’s ready, and he nods in response.
Outside, the investigator and his wife have a talk. His wife tells him that they were coming down to see him because his daughter wanted to see her daddy, adding that she wasn’t in the carseat because she had complained it was uncomfortable. Seo-jung rolls by the couple with her two emergency orthopedic patients on gurneys.
In the ER, Seo-jung and In-soo assess the two crushed limb patients and stabilize them until they can be transferred. Seo-jung asks a nurse to get Ki-tae to help them with the transfers, because he has some influence with the neighboring hospitals.
Seo-jung and In-soo then divide the rest of the patients between them. Finding the drunk driver on the right and the granny-grandpa couple on the left, she chooses to take on the left side of the ER. The investigator, witnessing Seo-jung and the Doldam Hospital staff working hard to help their patients, seems to have a revelation.
First, Seo-jung asks the grandpa whether his breathing has returned back to normal. He replies that it has, and he shares that tomorrow is actually his and his wife’s fifty-fourth wedding anniversary. After listening to his breathing, Seo-jung asks the granny whether she is suffering from any side effects.
The granny says that her heart is racing, and the grandpa tells Seo-jung that his wife has a weak heart. Seo-jung takes her pulse, which is a bit faster than normal, but the granny says that it’s probably due to the shock of the accident.
Seo-jung tells the granny to let her know if anything changes before leaving their bedside to attend to the other patients. When the grandpa asks the granny if their children have been informed, she replies that she told them, adding that he should rest until they come. He lies down, and she falls asleep beside him.
While Teacher Kim has his hands full with the pediatric surgery, Dong-joo and In-bum operate on the Boerhaave patient. In the middle of the surgery, sweat rolls down In-bum’s face when he can’t seem to locate the rupture, and he snaps at Dong-joo to pull the laparoscope back.
Both Dong-joo and Nurse Assistant Park notice In-bum’s tense stance, prompting Dong-joo to ask In-bum whether they should call Teacher Kim. But to Dong-joo’s surprise, In-bum firmly refuses, and ends up finding the rupture site. The rest of the operation proceeds smoothly.
Yeon-hwa, meanwhile, worriedly contemplates her fate at Doldam in the locker room. She gathers her things and is about to leave the hospital when she spies Dong-joo.
Having just come out of the Boerhaave surgery, Dong-joo interrogates In-bum, demanding to know whether In-bum lied to Teacher Kim when he said he had operated on a Boerhaave patient before. Caught red-handed, In-bum capitulates without missing a beat.
Confidently, he tells Dong-joo that the surgery wasn’t too hard, and since everything went successfully, it’s all right. Nurse Assistant Park comments that Dong-joo has been one-upped by In-bum this time, but surprisingly, this doesn’t throw Dong-joo into fits.
Yeon-hwa catches Dong-joo at the coffee machine without any change. Knowing how he likes his coffee, she uses her money to make him a cup, then hesitantly hands it to him. As he turns to leave, she asks whether he’s ever thought about quitting his profession, and how he endured during those moments.
With a reflective smile, he says that he thought of the years he had already put into this career path, which he didn’t want to waste. He adds that he also did not have the courage to explore something new.
Yeon-hwa asks if that’s his only reason, and wonders if he ever thought about his duty as a doctor, or his mission in healing. But he laughs, saying that he doesn’t know what that means yet, and that it will probably take more than ten years as a doctor to figure it out. He gets a call from the ER and heads off, and she stares at his retreating back with a different resolve in her eyes.
Upon arrival, Dong-joo asks Seo-jung what the situation is. She replies that the orthopedic patient who had been crushed under the drunk driver’s car is bleeding out because his blood pressure is rising. A nurse comes into the room then, and tells them that another patient has gone into cardiac arrest. Seo-jung goes with her, and finds the granny not breathing by her husband’s bedside.
She performs several rounds of chest compressions, but the heart rhythm doesn’t return. Watching Seo-jung pressing up and down on his immobile wife, the grandpa demands that she stop, because they have already signed a do-not-resuscitate to be implemented in a situation like this.
