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Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim: Episode 9

Today we ride along with Seo-jung as she is forced to take a deep look inside her heart while testing the limits of her resolve to be a doctor. What emerges from her contemplations are larger questions about the moral responsibility of being a doctor. Fittingly, this is also the same question Teacher Kim and Dr. Do have been fighting about for fifteen years, and in this episode, they attempt to answer that question once and for all.

 

 
CHAPTER 9: “The Limits of Goodness”

We continue from where we left off in the last episode, as Dong-joo smugly appears to tell Teacher Kim that CEO Shin has arrived in anticipation of his surgery. But if Dong-joo is expecting a pat on the back, he is instead met with a deft punch to the gut. Teacher Kim growls at Dong-joo in a low voice and tells him off before he apologizes for calling CEO Shin over to Doldam for nothing, because unfortunately, he isn’t ready to operate yet.

Before CEO Shin can argue, those annoying investigators from Geodae appear to chastise Teacher Kim for treating a patient while their investigation is still pending. Dr. Song attempts to stop them from making fools of themselves, but one is too arrogant to be deterred and continues blabbing on, unaware of who CEO Shin is.

CEO Shin demands an explanation, and Dong-joo happily steps up to tell him that Doldam is currently under investigation by Geodae. Dr. Song tries to shut Dong-joo up, but he won’t. Surprisingly, Teacher Kim also tries to get Dong-joo to desist, but Dong-joo cannot be stopped.

The young surgeon then proceeds to request that CEO Shin file a complaint against Geodae for what he perceives to be an unfair investigation of Doldam. Caught completely off guard, CEO Shin demands someone to call Dr. Do and have him come down personally to explain the situation.

Afterward, Teacher Kim pulls Dong-joo into his office to ask him why he called CEO Shin. Dong-joo’s reasoning seems sound enough: CEO Shin is on Teacher Kim’s side and can force Dr. Do to relinquish his investigation. Baffled, Teacher Kim calls Dong-joo an idiot, explaining that Dong-joo’s move practically ensured that Seo-jung would get kicked out of Doldam.

Dong-joo is stunned by Teacher Kim’s astute insight, and Teacher Kim adds that Dr. Do will stop at nothing to get everything he wants. He then scoffs at Dong-joo’s claim that CEO Shin would be on Teacher Kim’s side. After all, he says, CEO Shin is the one who put Dr. Do in charge and allowed the doctor to rule as he pleased.

Back in Seo-jung’s psychological evaluation, the Geodae psychiatrist asks Seo-jung how she came to meet Teacher Kim. She tells him that Teacher Kim saved her on two occasions: once in the mountains when she passed out, and again by treating her wrist when it lost functionality.
She corrects herself, and states that Teacher Kim actually saved her three times as she rubs her bandaged wrist, but she doesn’t go into detail.

Thankfully, the psychiatrist doesn’t press her, and instead moves on to ask if she has suicidal thoughts. She struggles to answer as Dr. Moon’s accusatory voice resounds through her mind once more, her eyes welling with tears. As a tear falls, she apologizes, and then excuses herself—too overwhelmed to answer the question. When she opens the door, Dong-joo is standing there waiting for her, but she walks past him.

In voiceover, Dong-joo does another one of his narrations:

“In an age in which people ignore others’ pain. People who don’t care about others’ pain as long as they can get what they want. People who don’t care about such things as long as they can maintain authority. And and age in which people can’t even get a good look at the nature of their own pain. Because all of them justify themselves, saying that they didn’t have time to worry for others when they had their own situations to deal with.”

In the ER, the Doldam nurses gossip about the brewing situation with Geodae and place the blame on Seo-jung, who they don’t realize is standing nearby. Nurse Oh shoos them away, then tells Seo-jung not to mind them.

Dr. Do arrives at Doldam, and CEO Shin immediately complains to Dr. Do for making the situation complicated. Dr. Do. pretends to play the loyal doggie, assuring CEO Shin that he was only trying to do everything to make CEO Shin’s surgery successful, but there were “circumstances” at Doldam that he couldn’t overlook.

He cites the incident with the man wielding a sickle, the patient whose family is unable to pay for the expensive procedure upfront, and finally, that Doldam employed a doctor with PTSD as examples. Director Yeo counters each of Dr. Do’s points, but Dr. Do adds that if Seo-jung fully recovered two years ago as Director Yeo claims, then what of the recent drug overdose incident? Dr. Do concludes that Director Yeo and Teacher Kim have been negligent in their duties.

Dr. Do implores CEO Shin to reconsider his decision to entrust Teacher Kim with his operation. However, CEO Shin is firm in his belief and won’t be persuaded, instead suggesting that they simply fire Seo-jung and move on with their lives. Director Yeo protests the edict, while Teacher Kim just laughs.

Teacher Kim explains that CEO Shin hasn’t realized that Dr. Do is using Seo-jung to try and get him fired by claiming that he must take responsibility for allowing her to treat patients while he knew about her condition. Thus, he adds, firing Seo-jung won’t end Dr. Do’s witch-hunt. Dr. Do and Teacher Kim then go back and forth exchanging insults.

Dr. Do brings up the unconscious patient again, elaborating that the hospital suffers from charitable acts such as these, to which Teacher Kim barks at him not to give “a doctor a lecture on economics, it’s only important to save the patient.” Dr. Do shoots back, “You can’t get by nowadays by merely being a skilled doctor. A doctor can only survive if his hospital does.” Teacher Kim ridicules his backwards logic; he amends Dr. Do’s statement and says, “The patient needs to survive for the hospital to survive. Those are the basic principles of being a doctor!”

