Korean Medical Dramas: 11 Best Titles to Watch Next

Han Suk-kyu as Dr. Kim Sa-bu in Dr. Romantic
Credit: SBS

Han Suk-kyu as Dr. Kim Sa-bu in Dr. Romantic
Credit: SBS

It's no secret that some of the most successful TV shows in the US are medical dramas like Grey's Anatomy and ER. South Korea has its fair share of similar shows, too. In this article, we're listing down the best Korean medical dramas of all time.

The Korean entertainment industry has been busy creating TV shows of various genres. Medical dramas, however, have always been a top choice since they show that the best doctors have their battles too.

Here is our list of the best K-drama medical shows:

Good Doctor (2013)

Joo Won as Park Shi-on, Moon Chae-won as Cha Yoon-seo in Good Doctor
expand image
Credit: KBS2

Good Doctor is a critically acclaimed K-drama about a young man with autism who aspires to become a pediatric surgeon. Despite his condition's many obstacles and discrimination, he reached his goals.

Hollywood remade this K-drama into The Good Doctor. Ki Min-soo and Kim Jin-woo directed the Korean version. It starred Joo Won, Moon Chae-won, Joo Sang-wook, and Kim Min-seo. It had a total of 20 episodes, which aired on KBS2.

Doctor Stranger (2014)

Lee Jong-suk as Park Hoon, Kang So-ra as Oh Soo-hyun in Doctor Stranger
expand image
Credit: SBS

Doctor Stranger follows the story of a lovestruck cardiothoracic surgeon who fled to South Korea from North Korea. In his new position, he learns to use a different medical system and has to learn not to be caught in political intrigue.

The show was directed by Jin Hyeok and starred Lee Jong-suk, Park Hae-jin, Jin Se-yun, and Kang So-ra. Doctor Stranger had a total of 20 episodes that aired on SBS.

Kill Me, Heal Me (2015)

Ji Sung as Cha Do Hyun/Nana in Kill Me, Heal Me
expand image
Credit: MBC

Kill Me, Heal Me is a classic Korean medical drama that follows the story of a man with Dissociative Personality Disorder (DID) and a first-year resident. This show is important in history since it opened up the country to the state of mental health.

While it isn't necessarily a medical drama, it broke the stigma on mental health.

Kill Me, Heal Me was directed by Kim Jin-man. It starred Ji Sung and Hwang Jung-eum. The show had a total of 20 episodes, which aired on MBC.

Descendants of the Sun (2016)

Song Joong-ki as Yoo Shi-jin, Song Hye-kyo as Kang Mo-yeon in Descendants of the Sun
expand image
Credit: KBS2

Descendants of the Sun is, perhaps, one of the most successful K-dramas across genres. The medical drama follows the story of a special forces captain and a doctor who fall in love despite the odds.

Lee Eung-bok, Baek Sang-hoon, and Yoo Jong-sun directed the show. It starred Song Joong-ki, Song Hye-kyo, Jin Goo, Kim Ji-won, Kang Shin-il, and Kim Byung-chul. There were a total of 16 episodes that aired on KBS2.

RELATED: Song Joong Ki on Cannes and Being a Soon Father: ‘A Lot of Good Things Are Happening This Year’

Dr. Romantic (2016-2023)

Han Suk-kyu as Kim Sa-bu in Dr. Romantic
expand image
Credit: SBS

Now on its third season, Dr. Romantic is one of the most successful Korean medical dramas to hit our screens. The show follows a famous surgeon who left everything to become a simple doctor in a forgotten town.

The doctor's association with each character throughout the series is commendable and makes viewers feel attached to them too.

Yu In-shik, Park Soo-jin, and Lee Gil-bok directed the show. There are a total of 53 episodes on SBS. While the show has several actors, the main cast includes Han Suk-kyu, Ahn Hyo-seop, Lee Sung-kyung, Kim Joo-hun, Kim Min-jae, and Jin Kyung.

Life (2018)

Lee Dong-Wook as Ye Jin-woo in Life
expand image
Credit: JTBC

Life is not only a medical K-drama. It also shows the politics involved in a corporate-owned hospital. The show follows a brilliant doctor who gets entrapped in political issues in his workplace.

Life was directed by Hong Jong-chan and starred Lee Dong-wook, Cho Seung-woo, Won Jin-a, Lee Kyu-hyung, Yoo Jae-myung, and Moon So-ri. It had a total of 16 episodes that aired on JTBC.

Doctor John (2019)

Ji Sung as Cha Yo-han in Doctor John
expand image
Credit: SBS

Doctor John is a medical drama that follows an ex-convicted anesthesiologist. He starts working at Hanse Medical Hospital's Pain Management Center with another doctor from his former prison.

One of the things audiences enjoyed about Doctor John is that it explained medical jargon in layman's terms. Viewers also enjoyed the backstories of the minor characters.

Jo Soo-won directed Doctor John. It starred Ji Sung, Lee Se-young, Lee Kyu-hyung, and Hwang Hee. The show had a total of 32 episodes, which aired on SBS.

Doctor Prisoner (2019)

Namkoong Min as Na Yi-Je in Doctor Prisoner
expand image
Credit: KBS2
Have an opinion on this article? We'd love to hear it!

Doctor Prisoner is a K-drama with a serious storyline. It follows the story of a top doctor who gets his license suspended after a medical malpractice incident. This leads him to get a medical internist certificate to work in a prison.

His main goal, however, is to seek revenge on the hospital that destroyed him.

Hwang In-hyuk and Song Min-yeop directed Doctor Prisoner. It starred Namkoong Min, Kwon Na-ra, Kim Byung-chul, and Choi Won-young. The show had a total of 32 episodes on KBS2.

Hospital Playlist (2020-2021)

Hospital Playlist cast
expand image
Credit: tvN

Hospital Playlist is somewhat similar to Grey's Anatomy in the sense that it follows five doctors dealing with their careers and personal lives.

Unlike the Hollywood series, the characters in Hospital Playlist have been long-time friends who have formed a bond together.

Hospital Playlist was directed by Shin Won-ho. There are two seasons with a total of 24 episodes. The show stars Cho Jung-seok, Yoo Yeon-seok, Jung Kyoung-ho, Kim Dae-myung, and Jeon Mi-do.

Ghost Doctor (2022)

Rain as Cha Young-Min in Ghost Doctor
expand image
Credit: tvN

Ghost Doctor follows the story of a genius surgeon who gets involved in an accident. His spirit enters another doctor, who completely opposes his personality.

The show was directed by Boo Sung-chul and starred Rain, Kim Beom, Uee, Son Na-eun, and Sung Dong-il. There were a total of 16 episodes that aired on tvN.

Doctor Cha (2023)

Uhm Jung-Hwa as Cha Jeong-Suk In-Ho Doctor Cha
expand image
Credit: JTBC

Doctor Cha is a good option if you're looking for a medical K-drama that's also a light story to watch. It follows the story of a medical resident who had to give up her career to become a housewife.

After a second shot at life, she decides to return to her profession to fulfill her long-time dream.

Doctor Cha was directed by Kim Dae-jin and starred Uhm Jung-hwa, Kim Byung-chul, Myung Se-bin, and Min Wook-hyuk. There are a total of 16 episodes on JTBC.

Have you seen any of these Korean medical dramas? Which one was your favorite? Personally, I loved Dr. Romantic and Doctor Cha!

RELATED: Han Suk Kyu Net Worth: This is How Much Dr. Romantic 3 Star Earns in His Projects

This Article's Topics

Explore new topics and discover content that's right for you!

K-WaveKdramaListsGeek Culture
Have an opinion on this article? We'd love to hear it!