Dr. John Review: Recognizing and Sharing Someone Else’s Pain

“There’s only pain with an unknown cause. But remember, there’s no pain without cause.”

Amidst the global pandemic swarming the news and social media by storm, I, as a normal citizen of this country, felt the importance of medical knowledge. I strongly believe that it is a necessity to be well informed and equipped with legitimate information when facing such issue that may cause you your health. With all the ringing and panic this is bringing to us all, I found myself getting interested in medical videos. 😊

You know those random video clips on Facebook showing up when you scroll and scroll? Medical videos caught my attention particularly, from The Good Doctor (American version) to Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim and many more. I suddenly felt the need to like feed my mind with a bunch of medical stuff – which I did. 😊

This video clip where a female doctor was attending to an unconscious inmate whose neck was swollen, finding it difficult to breathe due to his blocked airways caught my attention. Then there came this fellow inmate meddling, voicing out his diagnosis and telling the doctor what to do caught my liking, and I had to find out what the title of the series was.

Aside from knowing the lead actors of the drama, I found the series quite intriguing. How come an inmate was knowledgeable in medical stuff, confident enough to diagnose the patient and instruct the real doctor, even dared to question her identity, asking if she really was a doctor? I had my guesses in my mind, thinking that the inmate might be a doctor. So my question was, what made him become a prisoner? What was he doing in the penitentiary?

Dr. John, a well-known Korean medical series was broadcasted September of last year. It mainly focused on the character of Cha Yo Han (played by Ji Sung). He was an anesthesiologist imprisoned for performing euthanasia on a terminally ill patient, since the procedure was not legalized in Korea. Through the first episodes, you would discover what kind of a doctor Cha Yo Han was, showing nothing but dedication and concern for any patient he encountered, even his fellow inmates.

Yo Han was released a couple of days after and was hired by a big hospital as a professor, leading a group of resident and fellow anesthesiologists under the Pain Management Department, where he then met the female doctor Kang Si Young (played by Lee Se Young) whom he knew back from the penitentiary. They met again as professor and resident, making me look forward to more of the series’ contents.

Not only did the series show amazing ways of diagnosing and treating patients, feeding the viewers with uncommon ailments, it also sent off strong messages for the mind and for the heart. It wasn’t your typical romance type of medical series; it was more about life and pain. There were “giddy” instances from certain scenes but when you watch further, you’d not only learn about medical practice but also about how patients feel when being treated, specifically those who were terminally ill, where hope seemed uncertain.

What made the series more thrilling was, Yo Han himself, was a patient. He had this uncurable condition called CIPA (Congenital insensitivity to pain and anhidrosis) where he was unable to feel pain, and because of this, people were after him. Some curious, some wanted him to fail. How could a doctor who couldn’t feel pain cure other patients? Was he there to mock them? Was he there to study and observe? Only the patients he cured could tell, as he mentioned.

The person after him most was the prosecutor who sentenced him to 3-years imprisonment, Son Seok Ki (played by Lee Kyu Hyung). He continued to watch Yo Han’s actions and decisions, anticipating him to perform euthanasia on other patients, wanting to sentence him again, but later on realizing that he was not the bad doctor he had always imagined him to be. It was also revealed that the prosecutor was ill, having stomach cancer in its third stage.

As the series progressed, it was revealed that Yo Han was suffering loss of hearing and blurry vision due to his CIPA. According to his doctor, the ticking bomb inside of him might go off anytime, leaving him the choice of giving up being a doctor to live a longer life. But being a doctor was everything to him, what could he have chosen?

I’m not going to reveal the rest of the story, I don’t want to spoil people who still haven’t watched it. But I’m telling you, it’s really, really good! 😊

Overall, it was a good series, a light one to describe. Even if it’s just a simple realistic drama tackling the possible daily lives of doctors and patients, the anticipation of watching the next episode was there. It will make you crave and wonder what’s going to happen next, you would basically want more. Thumbs up to the production team! 😊

What made me smile most was how Cha Yo Han would always sanitize his hands before attending to a patient, be it in the penitentiary or in the hospital. Hand-sanitizing is a must! Most especially today. ☹

Kudos to the actors! Ji Sung never fails, indeed. 😊

2 replies »

  1. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyway, just wanted to say great blog!


  2. Fantastic blog you have here but I was curious about if you knew of any user discussion forums that cover the same topics talked about in this article? I’d really like to be a part of online community where I can get feed-back from other knowledgeable people that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Thanks!


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