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Here’s a list of medical K-dramas that will increase your will to live.

Even communications theorist Marshall McLuhan predicted the success of the medical drama genre as early as 1964.

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“Thus the TV image, in fostering a passion for depth involvement in every aspect of experience, creates an obsession with bodily welfare. The sudden emergence of the TV medico and the hospital ward as a program to rival the western is perfectly natural. It would be possible to list a dozen untried kinds of programs that would prove immediately popular for the same reasons,” McLuhan wrote in Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man.

Combine the hospital setting with the endearing K-drama formula and you have an instant television success.

Here are medical K-dramas that proved popular among Hallyu fans over the years for their lasting appeal.

Descendants of the Sun

Synopsis: “Captain Yoo Shi-jin’s proactive nature lands him in a hospital, where he meets Dr. Kang Mo-yeon and falls in love. But problems arise when duty calls.”

The love story between the characters of Song Hye-kyo and Song Joong-ki is one for the books. Watch, if only for the romantic plot.


Synopsis: “A recalcitrant, delinquent teen girl meets a compassionate teacher, who inspires her to alter her path and become a street-savvy neurosurgeon.”

Nevermind the once-in-a-lifetime love story. It’s the sparks we feel seeing an inspired Park Shin-hye evolve from a selfish ne’er-do-well to a compassionate doctor.

Dr. Romantic

Synopsis: “An eccentric, triple board-certified virtuoso surgeon leaves a top job in Seoul and ends up at a provincial hospital, where he mentors young doctors.”

This character-driven series is well-thought-out, with writers clearly invested even in the different subplots. Viewers praised it for its storyline and moreso for its medical accuracy.

Ghost Doctor

Synopsis: “The ghost of an arrogant surgeon with a golden touch possesses the body of a first-year resident, making him the most sought-after physician overnight.”

Rain and Kim Bum take bromance to the next level in this buddy medical K-drama.

Hospital Playlist

Synopsis: “Every day is extraordinary for five doctors and their patients inside a hospital, where birth, death, and everything in between coexist.”

Leave it to the Reply series creators to make a slice-of-life medical K-drama without all the usual loud fanfare.

Banner Photo by Rain via Instagram