Best Medical Korean Dramas of All Time

By Sandi Thompson
Published: October 19, 2023 (Last updated: April 29, 2024)
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Best Medical Korean Dramas of All Time

Medical dramas offer life-and-death tension along with heart-touching emotional punch and oftentimes moral questioning. None more so than these medical K-dramas, which bring these elements front and center, episode after episode. These dramas take place in a variety of workplace environments, from the expected hospital setting to prisons, medical investigative units, and Joseon-era palaces. The following list comprises the best medical Korean dramas of all time, according to MyDramaList.

Because medical dramas are well-received, there are often multiple seasons. We listed the franchise rather than each individual season and then grouped the dramas by their highest-rated season.

Best Medical Korean Dramas of All Time

Hospital Playlist (2020)

MDL Score:  9.1 | MDL ranking Overall: #19

Seasons: 2, plus upcoming spin-off

Five doctors are long-time friends since they were undergrads in the same medical school 20 years ago. They are now colleagues in the same hospital and play in a band together in their downtime.

Doctor Romantic (2016)

MDL Score: 9.0 | MDL ranking Overall: #55

Seasons: 3

A small country hospital, Doldam Hospital is the setting for this drama where people meet Kim Sa Bu, a genius doctor who teaches work and life lessons to both the rookie and the experienced.

Partners for Justice (2018)

MDL Score: 8.7 | MDL ranking Overall: #230

Seasons: 2

Prosecutors, forensic scientists, toxicologists, and police detectives all work together to solve crimes. At the forefront of these investigations is Baek Beom, a veteran forensic doctor who is excellent in his work and doesn’t suffer fools gladly.

Jewel in the Palace (2003)

MDL Score: 8.7 | MDL ranking Overall: #287

Seasons: 1

Based on the true story of Korea’s first female supreme royal physician. Despite her low-class standing, Jang Geum fights against a strict hierarchical and patriarchal social structure and becomes a royal cook, then a royal physician, and eventually the king’s official physician. The drama reached a 57.8% rating at its peak when it aired, making it the 10th highest-rated K-drama of all time.

Ghost Doctor (2022)

MDL Score: 8.6 | MDL ranking Overall: #368

Seasons: 1

Cha Young Min is a genius doctor, with excellent surgery skills, but he is arrogant and selfish, caring only about his career and personal success. One day, he gets in an accident, and his spirit possesses another doctor’s body. Seung Tak is a golden spoon, coasting on the good graces of his mother, who is the chairman of the hospital. Never wanting to be a good doctor, he becomes possessed by Cha Young Min.

Doctor John (2019)

MDL Score: 8.5 | MDL ranking Overall: #531

Seasons: 1

Focusing on pain management specialists, this medical drama treats the doctors’ search for the mysterious source of their patients’ pain. Cha Yo Han is an anesthesiologist known for his incredible aptitude to diagnose patients within the first few seconds of their consultation.

If You Wish Upon Me (2022)

MDL Score: 8.4 | MDL ranking Overall: #696

Seasons: 1

Yoon Gyeo Ree, an embittered ex-prisoner, is ordered to serve his community service at an end-of-life care facility for the terminally ill. The hospice center has a division called Team Genie, which is dedicated to granting dying patients their last wishes.

Doctor Prisoner (2019)

MDL Score: 8.3 | MDL ranking Overall: #849

Seasons: 1

An ace doctor in a university hospital’s emergency care center gets suspended after being accused of malpractice. He then applies to work at a prison, with the ultimate goal of getting revenge against the hospital.

The Good Doctor (2013)

MDL Score: 8.3 | MDL ranking overall: #892

Seasons: 1

Park Shi On is an autistic savant who lacks emotional dexterity. His medical skills are exceptional, but his interpersonal skills when dealing with colleagues and patients are lacking. This Best Drama winner is the basis for the American television version.

God’s Quiz (2010)

MDL Score: 8.3 | MDL ranking Overall: #897

Seasons: 5

Han Jin Woo, Korea’s top medical examiner, leads a team of experts in conducting a medical crime investigation after suspicious deaths occur in a hospital. This drama was the first forensic crime drama to air in South Korea.

What do you think are the best medical Korean dramas? Have we missed anything off our list? Let us know in the comments below. 

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