At that, Dr. Do declares that since Teacher Kim cares so much about principles, they will continue with the investigation and do everything by the book, no matter the results. (Before, Teacher Kim had previously called Dr. Do out for basically rigging the psychological evaluation in his favor.) Once he’s gone, CEO Shin urges Teacher Kim to give in this time and just cut Seo-jung loose.

Outside, Dr. Do tells his investigator flunkies to make sure they succeed in carrying out his mission. However, he’s surprised to see Seo-jung, who then requests a moment of his time.

Right away, Seo-jung apologizes to Dr. Do for being a disappointment and tells him that the entire reason she became a doctor was to receive his acknowledgement. Bitterly, he asks why she betrayed him then, and why she had to be with Teacher Kim, of all people. She explains that Teacher Kim helped her through a difficult patch. As for her PTSD, she claims that she thought she was fully recovered.

This isn’t anything Dr. Do wants to hear, and he shouts at her to tell him what exactly Teacher Kim instructed her to do. She’s a bit surprised by his outburst, but answers firmly that Teacher Kim has done nothing wrong as she takes full responsibility for the situation by offering to resign. Dr. Do doesn’t seem at all happy with her decision and says forlornly that he thought of her as his own daughter, but it seems Seo-jung never considered him as her father.

Dr. Do adds that if she had thought of him as a father, she would have come to him in her time of need instead of Teacher Kim. With nothing left to say, he tells her that he is going to follow the results of the investigation, and from now on, she is dead to him. Around the corner, we see that In-bum has witnessed the exchange.

In the ER, Yeon-hwa finds Dong-joo looking around for Seo-jung. She sheepishly offers to tell Seo-jung that he is looking for her, should she see her. He thanks her, and Yeon-hwa watches on admiringly, unaware that Nurse Assistant Park has noticed her crush.

Seo-jung goes to check on the unconscious patient, whose condition hasn’t really changed. The wife confides that she feels like it’s all in vain, worried about burdening her children with the medical fees. Seo-jung tells the wife not to give up hope, but inside she wonders if she is doing the right thing. In voiceover, she says, “Are we ever making the right decisions in front of our patients as they teeter between life and death? Am I someone who is fully prepared to take responsibility for someone’s life?”

A little later, she seeks out Dr. Nam and entrusts him with an envelope for Teacher Kim: it’s her letter of resignation. After he receives it, Teacher Kim instructs Dong-joo to bring Seo-jung back by the end of the day, otherwise he’ll accept her letter and intention to resign. Dong-joo immediately rushes out, and fortuitously, his new car is finally ready for him.

At a bus stop, In-bum finds Seo-jung sitting alone and takes her to the bus terminal before asking where she intends to go. She confesses that she has no idea, and In-bum’s prickly exterior softens a little when she reveals that she actually has nowhere to go. He then offers to drive her all the way to Seoul because he’s taken the day off.

Dong-joo follows Seo-jung’s trail and ends up at the same bus terminal, but is forced to call around for more leads on where she might have gone. He ends up grudgingly calling In-bum for some insight, who then tells Dong-joo right away that Seo-jung is with him in the car.

With Teacher Kim’s deadline in mind, Dong-joo begs Seo-jung to come back and reconsider her decision, but she is adamant as she hangs up the phone without answering. In the car, she grumbles to In-bum for outing her to Dong-joo, but he just replies dryly that she never told him not to.

Dong-joo reports back to Dr. Nam to tell him that he’s following Seo-jung to Seoul. Dr. Nam questions whether he can make it back in the allotted timeframe, and Dong-joo replies that he’s going to try anyway. Unfortunately, with the two young general surgeons on Seo-jung duty and Teacher Kim put on indefinite hiatus, Dr. Song is the only one left to manage the Friday night ER load.

In the ER, In-soo attends to a patient with stomach pains, vomiting, and a sore neck. In-soo orders medicine to alleviate her symptoms, then leaves to attend to others. Yeon-hwa comes over to help clean up the vomit and notices something strange about the woman’s neck, but she keeps her suspicions to herself.

Instead, she sneaks off to the doctors’ shared office to look up a condition called “Boerhaave syndrome” in order to confirm her hunch. Dr. Nam catches her scanning the book, and when asked what she’s doing, she quickly shuts the book and hurries out the door.

Meanwhile, Teacher Kim and Director Yeo leisurely play baduk in the director’s office. Director Yeo reminds Teacher Kim what day it is, but Teacher Kim decides to leave everything in Geodae’s hands. Director Yeo then ruminates over whether Teacher Kim thinks Seo-jung will come back to Doldam, which causes Teacher Kim to recall the face of the Geodae psychiatrist he had seen in passing. He then answers vaguely, “Well, the groundwork has been laid already, but—…”

In Seoul, Seo-jung and In-bum sit down for some pizza. She teases him for using a knife and fork to eat, accusing him of being a “Mama’s boy” who has never disobeyed his parents, and he shoots back that she talks too much.

She takes issue with his description, and claims to normally be on the quieter side. The only reason she is talking so much is because she didn’t want him to feel uncomfortable. He sees through her, and asks if her incessant talking is actually an attempt to quell the anxiety she feels over her decision to resign.