He puts his hands over Seo-jung’s and gently tells her again that it’s okay — she doesn’t have to do anything more. He lays down his head by his wife’s side, brushes her hair, and tells her, “You have been through a lot over the years.”
The ER patients, including the manhwa artist, regard the elderly couple with touching empathy. Tears drop down Seo-jung’s face, and Dong-joo draws near her, placing a hand on her shoulder to comfort her. Yeon-hwa, witnessing this tender moment, leaves the hospital. Later, Nurse Assistant Park checks her locker, only to find it empty.
Teacher Kim comes out of the ICU after checking on his pediatric patient. He tells the mother that the surgery was successful, and she thanks him profusely.
On his way out, the investigator stops him to ask him what he wants. Teacher Kim says, “Working hard in life is good, but let’s not live foolishly. Please don’t forget why you work so hard, and your reason for living.”
Taking this into his heart, the investigator gets an orthopedic surgeon from Geodae to come down to Doldam for the crushed leg patients. When Dr. Do is notified by his secretary, he calls the investigator incensed, but the investigator merely says that he did what was needed. With a relieved conscience, the investigator goes to stand by his wife and daughter.
Angered, Dr. Do telephones Dr. Song, who is currently at a karaoke bar instead of being at his job. When Dr. Do asks him what the situation at Doldam Hospital is, Dr. Song can’t give an answer because he is not there. Frustrated, Dr. Do hangs up the phone.
After everything has calmed down, Teacher Kim asks Nurse Oh where Seo-jung is. He still has not seen her since she left a resignation letter on his desk, but he realizes that she’s behind a hospital curtain, saddened by the granny’s passing.
Dong-joo holds out a mug of tea, and asks whether Seo-jung’s feeling any better. He tries to ease her pain by reassuring her that there was nothing more she could have done in that situation.
She wonders whether she is doing the right thing, and whether her best is the best for the patients, adding that in front of a dead person, her best doesn’t seem to be enough. At this, Teacher Kim pulls back the curtain and curtly tells her to follow him.
He leads her to another hospital wing, where her coma patient with the impoverished family has finally awoken. The patient guardians thank her with wide smiles on their faces.
Teacher Kim tells her, “The only way you know you’re on the right path is through the patients. You don’t have to take on the responsibility of life and death.” He then releases her from her position as an orderly, and reinstates her as a doctor.
Telling her not to cry, he chides her to go on into the room and look over her patient. Teacher Kim goes to his office, and puts her resignation in a folder containing all his students’ information as keepsakes.
When he turns around, he finds General Manager Joo from CEO Shin’s casino sitting in his office, reading up on his outlined plans. Alluding to them, she suggests that he should let CEO Shin know, and asks whether he’s already chosen the people he wants to work for him.
Nurse Oh interrupts them with an announcement that the orthopedic surgeon from Geodae has arrived. Teacher Kim orders that Dr. Nam be called, and that Dong-joo and In-bum assist as surgeons. He also wants Seo-jung to watch as a learning experience.
Right before they move the patient together, Dong-joo receives a call from Dr. Do that he promptly ignores. In the OR, Teacher Kim watches as Dong-joo and In-bum display flawless teamwork that makes him contemplative about his future plan.
The next day, Director Yeo arrives at work to find everyone asleep. The manhwa artist who has been drawing all night slams down a drawing in front of him, and says he’s giving it to the hospital as a show of his thanks for the amazing inspiration he received for his next webtoon.
Director Yeo enters the break room to pin the drawing on the fridge — which features the main players of the hospital staff as heroes, from Nurse Assistant Park to Teacher Kim — and sees all of Teacher Kim’s fledgling students and Nurse Assistant Park in deep, exhausted slumber.
Meanwhile, Teacher Kim has breakfast with CEO Shin, and boasts that there’s nothing else to worry about, since Seo-jung received a normal result on her psych evaluation, and because the coma patient she diagnosed has woken up.
CEO Shin, who had insisted on Seo-jung’s resignation, admits that things worked themselves out this time. However, he adds that Dr. Do is a determined fellow, and that Dr. Do will poke at Teacher Kim’s flaws until something gives.
