Our five doctors are doing fine; Ik Joon and Song Hwa especially look very comfortable together. The spotlight this time is on the new residents and interns, and all the mistakes and difficulties that come from any new job. Our theme for this week is about showing the balance between having emotions (not robots, remember!) and getting the job done. Even Buddha Doc makes mistakes … or does he? Come find out with this week’s recap.
All of our senior residents are fellows now. Seon Bin and Jae Hak reminisce about how many mistakes they made at first as interns. Jae Hak admits he cried four times in one day, which is not a very propitious story to begin the episode with. They greet our cute twin med students from last year, who are interns now.
Yun Bok is assigned to General Surgery with Gyeo Wool. The nurse tells her to put in a new nose tube for a patient, she obliges and does a pretty good job, but the patient is bewildered when she leaves the room. Gyeo Wool returns with Yun Bok later, and finds the poor guy with two tubes stuck up his nose and no nostril left to breathe out of. Yun Bok was so focused on putting the tube in correctly, she didn’t think of the logical steps that need to happen. Gyeo Wool is horrified! She apologizes profusely to the patient, promising to train Yun Bok better. Luckily he is good natured about it, and it turns out okay.
Yun Bok’s twin, Hong Do, is in OBGYN helping in a surgery for the first time. Min Ha tells him that the only thing he really has to do is take out the Richardson retractors when he is told to. But Hong Do is so nervous that he grabs the retractors and takes them clear out of the operating room, instead of holding them carefully to be repositioned. Seok Hyeong is floored, and it is Min Ha who apologizes.
Jun Wan’s latest patient is a newborn with a heart defect, who everyone knows is not going to make it. Second year resident Chang Min has become very fond of of this baby because they have the same name, and has spent a lot of time with him. He is put in charge of declaring the time of death, but then he can’t do it because he is sobbing so hard along with the parents. Jun Wan notices and comes in and takes care of it. Later, Chang Min apologizes for not being able to follow through and Jun Wan answers kindly, “I don’t want to tell you to hold in your feelings, but you need to do your job, no matter how sad you are.”
Telzeytalks: Jun Wan seems to do just as many surgeries on babies as Jeong Won does. It’s interesting how they show us the ways the residents become fond of the patients and how a death can hit them hard. Mind you, everyone cries all throughout this sequence, but you’ll notice they never let us see the baby. That spares us a little bit.
Drama Geek: Everyone is HUMAN. This show comes back to that time and time again. Newbies are so focused on the instructions they are given that they miss the common sense components surrounding it. The senior doctors grow thicker skin over their careers but they still feel it when a patient dies. They are good teachers because they help the younger crew understand what is okay to still do their job, and keep your soul intact.
Karie the Maknae: I loved the balance between having emotions and the hilarious mistakes the newbies made. The double nose tube made me laugh and laugh, because our intern was just so confident when she was inserting it! Can I also just mention the subtle reverse proposal between Sun Bin and Suk Min, our neurology residents? Him saying he was waiting until he had money to get married and her immediate response of “I have money” ALSO made me laugh. The balance between that and choking up because Chang Min couldn’t pronounce the death of infant Chang Min was perfectly done.
Remembering Past Mistakes
Ik Joon assigns Gyeo Wool to do her first lead liver surgery. He implies he is busy, but tells her to call him if she has difficulty. When she calls him in later he asks about some steps in the procedure, which she realizes she forgot to do. He takes over the surgery, and afterwards they go to his office to talk it over. She notices that he’d been playing solitaire on his computer, and realizes he was waiting for her the whole time.
She feels discouraged and asks to hear about one of his mistakes, but instead he tells her one about Jeong Won. When they were new interns, a patient had a seizure and their professor called for a tongue depressor. Jeong Won forgot what that was, and in a panic he brought in a small drawer.
The next time the five get together for band practice, Ik Joon retells that story. When Jeong Won hears about it he is livid because it had been Ik Joon who had brought in the drawer. He rushes to call Gyeo Wool and explain, but she doesn’t believe his version at all.
Now they all tell stories on each other. Song Hwa had misheard a request for a pillow and backed up against a wall to be out of the way, which contaminated her scrubs. Seok Hyeong and Jun Wan both had stories about being unable to pronounce a death. Seok Hyeong’s professor had told him not to show his emotions, and had scolded him big time. Jun Wan had kept his composure in front of the family but bawled his eyes out in the restroom. He is sorry now that he did that, instead of sharing the family’s grief with them.
Telzeytalks: That Ik Joon. He just can’t stay serious too long. But how about that hair?
Drama Geek: Come ON. Buddha doc has to have made a mistake worth telling others about. I hope Gyeo Wool always thinks he made that mistake — he needs to have a little of his hero glow rubbed off. I love that they learned from how they were treated as interns and have decided to break the cycle of making new doctors keep all their emotions bottled up. It’s taken Jun Wan a long time to start showing emotions to his patients; he still struggles with it. The scene with all of them felt thematic for the episode. Though the doctors’ mistakes were funny, it was also sad and could be serious. Unlike a lot of other medical dramas, during a surgeon’s first solo attempt, Ik Joon was right there for her, never leaving her to fail or putting the patient in danger.