For a second, she tries to play it off, but then she tosses down her pizza and admits that she feels guilt for leaving without even saying goodbye to the people who’ve been like family to her these past years. This thought opens the floodgates, and she begins bemoaning her entire decision to leave, insisting that she should have begged and pleaded to stay.

She then realizes dolefully that she really doesn’t have anywhere else to go but Doldam. In-bum watches her thoughtfully as she spirals, then asks why she left if she had nowhere else to go—it wasn’t as if anyone gave her the boot. He adds that her patient, the unconscious one, is still under her watch.

Meanwhile, Dong-joo arrives in Seoul and calls In-bum for his location. In-bum hesitates for a moment, but then eventually answers. Dong-joo demands he put Seo-jung on the phone, but In-bum informs him that she’s already gone.

As it turns out, Seo-jung’s destination is actually Geodae Hospital, where she hunts down the psychiatrist who did her evaluation. He tries to tell her that it’s too late, since he’s already submitted his report to Dr. Do. But she argues that she wants to answer his question properly, and says that she has never thought that she wanted to die.

Seo-jung explains that she did not want to die even when her mother died, or even after Dr. Moon’s accident. But as a result, that unfailing desire also made her miserable. She explains, “Because my desire to live was stronger than the guilt I felt for being the only one that survived. Because despite all of that, I wanted to live. And I felt so bad for feeling that way.”

Moved, the psychiatrist asks Seo-jung the reason why she became a doctor. She answers a familiar answer we’ve heard before—that she wanted to be acknowledged by someone. The psychiatrist follows up and asks if she’s ever wanted to stop being a doctor, and she replies, “Many times. Every single time I had to make a decision for the sake of the patient.”

He then takes out an envelope with his report, and asks her to deliver it to Teacher Kim on his behalf. Once he leaves, she takes out the sheet inside and is surprised to see that he deemed her mentally fit to serve as a doctor.

We follow the psychiatrist out of Geodae as he talks on the phone with Teacher Kim, who was clearly in on his plan all along. He tells Teacher Kim that thankfully, Seo-jung ultimately did answer correctly, but he almost acted unethically as a result. Teacher Kim then asks the psychiatrist how his child is doing, thereby explaining their connection.

The psychiatrist is surprised that Teacher Kim remembers the name of his child, and tells him that he thinks he understands why Teacher Kim is so fond of Doldam. We then flash back to see that Dong-joo had begged the psychiatrist to evaluate Seo-jung impartially, followed by Nurse Oh, who had also spoken on Seo-jung’s behalf before threatening to file a complaint if the psychiatrist were to conduct his evaluation unfairly. Nurse Assistant Park added himself to the list by giving the psychiatrist the many letters of thanks Seo-jung’s patients sent her. This little cutie.

Seo-jung breaks down in tears after reading her final evaluation. Later, as she leaves Geodae, she finds Dong-joo outside waiting for her. Steadily, they walk toward each other, an ocean of unspoken words drifting between them. After finally seeing her, Dong-joo relaxes, and their initial exchange is brief; Dong-joo merely asks if she’s finished with her business. She confirms it, so he says it’s time for them to go back.

Perhaps touched that he came all the way to get her and accepted her back without question, her eyes begin to tear up as she stares at him. He notices when she doesn’t follow and turns back to check on her, asking if she’s crying. She denies it and wipes away her falling tears. He lets her maintain her fiction with a smile.

She then notices snow falling and wonders if it is the first snow of the season. Then, without looking at her, Dong-joo wordlessly takes her hand in his. Her eyes widen, but she allows it, even as he explains that he’ll only hold it until her hands are warmed up. He makes sure she’s okay with it before putting their joined hands inside his pocket. They stay like that for a moment, watching the snow slowly drift down, but then it dawns on Seo-jung that it’s Friday.

In the ER, Dr. Song and Nurse Oh have their hands full with a suicidal patient who jumped off a bridge but survived. The suicidal patient lashes out at the staff for treating him when he wants to die before grabbing Dr. Song’s necktie (one Nurse Oh previously advised he remove before duty) as he begins to strangle the surgeon. Nurse Oh calls over Mr. Go, who helps to restrain the patient.

Dr. Song passes off the patient to In-soo, then leaves. Deputy Nurse Ji comes up to report to Dr. Song that Teacher Kim is sitting in the ICU, but he tells her he’s too busy to care about things like that right now.

Yeon-hwa checks on the patient with stomach pains, who begins tossing fitfully as she complains of severe pain. Yeon-hwa presses against the patient’s throat with her fingers rather expertly, and assesses that there is a large amount of gas trapped under the skin. The situation escalates as the woman suddenly complains of not being able to breathe. Yeon-hwa shouts out for In-soo, but he is too busy being attacked by the suicidal patient to notice.

Left with no other alternative, Yeon-hwa grabs a few items and intubates the woman skillfully. It seems as if she’s managed to prevent the worst, but when Yeon-hwa looks up, she sees Nurse Oh standing there, having witnessed the entire thing. Nurse Oh sends Nurse Assistant Park to retrieve Teacher Kim, but the young man hesitates before leaving and looks on, confused by Yeon-hwa’s actions.

At the front desk, Ki-tae and another staff member watch the weather report over bowls of jjajangmyun. Ki-tae prophetically explains that snow days are the worst for the hospital because the road freezes over and leads to accidents. On cue, a pair of roadside cleanup workers clear away some litter on a slippery road as a pair of drunken young men speed down the same road recklessly. Off-screen, we hear the sound of a crash.