Seo-jung wakes up from her much-deserved rest and starts her hospital rounds, but in doing so, she finds Ki-tae scavenging through Teacher Kim’s trash can. When she asks what he is doing, he flushes guiltily and claims that he is emptying the trash because Yeon-hwa has quit.
After he leaves, Seo-jung walks into Teacher Kim’s office, puts on some smooth music, and sits down on his chair. She finds a student card (Yeon-hwa’s?) on Teacher Kim’s floor. It reads: Gosan Medical School – Jang Hyun-joo. Teacher Kim arrives in his office, and it’s clear that he’s not pleased with Seo-jung’s intrusion as he snatches the card from her hands.
Upon receiving a call from Dr. Do, Dong-joo meets him at a teahouse and launches straight to the point as he asks what Dr. Do wants. Beating around the bush, Dr. Do asks whether Dong-joo likes his new car.
Only then does Dong-joo realize that the new car is a present-bribe from Dr. Do. He asks Dong-joo whether he views Bu Yong-joo as a good person, or a god-given genius surgeon. He boldly confesses that he wants to bring Dong-joo to his side, while back at the hospital, Teacher Kim orders Seo-jung out of his office.
Oooh. Just as Dong-joo is acclimating to Teacher Kim’s ways, he’s been thrown a curveball by his old boss. Now that we’ve glimpsed how humble and empathetic he can be, the will-he-or-won’t-he-regress-to-his-old-ways conflict holds a deeper meaning, since this episode really showcased Dong-joo’s potential as a doctor. Sure, in the beginning he was a brash and arrogant jerk, but he’s learned to accept his limitations and take orders from others — including In-bum, who he’s always viewed as a rival. His talk with Yeon-hwa further demonstrated that he realizes he still has a long way to go before he becomes a fully mature doctor.
I wanted to pat both Dong-joo and In-bum for displaying so much growth. In-bum has always been somewhat of a tsundere (meaning that he’s an outwardly cold person with a heart of gold) and that part of him was highlighted here. There were glimpses of it before, ever since he performed that unauthorized surgery at Doldam Hospital because he was worried for the patient.
During this episode, as soon as he saw the traffic accident victims, he rose to the occasion and saved as many people as he could, even though first responders were already on the scene and he didn’t have to do so. This might be me reading too much into things, but as the heir to Geodae, his belt must have been an expensive brand name product, but he didn’t hesitate to lend it to Seo-jung when she needed it to use as a tourniquet. Despite his normally stoic expression, I’m convinced that Do In-bum comes from different stock than his father.
It was, however, the death of Seo-jung’s unexpected cardiac arrest granny that held the emotional climax and raised the most questions. What are you supposed to do when your best isn’t enough, or when your best still results in death? I thought the show took a unique approach to a question that has been asked time and time again in medical dramas. By having Teacher Kim advise Seo-jung to look to her patients whenever she felt lost, he helped ease her mind by lifting the weighty responsibility of the death that had burdened her.
Speaking of Teacher Kim, can we please talk about his mysterious “plans?” I’m curious as to what General Manager Joo saw in his papers. Sometimes it seems like Teacher Kim wants to take revenge on Geodae’s Dr. Do, and other times, it seems like he just wants to be left undisturbed at Doldam Hospital. But his eyes glittered when he talked to CEO Shin about building him a new hospital. So, how does assembling Dong-joo, Seo-jung, In-bum, and Yeon-hwa together fit into his overall plan?
If he is trying to create a medical top team (har), his philosophy — save the patient no matter what — is garnering him many unexpected allies, including the Geodae investigator and Seo-jung’s psych examiner. I, for one, liked that the lesson the Geodae investigator learned applies to all of us, and not exclusively to doctors. We shouldn’t lose sight of our reasons for working hard at living life. This show is really shaping up to be an insightful commentary on how to face difficult decisions and live without regrets.
- Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim: Episode 9
- Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim: Episode 8
- Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim: Episode 7
- Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim: Episode 6
- Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim: Episode 5
- Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim: Episode 4
- Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim: Episode 3
- Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim: Episode 2
- Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim: Episode 1