K-dramas come in all genres that have fans enthralled from comedy, romance, and even medical dramas. Medical K-dramas still cover a broad range of genres within their given storylines. These K-dramas have some romance, riveting thrills, the supernatural, and even laugh-out-loud comedy.
There’s a certain gasping and holding your breath thrill to medical dramas as it often entails a life or death situation that can take place in the ER or hospital. These medical K-dramas are considered some of the best to have premiered in South Korea and are beloved by international fans as well.
10 Doctor Stranger (2014): 7.4
Doctor Stranger has a unique storyline about love that fans might not expect but will have a fun time see unfold. As a child, Park Hoon (Lee Jong-Suk) and his father were tricked into going to North Korea and were denied access to leave. Forced to stay, Park Hoon becomes a renowned cardiothoracic surgeon.
Park Hoon also falls in love. When his father passes away, he sees it as an opportunity to flee to the South with his love. As they flee, Park Hoon loses contact with his love. He continues his life in the South at a top hospital and meets Doctor Han Seung-Hee (Jin Se-Yeon). The catch? Seung-Hee looks exactly like his past love.
9 Yong-Pal (2015): 7.5
Yong-Pal was such a popular K-drama in 2015 that it was originally set to only premiere 16 episodes but due to high demand from its fanbase, the show developed 18 episodes. This K-drama has a dark and twisted version of a fairytale story and love.
Kim Tae Hyun (Joo Won) breaks his morals and joins a group of corrupt doctors who give medical services to criminals and corrupt officials. He does so to gain more money to pay for his sister’s medical bills. When Tae Hyun wakes up a chaebol heiress in a coma tagged as, “Sleeping Beauty,” he gets thrust into a world of problems.
8 Life (2018): 7.6
The 2018 medical drama, Life stars Lee Dong-Wook as Ye Jin-Woo. Dong-Wook is known for his work as the Grim Reaper in the highly acclaimed K-drama, Goblin. Jin-Woo is a dedicated emergency medicine specialist at one of Korea’s top medical centers. When the hospital’s director suddenly dies from a fall from a building rooftop, Jin-Woo suspects it wasn’t an accident.
Jin-Woo soon starts butting heads with the hospital’s new president, Koo Seung-Hyo (Cho Seung-Woo) who believes running a business is the same as running a hospital. Intermixed are the struggles of the hospital staff and Jin-Woo uncovering the dark conspiracies and cover-ups that take place.
7 Doctor Prisoner (2019): 7.7
Doctor Prisoner will take fans down a dark path of revenge for a doctor who was wrongly accused. Na Yi-Je (Namkoong Min) is an excellent surgeon who’s accused of malpractice in an accident that wasn’t his fault. Because of it, Yi-Je is kicked out of the hospital and his reputation ruined.
Yi-Je decides to work as a doctor at a prison with a certain intention. He hopes to accumulate enough connections while working at the prison to exact his revenge on the people responsible.
6 D-Day (2015): 7.8
D-Day was a 2015 medical drama with a twist as it was also tagged with a natural disaster storyline. Surgeon Lee Hae-Sung (Kim Young-Kwang) and orthopedic resident, Jung Ddol-Mi (Jung So-Min) are faced with a monumental challenge. Both doctors are stuck in Seoul after a sinkhole appears in the city following an earthquake.
The sinkhole causes the city to be blocked off as there’s no electricity, water, or the ability to call for help. As doctors, Hae-Sung and Ddol-Mi work together to treat patients and those wounded. Time is ticking as medical supplies and medicine start to run out.
5 Heart Surgeons (2018): 7.9
Fans might be surprised to see that the 2018 medical K-dramas, Heart Surgeons has a whopping 32 episodes. The drama centers around three thoracic surgeons at Taesan hospital. Park Tae-Soo (Go Soo) is a surgeon who desperately waits for a heart transplant for his ill mother.
Alongside Tae-Soo is Choi Suk-Han (Um Ki-Joon) who is well-known for his skills as a surgeon. Suk-Han isn’t held up to the same standards for his degree from a local college. Lastly is Yoon Soo-Yeon (Se Ji-Hye) who survives a near-fatal accident and decides to become a thoracic surgeon. She also happens to be the daughter of the hospital’s director.
4 Good Doctor (2013): 8.1
The Good Doctor starring Freddie Highmore isn’t an original show. The American version is a reboot and adaptation of the highly acclaimed 2013 medical K-drama, Good Doctor. The 20 episode drama followed Park Si-On (Joo Won) who’s an autistic savant with detailed memory and spatial skills.
He soon enters a hospital as a pediatric surgery resident but has a tough time proving his worth to the other doctors due to his autism and emotional capabilities. With only six months to prove himself, the odds are against Si-On, especially when he starts to fall in love.
3 Doctor John (2019): 8.2
Doctor John is another medical drama that surpassed the1 16 episode mark with a total of 32 episodes. The drama centers around two doctors and the recurring theme of the morals behind euthanasia. Cha Yo-Han (Ji Sung) is a top anesthesiologist who comes of as rude and cold.
He had previously served time in jail for euthanizing dying patients he could no longer help. He and second-year resident, Kang Si-Young (Lee Se-Young) work together to diagnose patients and find the root cause of their pain.
2 Dr.Romantic (2016): 8.3
Dr.Romantic hits high as one of the most beloved medical K-dramas. The 2016 drama received such positive reviews from its viewers that it was renewed for a second season. Boo Yong-Joo (Han Suk-Kyu) is one of Korea’s renowned surgeons with triple-board certification. After the death of his junior, Young-Joo recluses himself.
Young-Joo takes on a new identity as Kim Sa-Bu and returns to medicine at a small hospital and becomes the Chief Surgeon. Young-Joo teaches his residents to fight against corrupt power and wealth and do what’s right for the patient.
1 Hospital Playlist (2020): 8.7
Hospital Playlist is a must-watch Netflix K-drama that will have fans crying with laughter, feeling heartfelt emotions, and sigh in content. The medical K-drama got such rave responses from fans that Netflix approved a second season. Hospital Playlist focuses on five best friends who met in medical school.
Now they all work as surgeons in different departments at the same hospital. Fans watch as these friends face life challenges including raising a child, a broken marriage, career-changing decisions, and family troubles. All the while, these characters deal with the harsh reality of working as doctors. Don’t worry, this group of friends always find a way to uplift each other with some comedy.
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