Nurse Assistant Park finds Teacher Kim looking over the unconscious patient and calls him over. As Teacher Kim leaves, we zoom in to see the patient’s eyes moving from under their eyelids.

Teacher Kim checks over the patient with the stomach pains, and comes to the same conclusion as Yeon-hwa regarding the gas under the skin. He starts preparing for an emergency surgery, then walks over to the suicidal patient still kicking up a fuss (and trying to kill himself again), shouting at him to shut the hell up because he’s being disruptive.

The patient recognizes Teacher Kim and immediately gets on his knees to properly greet the doctor, ha. Teacher Kim snaps at him to get his treatment and leave. Suddenly the patient’s attitude changes completely, and he starts pointing out places where he’s injured to In-soo. Gobsmacked, In-soo asks what that was all about, and a nearby nurse explains that the patient is a regular at Doldam. So funny.

Meanwhile, Dong-joo and Seo-jung drive down a dark road, and Dong-joo offers his best Teacher Kim impersonation after Seo-jung wonders what Teacher Kim’s reaction will be to her return. She joins him, and they laugh at her terrible rendition. He then tells her meaningfully not to disappear without a word ever again. She thinks he’s messing with her even though she’s affected by the request, but he repeats it. They’re so caught up in their flirting that they don’t notice a large truck up ahead, forcing Dong-joo to stomp on the breaks.

Yeon-hwa sits alone in the back room awaiting her punishment and jumps to her feet when Teacher Kim, Nurse Oh, and Nurse Assistant Park appear. They sit down to hear her story, but are almost immediately interrupted by a nurse who tells them that Dr. Song is MIA. Apparently, he’s gone back to Seoul.

Now the last surgeon standing, Teacher Kim elects to do the operation on the patient with stomach pain himself, but then the investigators conveniently appear out of nowhere to try to stop him. The investigators refuse to reverse their ban despite there being no other surgeon around, but Teacher Kim refuses to accept that. Things get heated, and right as it seems as if Teacher Kim will need to physically push the man out of his way, shockingly, Nurse Assistant Park steps up to sock the investigator in the face with a determined look in his eyes.

Thankfully, Seo-jung does not get into another automobile accident, and Dong-joo stops in time to avoid injury. They squeeze past the truck to see what is causing the blockade, horrified to see the wreckage of a multiple vehicle collision.

 
COMMENTS

This is the first episode where I really felt like these characters were growing in profound and unchangeable ways, while still maintaining the spirit of who they are as people. I was excited to see Teacher Kim correct Dong-joo for his misstep in calling CEO Shin down to Doldam only to then entrust him with the responsibility of bringing Seo-jung back. It’s a marked improvement to their usual dynamic, where Teacher Kim chastises Dong-joo before basically telling him to screw off if he doesn’t like it. I am thrilled to see a genuine rapport developing between them.

In-bum, too, was given his chance to rectify his previous (unfounded) grievances toward Seo-jung, and to be there for her in her time of need. It was gratifying to see him act totally indifferent about her ordeal while nudging her back to Doldam the entire time, which showed that he actually cared quite deeply about what becomes of her. I don’t think he really knows how to let his guard down in front of anyone given his relationship with his father, but I like that he always comes around and makes the right decision anyway. I think watching the way his father cut Seo-jung off was important for him to put away the misconceived notions he previously held about her.

Speaking of Dr. Do, I was caught off guard to find myself feeling sympathy toward him during his talk with Seo-jung. It added a depth of character that I really needed from him, since I had only seen (or potentially projected) glimpses of it before. I genuinely felt for him when he discussed his feelings of betrayal, and his pain that she had never considered seeking him out when she needed help. Obviously, we as viewers can understand her perspective: She was so afraid of disappointing Dr. Do that she didn’t want him to see her struggling with her crippling emotions and injured hand, but as things played out, he was hurt that she couldn’t trust him. I just love the idea that he lashed out aggressively to get Seo-jung fired, because while he wants Teacher Kim gone, it’s also the way he decided to cope with his pain over her betrayal.

In the last episode Dr. Do described their relationship as that between dog and owner, but I would like to believe that was him putting up an act to seem tough, when his truest feelings left him feeling too vulnerable. Therefore, only after he decided to cut her off completely could he admit those feelings to her. It doesn’t really explain why he hadn’t tried to reach out to her in five years, but whatever, I’ll overlook it. That said, I would be remiss not to mention how pleasurable it is to watch two veteran actors verbally duke it out and play their characters with a very lived-in feeling, as we saw during Dr. Do and Teacher Kim’s showdown. It elevates the standard of their differing ideologies, because left in less capable hands, Teacher Kim’s views could come off as naïve, and Dr. Do’s could be seen as a bit too out of touch. But at the end of their conversation, I left with a very clear and heightened sense of how each perceived their given realities.

Regarding our main love line, I almost did a happy dance after seeing how their relationship is playing out. I love that Dong-joo, who talks too much and constantly puts his foot in his mouth, finally reached across the line toward Seo-jung in a wordless moment after watching her and her boundaries very closely over the course of these episodes. Their attraction is palpable, but now their relationship is based on so much more than it was before, and their progression was handled so naturally and with so much care that it’s proving to be very satisfying.

It was beautiful for me to see their reunion juxtapose their interaction in the first episode where he was too blunt and wasn’t in sync with her emotionally, even if she felt herself stirred by him. Now, they finally found their way to the same moment, and in this episode, it was all about what he didn’t say and what didn’t need to be said that truly brought them together.