Karie the Maknae: I think part of being a great mentor is letting those you mentor know that you weren’t perfect either. The best way to learn is from our mistakes, because experience is the greatest teacher. Ik Jun said it best: “Experience makes great surgeons.” As fun as it was to hear about our docs’ past mistakes, I wish we could have seen more flashbacks. Those are my favorite parts, and NOT just because of Ik Jun’s stylin’ hair!
Not every new resident story is about mistakes. Song Hwa does a brain surgery on a teenage girl who had been in a motorcycle accident. Her resident, Seong Yeong, is from the same town as this girl, which makes him feel close to her. She is in a coma, and he often goes in to the ICU to check on her and talk to her, which Song Hwa thinks he spends too much time doing. But finally one day he is rewarded by a small motion of her head. He asks her to move her hand, which she is able to do. Amazed, he races out to find a professor.
Seok Hyeong has a patient with preeclampsia, who needs to have the baby delivered as soon as possible, but the baby requires surgery and needs as much time as possible to mature. You should know that the patient and her mother are crying the whole time, but the mother-in-law is being nasty and blaming everyone else for the birth defect. Jeong Won, who successfully does the surgery on the baby, hears all this and pretends to think that the mother-in-law is the patient’s mother. He explains that it is no one’s fault and praises “her daughter” for being amazing and holding out a few more days so the baby could have a better chance in surgery.
Telzeytalks: I was so satisfied when that mother-in-law just shut her mouth and didn’t say anything. One up to you, Jeong Won!
Drama Geek: Every once in a while the show speaks to a wider audience, and I think the birth defect instance was one of those times. It’s no one’s fault when something like this happens, and every parent or grandparent needs to know that.
Karie the Maknae: Even though we never saw the jerk boyfriend who didn’t share his helmet and left the ER instead of staying by his girlfriend’s side, I hated him anyway. I’m glad that handsome Seong Yeong stuck around for her! Also, I need to learn Jung Won’s level of tact and redirecting — the way he put the accusatory mother-in-law in her place without being rude was downright BRILLIANT.
Thoughts and Feelings
Here we have Seok Hyeong and Jeong Won in a meeting about the preeclampsia patient. It’s product placement, but I forgive them because who doesn’t like Oreos. It’s nice to have some cute moments and successes to leaven all the sad experiences. The deaths are tough to get through, but they happen in hospitals, so It’s fair to discuss how everyone copes with it.
Telzeytalks: The song for the band practices usually has something to do with the stories that week. This time they sang, “It’s ok,” and comforts us that it’s ok to make mistakes, we just keep going. It seems to me like the even-numbered episodes are the sad ones, and the odd-numbered ones are more cheerful. All the crying in this one was exhausting to me, so I’m ready for the next episode!
Drama Geek: One major theme that wasn’t covered in the recap was Jun Wan’s loneliness. When he learns that Jeong Won is intending to purpose to Gyeo Wool soon (YAY!!!!), he asks if he can live with them after they marry. Countless times people comment about how often he’s at the hospital and never sleeps at home. When Song Hwa tries to get him to date again (it’s been a year since he broke up with his ex), he says he’s still not over her and misses her a lot. Ik Joon is there and he knows that one of his best friends is hurting because of his sister. It has to be hard to not want to comfort him even more and to tell him that she’s in Korea. I respect his choice to keep his sister’s secret, but I think Jun Wan needs to know the truth to move forward. The breakup was too abrupt and didn’t give him closure. I’m Team Jun Wan on this one. I don’t care if he gets back with Ik Soon or finds something else that makes him happy, but the boy needs something. I feel like he’s wasting away and only happy at tiny moments in his life right now.
Karie the Maknae: Jun Wan’s loneliness stuck out to me, too. I respect Ik Sun’s decision to keep her problems to herself, even though I think it’s a stupid decision and I would elect to ignore it. Ik Jun is a better person than I am. Jun Wan deserves happiness, but I don’t think he can see that right now — he’s just robotically moving through his fog of emotions. His deep compassion still shows through, though, when he’s interacting with the interns and the residents — he’s a great mentor. I also felt a little called out by the discussion between our OBGYN and Dr. Ahn, going around and around about the mom with preeclampsia and the baby with the blocked esophagus. They both wanted the best for the mother and child, and wanted to handle it in essentially the same way, but just weren’t hearing each other. I’ve been stuck in discussion cycles like that before! Ultimately, it was heartwarming to see the two doctors who cared so much about their patients. ALSO, how is Song Hwa’s singing getting WORSE with each episode? It went beyond cringe-worthy this week!
SIDE NOTE: Hospital Playlist will be on hiatus this week, so we’ll see you in two weeks with our next recap. Stay tuned!
Until the next set of rounds, we remain —
Dramas with a Side of Kimchi