K-Drama Review: An Autistic Savant Becomes a Paediatrician and Tries to Prove Himself in ‘Good Doctor’

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Let’s Find Out More About the Heartwarming and Inspiring Medical Drama Good Doctor

Good Doctor is a Korean medical drama aired on KBS2 on Mondays and Tuesdays. Good Doctor takes place at a university hospital, the pediatric surgery department. The medical drama started airing on August 5th, 2013, and featured actors Joo Won, Moon Chae-won, Kim Min-seo, Joo Sang-wook, Chun Ho-jin, Kwak Do-won, and Ko Chang-seok. A remake of the American and Japanese version was made in 2017 and 2018. At the end of 2013, Good Doctor received an award by the Disability Awareness Campaign Headquarters. Korean Communication Standard Commission praised the drama Good Doctor calling it a “Good Program.”

The first episode was extremely successful and reached a 10.9% viewership rating on the timeslot. It surpassed the previous record, 10,0%, held by MBC’s ZhengYi, Goddess of Fire. Good Doctor successfully maintained the highest rating during most of its airing, peaking at 20.9% and averaging at 17,4%. After the airing of Good Doctor was finished, the Korean Association of Welfare Institutes for the disabled acknowledged and honored the drama for raising awareness and educating society about autism. From the drama, viewers could see that people with autism and savant syndrome are able to contribute to society.

Good Doctor is a wonderful and inspiring drama that is a must-watch for Korean drama lovers. The main cast and the other supporting cast did a good job performing this heartwarming drama. In this article, Channel-Korea will explain everything about the drama Good Doctor. So, stay tuned!

Good Doctor: Review

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Park Shi-on, a young autistic child with savant syndrome was left on his own, having no friends to play with because of his condition. His older brother was his only friend. Both of their parents were unreliable because of their father’s violent and abusive attitude and their mother’s weak and feeble character.

Park Shi-on lost his brother in a tragic accident inside a closed mine. His brother accepted a challenge from the neighborhood kids to bring something inside a mine. If he succeeded, they will play together with Park Shi-on. The mine suddenly collapsed and buried Park Shi-on and his brother. The rescuers only managed to save Park Shi-on. A doctor, Choi Woo-seok, from the rescue mission saw him and later took care of him.

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While raising Park Shi-on, the doctor realized that the autistic kid had special abilities in memory and spatial skills. He was able to memorize medical books in his office and was able to draw parts of human bodies very well. The doctor sent him to study and train as a medical resident.

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Park Shi-on was late for the medical resident interview because he was busy helping a child injured by a piece of glass. He gave the first treatment to the kid from his memories of reading medical books. Doctor Choi Woo-seok wanted to convince the hospital directors about Park Shi-on’s ability, but the directors hesitated upon seeing his condition. Hospital directors found out about his help with the little child and decided to give him a chance at working in their hospital. However, the directors wanted Doctor Choi Woo-seok to be responsible if, in the future, Park Shi-on makes a mistake.

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After getting the job, Park Shi-on went to the medical staff’s apartment. While resting in his room, a drunken woman, Doctor Yoon-seo entered his room by mistake and fell asleep on his bed. The night is the first encounter of Park Shi-on and Yoon-seo.

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Park Shi-on met Doctor Kim Do-han, who doubted his skills and capabilities. However, his dedicated work and excellent skills got him the respect and praise from hospital colleagues. He later falls in love with Doctor Cha Yoon-seo.

Good Doctor: The Cast

Joo Won as Park Shi-on

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Joo Won performed as Park Shi-on, a young doctor with autism and savant syndrome. He was raised by his younger brother at a young age because his father was violent and abusive while his mother was feeble-minded. He lost his brother in an accident and was later raised by doctor Choi Woo-seok. Although mentally unstable and childlike, his memory power is at the level of a genius and he owns a spatial talent that is better than most experts. Due to his condition, he was often abused during childhood and adulthood.

Joo Won’s performance of an autism and savant syndrome patient is truly excellent. His facial expressions, facial twitches, and vacant stare was really a depiction of a person with autism. His body language, hand movements, and constant nervousness and discomfort while waiting for his father.

Choi Ro Won as young Park Shi-on

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Special praise should be given to child actor Choi Ro-won for performing the young Park Shi-on extremely well. His facial appearance, messy hair and stare were authentic and memorable. There wasn’t any facial and body overexpression, only a simple innocent and helpless autistic child. Excellent acting for a 7-year-old actor.

Moon Chae-won as Cha Yoon-seo

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Moon Chae-won played a fellow doctor in her second year. She is smart, pretty and always finds a way to solve problems. Her unblemished character is filled with overflowing confidence but she is also a kind woman with a hot-tempered attitude. Cha-Yoon-seo showed her affection and support toward Park Shi-on. Both Cha-Yoon-seo and Park Shi-on showed great on-screen chemistry. She wanted to be a kindergarten teacher when she was growing up but decided to be a doctor. She likes kids very much and had done volunteering work in the children’s section.

Moon Chae-won was able to perform as the dedicated doctor Cha Yoon-seo very well. Her bright smiles and caring comforted Park Shi-on. She showed that a person with autism should be treated with warmth and care.

Joo Sang-wook as Kim Do-han

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Kim Do-han is a doctor in the pediatrics department, well known as the best and skillful pediatrician. People waited in line in the hospital just to be able to receive medical treatment from him. His character was a strict, cold and stern doctor. Despite his no-nonsense character, Kim Do-han had a warm aura and a slight sense of humor underneath his serious attitude. He also suffered from a trauma of his brother’s death. Initially, he was against Shi-on but as the drama unfolded he supported Shi-on and wanted him to be a successful doctor. During later episodes, Kim Do-han helped Shi-on with connecting and interacting with his patients and started a strong friendship with him.

Joo Sang-wook did a good job playing a confident and talented doctor. On the outside, he is an arrogant and charismatic doctor but on the inside, he is suffering from a traumatic accident that was very well played.

Kim Min-seo as Yoo Chae-kyung

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Yoo Chae-kyung is the leader of the management development department in the hospital. She completed an MBA degree from Stanford University majoring in management and has extensive knowledge. She returned to Korea after completing her degree and joined her father’s hospital. She has a big heart and always aims to become a better person every day. Yoo Chae-kyung has a big heart and never hesitates to apologize when committing a mistake. She has a cold character, excellent self-control and is difficult to approach. However, she shows her warm and affectionate character when eating with Park Shi-on.

Kim Min-seo’s antagonist appearance as Yoo Chae-kyung earned her hatred and dislikes from viewers in real life. At the end of the drama, she got praises for her goodwill act and on-screen chemistry with Joo Sang-wook’s character. Kim Min-seo’s devilish manager role got her an appearance on the variety show Running Man alongside other actresses with prominent devilish roles.