 

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This episode contained one of my favourite scenes in the series ever - that of Dong Joo and Seo-jung mimicking Master Kim in the car! It was fun to see them taking him less seriously and being able to joke about how harshly he treats them. It was also a sweet, moment of connection.

I agree with muraskimi that there's more genuine connection between Seo Jung and Dong Joo now, compared to the first episode. Their romance hasn't really drawn me in thus far, but I felt in this episode, that was where things started to click for me. Their handholding scene was really sweet and touching, in that it was a silent moment of just acknowledgement, affection and attachment. It's also been such a journey to watch both of our lead protagonists grow so much from the first episode until now.

Of course the most beautiful part of this episode was how it established how Doldam Hospital is a family - a place where people feel a sense of belonging and are willing to fight for it. It’s a place where relationships matter more than rules, where people matter more than policies and where teamwork matters more than technology.

One concern I do have though in all this is that the show seems to be painting too neat a dichotomy between Doldam and Geodae, i.e. everything in Doldam is good, whereas everything in Geodae is bad, whereas we know in the real world this is not the case and there's certainly importance too in having strong institutions to support medical care. I do hope the show resists from drawing such neat dichotomies, but it seems for now, that will be what works best for the storyline. Have shared more about the points above on my website.

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Even the tone of their voices sounded like Teacher Kim's.

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I enjoyed that scene very much - a much needed comic and enjoyable break from the intensity of this show.

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Agreed! Sometimes the characters of the show tend to take themselves too seriously.. it's good to have some fun :)

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I was smiling from ear to ear during that scene. He is difficult but they do respect him.

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Sorry haven't had time to see your blog (real life and all!) but I think the point of Doldam was to highlight that Despite the lack of fancy equipment they were still able to do what they needed to and occasionally even do better because of the lack of red tape and administrators breathing down their neck.

People have this idea that medical technology is the answer to everything, when in reality it isn't. A machine can't tell you what is wrong with the patient if the doctor can't pick up what to look for. The art of medicine is being lost in favour for scans, blood tests and fancy investigations. And the cost of healthcare is going through the roof as well because of this.

While I agree with you that it's portrayed a bit extremely in the drama, honestly to me, Dolham is everything that a good hospital should be, with its patients at the center of everything, with its staff doing the best they can with whatever they have, and not using a lack of resources be an excuse to not provide good medical care.

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I think another key element for the success of Doldam is that the medical staff there have HEART and they work well together because they respect each other and are not trying step all over each other to curry favour or be at the top. They are not competitive and each one tries to excel in what they do. Nurse Oh for instance, (I wish they would give us some idea of how such an excellent and capable nurse ended up there), is one such person.

Like Seo Joon said, Doldam is home and that's where she recieved love and comfort. In such a working environment, how can it not succeed?

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@Michykdrama, @crazyahjummafan,

I couldn't agree more with both of you... It's the human factor, as well as heart and deep caring, that accounts for the quintessential vibe at Doldam.

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@Michykdrama, @crazyahjummafan,

Thanks for highlighting all the strengths of Doldam hospital and also situating this in terms of the reality of the medical world today. It brought new perspective to me.

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I just saw last episode of doctor... I can't believe they did a romantic medical drama with actors having zero chemistry and then decide to do a serious one with actors just holding hands can be most romantic (& unforgettable first episode kiss) why..
(this might be the first medical drama I will watch completely without skipping episodes.... )

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+1000

lol this is so true! the main couple in doctors had zero chemistry.....but the drama ws labeled as "romantic"

this drama literally has "romantic" in the title, but its far from it, but our OTP has such sizzling chemistry that even holding hands has more chemistry than other doctors drama OTP!

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"Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim" does not refer to romance, but to the romantic ideals that Teacher Kim has about his medical ethic

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I absolutely LOVED the long, drawn out quiet moments in the street when our OTP acknowledged their connection as the first snow fell. That scene was superbly done.

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And that scene could be made as an MV. Cut from seo jung exit the hospital until the song end.

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Okey, i don't know if this show is that great, but this ep felt too short.
I like that in this ep there was no bickering or comfrontations between our leads, and that's something.

Oh..... The cliffhanger!

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awww to our OTP scene <3

but i love how this drama has so many emotions and is so compelling and plot and character driven in each episode. not one episode bores me!

I WANT MORE OTP SCENES

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loved the reveal of the psych evaluation. so emotional

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that was a lovely suprise and scene. i really wasn't sure what was going to happen there and enjoyed feeling the same surpise and relief of the character

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Honestly I was thinking Dong Joo was out of the game given how little he interacted with YJ over the past few episodes. I was even beginning to see a new route with In Boem, but this ep smoothly put things back in its place. Still really curious about the cutie In Boem though, he seems mature and dedicated to his work.

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LOL. DJ and SJ always have so little interaction in every episode.

IKR! In-beom is really interesting. I thought he's gonna be some sort of useless doctor who can only rely on his father's reputation in contrast with Dong-joo who's super talented but have no connection. But wow, aside from being rude and arrogant, I have nothing to complain about him. So far, he seems very capable and rational. I didn't expect that.

I don't think there will be any triangle love line though. It seems like this show doesn't want to focus on romance way too much. Just look at how slow the development between the main OTP so far. At this pace, I don't think this show will complicate things between OTP by adding another contender to the love line.

