Becoming a doctor is a privilege, not just for the rich and powerful but for all those who desperately need it. Why and how one decides to become, a doctor matters more than what monetary or recognition one may gain. And that is what the second season of Dr. Romantic focuses on.
A doctor's duty is to provide the best possible care to all patients regardless of the circumstance or the patient's social status. In this second season, we see Dr. Boo Yong Joo/Kim Sa Bu (Han Seok Kyu, a pleasure to watch) face and deal with many discriminations and social taboos as he typically does head-on. The case of the master outsmarting the monster(s) yet again, especially when it comes to saving lives, and it's a message Dr. Romantic drives pretty hard, be it in its first or this season, and I think that is what sets the series apart from others in the medical genre.
But what makes Doldom Hospital unique, despite the chaotic environment, is that it is more than just a hospital – it's a place for learning, hope, healing, and service. It's about saving lives, all lives, even those at first sight, seem hopeless and unsavable. I have watched many medical dramas and surgeries, but nothing stood out, like the gunshot surgery in this second season in episode xx. It was so intense I was so into it that I felt like I was a part of it – I loved every minute of how it was enacted. The writing is among the many things that stand out about this second season. I was pretty impressed that the writer introduced such controversial issues as domestic abuse, mass suicide, and organ donation as it relates to a hospital setting and the moral and ethical dilemma hospital staff face, but more so how it affects them (at a personal level) and, of course, the impact on the patients and their families alike as these have long been taboo subjects rarely if ever addressed or discussed. I like the writer's approach to these issues, with a definite push to take them seriously. Not only does it manage them, but it clearly articulates the profound consequences if not dealt with appropriately.
I thoroughly enjoyed how each actor projected their role. Still, I was particularly fond of Kim Min Jae's character as Nurse Park Eun Tak and Yoon Ah Reum as So Ju Yeon and how they carefully but persistently navigated all aspects of their budding relationship. I wasn't particularly fond of Lee Sung Kyung Cha Eun Jae's character initially, but I grew to appreciate and care for her. Her growth and unbridled stance against injustice towards others, especially Seo Woo Jin (Ahn Hyo Seop), and the same go to Seo Woo Jin, seeing him grow and learn to appreciate Kim Sa Bu pushing them to confront their issues to become better doctors and people. I loved each episode's messages, particularly the constant message that one should never judge someone by external appearance alone. Everybody has a story, even a lifer (I so appreciated the organ donation storyline, it was highly emotional and heartwarming simultaneously). The moral of this show continues to be—no life, no matter whose it may be—is beyond saving. I adore this show, and I cannot believe we are at the halfway point already. I do not want it to end.
Not only was the second season more intense, but it also poses some pretty legit questions, such as what is a doctor's responsibility, be it sworn duty or moral, and do they have an obligation of result (meaning if they try everything to save a patient's life but are not able to do so, are they responsible for their death)? And more to its credit, it answers the questions it poses. Doctors must help those needing medical attention, regardless of circumstance or the patient.
Doctors cannot guarantee a specific result, such as curing a disease or saving a life. Instead, they must take all possible and reasonable steps to reach the desired goal.
It's good to see and realize, along with the doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, even the outsiders who came into Doldam thinking they were far superior, how special of a place Doldam is; it's not just a hospital nor the staff, just doctors, nurses, and orderlies. Hospitals should be "hubs" that contribute to better health in body and mind and not just a business. They are hospitalists, experts in taking care of people (patients and staff) while at the same time mentoring and imparting leadership and people skills to become the best at what they do. So many great things and situations happened this season that it almost feels like a disservice to recap everything in one summary review. Watch the drama here.