Kim Sa Bu was once a famous surgeon at the peak of his career at a major hospital. But he suddenly gives it all up one day to live in seclusion and work as a neighborhood doctor in a small town. He now goes by “Teacher Kim” and refers to himself as the “Romantic Doctor”. Meanwhile, Kang Dong Joo became a doctor to make something of himself after growing up poor, and he seeks out VIP patients to achieve the success that he desperately wants. Yoon Seo Jung is a passionate young surgeon who is haunted by a mistake from her past and tries to get over it. When Dong Joo and Seo Jung meet the quirky Teacher Kim, their lives and careers will never be the same again.
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I should say that I love medical dramas though. As an aspiring doctor, RDTK really made me think about the responsibilities of a doctor that extend past the operation room.
I began to watch RDTK because of Seo Hyun Jin but I stayed for Han Seok Kyu. Dr.Kim's complexity and romantic ideals of a character pulled me in, made me curious, and is essentially the anchor of the whole show.
What constitutes as a 'good' doctor? Essentially, the story revolves around that question that seems to have a simple answer; however, there's no real right or wrong answer and everyone has their own definition of a 'good' doctor. Philosophies and ideologies clash and it's just utterly fascinating to watch as morals are questioned and consciences are tested in the face of moral dilemmas.
Asides from the philosophical questions, hospital politics, and the emotional patient stories, the romance also holds its own in this already plot packed drama. The romance, while not at the forefront of the show, is a slow burn that keeps you wanting more, and when it finally happens, it is so satisfying. Gotta love the slow burns that are worth waiting for.
The whole cast of Doldam hospital seems like a big family. Side storylines are interesting, bromances are fun, and the verbal fights are satisfying.
Even if you don't like medical dramas, please don't pass up on this drama. RDTK is a a human drama, about human emotions, actions, and consequences. It poses interesting questions about society and humanity. I really enjoyed this unique drama that is honestly extremely different from other dramas I've watched before. If anything, at least give RDTK a try to see if it's up your alley!
I'm glad I finally gave it a try. This one is going to be on my top 5 for a very long time. It's a perfect mix of medical, comedy and romance. Yes, there is great comedy if that's what you normally look for. I would vote this as an equivalent to the American TV series 'House MD'.
First of all, out of all Asian medical dramas I've seen, I really think this one has done the best job. It doesn't take medical elements too lightly, yet it doesn't get too obsessed with 'showing off' medical knowledge either. The story sets inside a hospital, it progresses as they treat patients, there's blood, there's surgeries, and they definitely make you believe everything is real and enjoy every procedure at the same time.
The characters are probably the show's forte. Everyone is great at what he/she does. There are a lot of dramas/movies that go for the 'clumsy' or 'unskilled' main characters who get by because of their 'cute' or 'nice' personality and basically 'pure luck'. That kind of characters belong to romcoms. Romantic Doctor's characters are rather smart in a very likable way. They're not too good to be true also. They do make mistakes, and they also teach you a lot of lessons as they fix them. Characters from main to even some small patients develop in a very satisfying way.
At the same time, the titular character Teacher Kim is the gem of the show. His every word combines into countless inspirational quotes. He's witty and funny and can be sarcastic at times, yet he's very dependable like a father figure to so many characters in the drama. The term 'romantic' isn't used that often in the drama to describe him, however. I did expect that to happen since it's the title of the show. But after watching the entire show, I finally understand why he calls himself like so. "Romantic" here is as in his 'positive, idealistic, hopeful yet realistic' view of life. It's not the 'love and relationship' kind of romantic. It's not about him and his love interest at all. I rather find this point refreshing.
There's also comedy in this drama – actually there is a lot more comedy than you can imagine. Teacher Kim's frequent sarcastic remarks are already funny enough, and the quirky supporting characters add a lot to that. It's not the slapstick kind of comedy, by the way. You've got to know that the tone of this drama is not dark or melancholic at all just because it's set in a hospital and the poster looks gloomy. I smiled and laughed a lot.
Compared to other romance-medical drama, I'd say this one has less romance. Still, it's definitely there. In down moments when they take a break from their main medical scenes, the romance will keep coming back to remind you that it's there, and it's really cute and worth the wait.
I really liked the cast in this one. Everyone has done an amazing job at portraying their roles. I'm so glad they don't go for the unrealistic good-looking doctors. Honestly, this might be a disgrace to the actors, but I'd say they're good-looking just enough to look believable as doctors – not as models walking around the hospital like some medical dramas go for.
Also, after finishing this, the drama special 'Master Kim's First Love' is a must-watch. It should even be considered the 21st/final episode of this series because a lot of unanswered questions will be answered there. It makes the entire show complete.
I don't remember any song from this drama, but I still think it's a medical drama, so OSTs aren't their main point. I also don't choose to re-watch a drama very easily. I wouldn't choose to re-watch this one so soon also because I personally don't need to see all those technical scenes over again. I gave it a fairly high 8/10, however, to honor such a great drama.
I had an amazing experience, and you will as well.
EDIT: I just found the full OST album of this drama, and, wow, it's got an entire album full of quality compositions. If you take time to appreciate them one-by-one with headphones, you'll feel the passion of this drama from it. Still, I'm not changing my scores because this good music barely received spotlight during the show.