I like everything the way it is though. I love that this show give some time for the OTP to build their relationship naturally, something that I rarely see in nowadays dramas.

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DJ seems like a stray in comparison to IB whos like a perfectly coiffed cat, lol. Wouldnt hurt for them to show them interact a bit more though. The first ep now feels like another universe.

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Basically, everyone in Ddoldam Hospital is a sleeping tiger. They can be your loyal friend or your fierce enemy. Choose wisely.

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Let us give a round of applause to RDTK for achieving >20% in both episodes this week!!!

I'm really proud to be sticking with this drama ever since it was aired and looking at it touching more and more viewers' hearts. Let's hope that the viewership ratings will maintain or continue to rise! :)

The holding hands scene is so beautifully shot. I think this also indicates that Seo Jung is recovering from her PTSD as she starts to accept Dong Joo without hearing voices in her head. I guessed the psychological review forced her to reflect on herself and then recognised the fact that she never wanted to die, and her guilt was from not being remorseful enough about only caring about herself surviving, instead of being guilty of surviving alone. I feel that from that recognition, she realised that she always wanted to survive and perhaps it was a step towards a complete recovery.

The showdown between Teacher Kim and President Do was well down because I could perfectly see where they were coming from and where the dilemma was, realistically. Instead of portraying a money sucking villain's point of view, President Do gave us a perspective from a hospital owner's point of view - a hospital has to survive in order to cure patients, which is true to think about it. Without a 'profitable' hospital (wholly privately owned), there will not be enough money to invest in the most advanced medical equipment for patients, which may limit the survival of the patients. If there is no hospital, there will only be doctors, but doctors cannot do much if they function on their own. Where is the necessary infrastructure? Hence, President Do made a lot of sense.

Then, we had Teacher Kim's 'romantic' point of view, which is doctors curing patients comes first, before anything else. Teacher Kim wasn't wrong too. If there is a hospital with everything necessary to be a top notch hospital but without doctors who want to cure patients wholeheartedly, then what's the use of having a hospital?

In my opinion, President Do's perspective is only valid if all hospitals are wholly privately operated. I'm not sure about other countries but my country does provide subsidies to hospitals to lessen the financial load and generally do not allow big hospitals to close down just because they are running on a deficit, for the hospitals to focus on curing patients. Therefore, Teacher Kim's perspective does make more sense in real life.

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i hope dong joo also finds out about seo jung's PTSD though. i want him to reaffirm and confirm to her that its not her fault and she should stop blaming herself

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I think it will be quite soon.

The following is my hypothesis:
Dong Joo gave Seo Jung three chances to accept his confession, and she rejected the first one. It is most likely that Seo Jung will reject the second confession and finally accepts the third one, going by the normal law of drama. There must be some uncertainty in the last confession because if Seo Jung rejects the third confession then Dong Joo will give up on his feelings for her. This is by the normal law of drama.

Following this logic, Seo Jung will reject the second confession and she must have a reason for doing so. I guess the reason for her rejection is the reason behind her PTSD. She feels that she 'kills' Dr. Moon because of her confession to him of her wavering feelings to Dong Joo, and she could not accept herself to be together with Dong Joo. And then what you wish to see will happen next.

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very true! totally forgot about the 3 confession thing. but yeah she definitely is gonna reject him the 2nd time. makes sense why this reason would be her reason for rejecting him. but i hope we still have cute scenes of them (like in this episode) even though she rejects him hahaha

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Yes this brings up the question of whether a hospital should be run as a profit driven company in the first place.

Money can't be ignored because the staff need to be paid and no one lives on sunshine alone, but is it right for the driving force to be dollars and sense?

Doctors certainly have to be cost conscious, but do they also have to be cost-driven? It may seem similar but actually it's not.

I been told I'm cynical but have a idealistic naive heart beneath it all so maybe I'm just dreaming, but I honestly believe that profit driven healthcare is not the way to go. But you are right, I guess that is why private and government/public hospitals exist, with the latter making sure that no one goes without basic healthcare, regardless of financial status.

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hmm it seems like this drama is pretty popular in korea?? over 20% rating? i wonder why it doesnt seem that popular online aka on dramabeans with such lack of comments lol

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Let me see if I understand this... The shrink with the stress diagnosis saved the day and is a good guy because he did the right thing because Dr. Kim saved his daughter (?) So even if he's being good by Korean standards he's not good for the right reason by my standards. And the righteous good guys are only saved because head good guy did something important for a key person -- in other words, by the same system of connections and favors that enables corruption ! ? :(

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It's not simply because Dr. Kim saved his daughter.

President Do might tell him that he has to do this and that to break Seo Jung down and the neuro doctor may accept to do this 'wrongful' job maybe because he wants to climb up the corporate ladder (like Dong Joo in ep 1). However, by seeing Dr. Kim in Doldam Hospital might remind him that being a good doctor is more important than anything else and his family had benefited from a good doctor more than him earning tons of money.

He also heard about how the staff in Doldam Hospital told him to remain impartial and not be biased against Seo Jung. He saw the care and concern in the staff towards their fellow colleague, and this might again remind him that he is a doctor, who cares for people, and not work for solely money or power.

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Agree with you!

The point is that before this the expectation was that SJ was 100% guilty, and he was supposed to ask and ask and ask until he made the diagnosis stick.

Whether or not SJ really does need more psychological treatment is a point we can argue, but definitely a psychiatrist is not supposed to go into an assessment expecting the patient to have the problem already.

