A Good Doctor Review (KDrama) – Understanding and Respecting Differences

So after many weeks of struggling to watch anime, I stumbled upon this gem of a show after finding out that the English Series version of “The Good Doctor” was actually inspired by the Korean Drama version titled “Good Doctor“. I decided to give it a try, and ended up finishing all 20 episodes in slightly over 3 days.

Was it good? Definitely. How good? Well, read on!

  • Title: Good Doctor (굿 닥터)
  • Genres: Inspirational, Medical, Romance, Comedy
  • Network: KBS2
  • Episodes: 20 – 60min+ (completed)
  • Date: 5 August 2013 — 8 October 2013
  • Writer: Park Jae-Bum
  • Director: Ki Min-Soo, Kim Jin-Woo
  • Cast: Joo Won, Moon Chae-Won, Joo Sang-Wook


Park Shi-On has savant syndrome and a developmental disability. Despite his autism, he has an outstanding ability in memorisation, and because of a tragic past, he has since aspired to become a surgeon. While on his way to the hospital for an interview to become a doctor, a boy was caught in a life-threatening incident. Despite the danger and difficulty of the whole situation, Park Shi-On manages to provide the best first-aid treatment for the boy. But when other complications soon arise, Park Shi-On is put to the ultimate test to save the child and to convince the hospital doctors that the boy is in a much more dire situation than it appears. Having also missed his interview, would the hospital and its patients be able to look past his disabilities and employ him as a doctor?

Highly entertaining and effectively heart-warming. The drama Good Doctor tells a tale of acceptance and the nature of good in a refreshing manner, and you’ll love every bit of it.



I think the story of the Good Doctor is a truly heartwarming and inspirational one. With a doctor with autism being the protagonist of the show, we’re given a first-hand look at how someone with a form of autism or disability lives. We’re shown the perspective of how he feels amidst others that find him uncomfortably different, and what he experiences in an arguably intolerant social culture.

I think the story is amazing because it successfully portrays the cruel reality of society and its indifference to differences. In the case of this story, Park Shi-On has experienced the effects of this indifference his whole life. Ever since he was a child, he would be bullied and beaten up for his being different. Even his parents gave him a hard time, and could never get used to his autistic nature. As he grew up, we realise that nothing much ever changes. People continue to belittle him for his differences, and treat him differently and improperly even in the world of adults. They would even undermine his competence as a doctor just because of his situation without even giving him a chance to showcase his abilities.

It’s even sadder when the series explores the nature of relationships and romance of someone with autism. How despite his strong affection towards someone else, confronting these feelings could very well cause pain to himself and the person he loves. People would look at both him and his partner’s romance with judging eyes. How could someone “normal” be involved romantically with someone with a disability? Could he ever really get to love the person he cares so much about? The show gives us a closer look at the perspectives of both the outsiders and the involved, and we get to realise just how difficult it is for people to comfortably accept differences.

Park Shi-On

The series also takes a look at how being a doctor doesn’t have the same meaning as being a good doctor. Not all doctors are good. Being a good doctor isn’t as simple as saving someone’s life, or treating their wounds skilfully. There is so much more to being a good doctor with regards to one’s own principles and motivations. And through the course of the show, we get to see what truly defines a Good Doctor, and what separates the mere Doctor (who still saves lives) from the actual Good Doctor.

But even with all these thought-provoking topics and heart-tugging scenarios, the story tries to give all of these a somewhat lighthearted atmosphere through the occasional comedy, some romance and lots and lots of touching and endearing moments. Every one of the main cast had their own story, with even the side characters influencing the story in sentimental ways. It would be a lie if I said I didn’t tear up a lot during the course of the show. Ultimately, Good Doctor is a wonderfully heartwarming story with an intelligently written premise.

Personally, I really really liked the show. I appreciated how it told a tale of acceptance in a unique and inspiring way, and ended up growing attached to almost all of the characters for giving life to their roles. Needless to say, I would highly recommend this KDrama. So if you’re ever keen on watching a medical drama, then perhaps give this one a try first because it would most likely be worth your time.

9 thoughts on “A Good Doctor Review (KDrama) – Understanding and Respecting Differences

    • Right? I’ve only ever heard of the English version. After watching an interview by Freddie Highmore himself complimenting the original KDrama version, I couldn’t help myself and binged it right away. Truly a gem, and I’m missing the cast already…

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: Needing some time in the sunshine (or sunshee-yine!). Sunshine Blogger Award! – Iridium Eye Reviews

  2. I’ve heard of the American version before but I’ve been nervous to watch it cause 99% of the time, “inspirational” shows about people with autism get nearly everything wrong and are just not fun for me to watch. I’m glad that at least the Korean version got it right. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah I totally get you there. Sensationalism is what showbiz is all about but they should never forget the bigger picture. Have you watched the Korean original?


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