Not guilty until proven otherwise, always! Teacher Kim's presence just helped remind him of the fact.

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I actually agree with you here. I found his evaluation too lax. While I acknowledge SJ is a good doctor & the staff and patients do love her, she clearly has a problem.

What could be so bad with a once a week psychotherapy? He could easily use the hostage taking as the diagnosis and reason for psychotherapy anyway.

Im not a psych but I felt the mental illness was tackled.... romantically? Not even idealistically?

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I think we throw around terms like "PTSD" easily. His assessment that SJ doesn't comply to DSM-5 PTSD is actually valid. I 'blame' the flow of the inquisition, interspersed around the showdown between Director Do and Master Kim that we've made unnecessary assumption that the shrink would bend to Director Do's whim, rather than view him as a professional.

The funny thing is that in this very episode, we've got an artist who is a regular to Doldam's ER due to various failed suicide attempts, and we don't talk about him and his mental health issues.

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I LOOOVEE this week's episode, had my heartstrings tugged when the Doldam's staff backed Seo Jung up to the psychiatrist. They really are a fierce team, indeed, with their hearts in the right place.

And that first snow scene, squeeee ! I've never seen Yoo Yeon Seok before, but I'm making gross gooey eyes at him in this drama. And that banmal switch when he ordered Seo Jung not to run away again! You'll get there Dong Joon dear, but for now I'm happy to see the two of you grow personally, and for each other.

This drama is really smooth, and well paced. Usually, I'd look at the time and see how long has it been, but here I'd be surprised and say, oh wow, I didn't feel the time gone.

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Can anyone tell me the name of the actor playing the suicidal webtoon artist? I feel like I have seen him in many dramas/films... but just can't remember the name.Sorry if this question has already being asked/answered.
Thanks a lot.

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Hey eirini, his name is Shim Seung hwan.

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Thank you very much! Now I'll try to look for the titles he's been in, I am so sure I have seen him in other roles.... thanks again!

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This episode was so good. All the feelssss!

I agree that we got to see lot of growth from most of the main characters. I liked seeing the Doldam staff being like a family and supporting Seo Jung.

The budding relationship between Dong Joo and Seo Jung is lovely to watch. Their snow scene was sweet. I'm glad Dong Joo didn't try to advise her to do this or that. He was just there for her. They look so natural!

I'm glad the ratings are high for this drama. ^^ I kinda wish more beanies were commenting here though. ♥

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I continue to admire this series and yes, even tho I hate Dr Dodo-brain, I was actually surprised when he said he felt betrayed when SJ didnt seek him out for help. Argh, just when I was already making dartboards with his face. Meh, it may still come in handy.

I only have one issue I cant slide for this episode..

While I do root for SJ & her dreams, I felt that the Psych evaluation was just too ....romantic? a fantasy?

Im sorry but I do not believe she never wanted to die. She clearly has a problem & going to psychotherapy once a week isnt going to make her lose her license. (Or will it? In Korea? Correct me here if Im wrong) But, you actually have a perfect excuse here! The recent hostage taking could be used as a diagnosis, cant it? without bringing up the ugly past. Im pretty sure she can complete another treatment anyway. I just wanted to see mental illness being addressed seriously. Instead, he chose to say "no further treatment/observation needed" ?

Mental illness is a real disease & not something so easily cured especially when you relapse. We've all seen happy people who die from depression even with structured support systems (friends / family) surrounding them.

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Yes, they could have handled the mental disease part better for sure. Because you are right that it isn't something that necessarily goes away just because we want it to. And there is a lot of misconceptions that it's "all in the mind" and they "just need to snap out of it" or "work harder to control it".

I'm also guilty of it sometimes, especially when I'm busy worrying about other things (my mind is fixated on airway and emergencies!), and I guess that's why I didn't (and shouldn't ever) do psychiatry.
But thank you for this timely reminder @Lessa! It's wonderful how drama watching and the Beanies here are helping to change mindsets and always giving me good food for thought. ❤️

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I thought her struggle n how it resolves, mental n her wrist, would be a major theme in the series but both got done just did so easily, I felt kind of empty emotionally. It dint work.

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Seo-jung's explanation about her mental illness is really confusing. She said not even once she ever wanted to die, that's why she's feeling guilty to her dead mom and boyfriend, enough to make her so stressful and did suicide attempt.

Wait, what?

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That time she suffered from a drug overdose, so i'm not sure if the suicide attempt was driven from her guilt totally.

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ROFLMAO at Lessa's dartboards. ;-)

I agree with others on this thread that the mental health issues were handled too patly and the plot passed up a teachable moment. I don't know exactly how it could or should have been done... only that it left me with mixed feelings. I'm glad that Seo-jung cannot be used any longer by Dr. D'oh as a weapon against Kim Sa Bu, but am concerned that she still has issues that could be triggered in the future by the right combination of circumstances. I guess the mental health theme is another opportunity to suspend our disbelief...

I, too, found Seo-jung's explanation of her mental issues difficult to grok... Maybe it has to marinate in the back of my mind for a while.

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Thank you for the recap murasakimi!
My favourite 2 episodes were this and especially especially episode 10. But that is for the next recap. (Waits (im)patiently again...)

It always interesting to see people comment on dramas because in no little itsy bitty way did I feel one iota of sympathy for Dr Do. Nope.

You sabotage a fellow colleague (Teacher Kim) because of some misplaced sense of pride and injustice- frame him for a death and destroy his careeer- that's practically murder in my books- and just because he reappears you are willing to throw your children under the bus for it as well? That's unredeemable. Please go straight to jail, do not pass Go, do not collect 200. Just because Teacher Kim isnt a perfect human being, doesn't mean Dr Do's actions are justified in any way.

I loved the juxtaposition between the workers at Dolham vs those from Geodae. Dolham reflects just how much healthcare workers are all a team. Hospitals cannot function without everyone involved, from the orderly to the Doctor. And it was so heartening to see them come together to help SJ and Teacher Kim. One big happy family. Contrast that to how the Geodae workers are all just sucking up to Dr Do, regardless of anything around them, with their only aim seemingly to rise higher in the ranks.

Hands down I'd work in Geodae in a heartbeat, and even on a Friday! Do you think they are recruiting? ?

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Er....I think you mean Dolham?

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Yes! LOL! i meant Dolham. Its been a busy day and my that was a serious brain fart. hehe.

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I like how it's character is. He may be arrogant rude, but has his reasons just like eternally petulant dong joo has n behaves. I find him very skilled may be better than DJ n he also has a rational mind. A good sense of right n wrong, liked the way he nonchalantly guided sj. Infact there are no second leads or such in this drama. All Stand equal. It's refreshing. I hope he has his own gf n suddenly nonchalantly gets her in one of the episodes. That'd be cool.

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IB's not its character.

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I kept refreshing to see when this recap could come up. This one is my favorite, but it seems to always be last in the recap

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The show works when Dr. Kim and his compadres play professionals who take their profession seriously despite the pressures to not do so, reminding me of Lee Sung-min playing Oh Sang-shik in Misaeng, a great show about the sheer will required to be a professional.

SJ and DJ are such one note actors written as such self absorbed characters I can barely stand to watch them. Around episodes five-six the show started changing and adding screen time to other characters arcs. If there was a line in Vegas that let me I would wager the marketing feedback was the show runners needed to move the focus from SJ and DJ where the show was weak so they added new arcs for other characters to go where the show was working and working well.

Boo Young-Joo is an actor.

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This drama is my perfect escape <3

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The reveal that Yeon Hwa is possibly a doctor is such a pleasant surprise. I really hope she'll come back into the picture later and see how her character will add more to the story.

The DJ and SJ first snow and hand holding scene is so beautiful ㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠ

And both DJ and SJ mimicking KSB gives me so much joy. That scene was gold I kept on repeating it. Haha.

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@murasakimi,

Thanks for your recap and commentary!

I really wasn't expecting Kim Sa Bu to punch Don-joo in the gut... It just goes to show that the young pup (and I myself!) is not as politically savvy as he thinks he is. He's no dummy, and he'll remember and learn from this mistake.

That said, I was glad he took the initiative to try to help. Instead of sitting there spinning his wheels, he called in the cavalry in the form of Chairman Shin. To me, it signaled a change of heart towards Kim Sa Bu, as well as becoming more of a team player.

Nurse Park really surprised me, too. Makes me wonder if he had been a Marine hospital corpsman... or maybe a Golden Gloves champ. It sure looked like he knew what he was doing. Unlike Dong-joo, who can't fight his way out of a paper bag. ;-)

During the showdown between Dr. D'oh and Kim Sa Bu in the presence of Chairman Shin, it really peeved me that he was pretending to be all fiscally responsible -- when he's really there with his personal axe to grind. He knows exactly the right way to couch his complaints for optimal credibility with his boss. I'm wondering what the real reason is for his hatred of Kim Sa Bu. Is it simply jealousy, or did Kim Sa Bu humiliate him somehow? Or might Dr. D'oh be hiding a deeply-concealed streak of inferiority himself? -- That said, it was a great pissing match portrayed by two fine actors.

To my surprise, I found myself warming up to In-bum during this episode. I still don't know what to make of him, but recognize that there's an astute and thoughtful person lurking behind that detached and socially-awkward exterior. I could see his insights (as well as Dong-joo's) helping her overcome her guilt trips. I might end up nicknaming him Dr. Avis ("We Try Harder") -- since he's always come in second to Dong-joo. ;-)

Equally unexpected was the modicum of sympathy I felt for Dr. D'oh when he expressed his feeling of betrayal to Seo-jung when she didn't ask for his help... Hello?! Given how critical he had been of her and In-bum earlier, I don't blame her one bit for staying away from him while she was recovering from her accidents (auto and fall on the mountain). Contact with Daddy Dearest, in combination with visitations from Dead Fiance Dr. Moon, would have landed her in a rubber room permanently. The guy is a mass of complexes, and could well have had a tortured relationship with his own father. It added a more human layer to his personality.

Yeon-hwa's latent medical expertise was yet another surprise in this episode. I'm on tenterhooks to learn her story. Too bad that she hasn't twigged to Nurse Park's interest from afar... but at this point, she's only got eyes for Dong-joo.

Was tickled to pieces with Dong-joo's newfound restraint in interacting with Crazy Whale. Holding his peace as well as her hand was just what the doctor ordered. What a gorgeously understated scene.

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ive actually started liking in bum's character more. he's so straight forward and he hasn't done any like "backstabbing" or evil things yet. and has also proven to be a pretty good surgeon. its just that he's trying to prove himself to his dad, prove himself to himself, and the boy just got some personal issues he has to deal with. other than that he seems like a pretty "good" guy to me :D

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is it just me or some of plot look alike grey's anatomy?

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