The Wise Life of Hospital Trainees
The hospital trainees of Hanyang University review the drama <Hospital Playlist>
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Hospital Playlist is a 2020 Korean drama about the story of five doctors and their everyday lives in the hospital. The drama gained huge popularity, ranking in the top 3 of Netflix series. As its popularity has increased, many real-life doctors have reviewed the drama, commenting on the accuracy and fictiveness of each scene, and the videos have gone viral through YouTube. A few episodes in the drama evolve around hospital trainees, which leads to the question, "What do real-life trainees have to say about the drama?" Kim Jung-min (Department of Medicine, 3rd year) and Yeon Ji-min (Department of Medicine, 3rd year) gave an honest review of Hospital Playlist.
Q1. Most medical dramas tend to be unrealistic. How accurate is Hospital Playlist?
Kim: Among the medical dramas I've seen, Hospital Playlist is the truest to reality. In particular, the medical terms used by the characters are detailed and accurate. However, one setting that is not realistic is that the five doctors play together in a band. My professor said doctors are too busy for things like that.
Yeon: I was very surprised by how realistic the drama is, but I was a little offended about how the drama makes the hospital trainees look silly. The trainees do much more work than what is depicted in the drama. Nevertheless, I enjoy the drama because it overlaps a lot with my personal experiences in the hospital.
Q2. In this drama, the trainees mostly go around the hospital with the residents and listen to their explanations. What do hospital trainees actually do?
Kim: This is the part that I thought was fictional. In fact, residents are very busy and never have time to teach the trainees. Therefore, trainees have to do many things by themselves. Luckily, there is a book of transitions that trainees can consult, which is a manual written by former trainees.
Yeon: Real-life hospital trainees’ tasks are ambulatory care, making rounds, and observing the operating room. In the drama, residents, nurses, and trainees stand behind the doctor during ambulatory care, but in reality, only the trainees are there. Making rounds is when a group of hospital staff including the doctor checks the patients’ state by going around the hospital. In that situation, we trainees are the students who are enthusiastically taking notes in the back. Furthermore, the trainees in the drama only observed operations, but we actually also participate in the operations and assist in person.
Q3. There is a scene where a doctor dramatically revives a patient and the deeply-impressed trainees decide to join his department. Do trainees choose their department based on the professors? How did you decide your department?
Yeon: All professors take pride in their department and whenever we listen to their stories, we change our thoughts about the departments. Nonetheless, I personally consider my interests more than I do the professors. When I was young, I dreamed of becoming a psychiatrist because I wanted to cure melancholiacs. However, while studying psychiatry at university, I realized the subject was different from what I thought. After I became a hospital trainee, I became more interested in the departments dealing directly with life.
Kim: I also often change my thoughts after seeing what each department does. As for me, I usually consider which department will be less difficult. At first, I excluded the department of surgery from my selection because I heard that it was the most difficult department. However, I practiced in the department of surgery once and it was better than I thought, so I might change my mind.
Q4. In one episode, a gynecological resident suddenly goes missing. Do such situations really happen?
Kim: Many people do in fact become skeptical about their work because it is so hard. Even so, it is basically impossible to suddenly take a rest and go missing as in the drama. If someone is gone, others get more stressed. That should never happen.
Yeon: In addition, a hospital is a place where any mistakes are unacceptable. Specifically, everyone is sensitive in the operating room, so even a trivial mistake will be scolded harshly. In this sort of atmosphere, behaviors like suddenly going missing are never excused.
Q5. As in the drama, do hospital staff sometimes fall in love with each other, and do residents have crushes on doctors?
Kim: First of all, few professors are as young as the five main characters in the drama. Thus I heard it is usually the between the male residents and the female trainees. However, hospital staff are always busy, and it is not exactly an environment to grow romantic relationships. Even if people are dating, rumors will spread quickly and the professors will notice, so they tend to keep their relationships a secret.
Q6. The doctors in the drama occasionally suffer from rude patients. Has that ever happened to you?
Yeon: I witnessed it once. A professor once suggested a patient undergo a complete medical examination. The patient refused the treatment and became aggressive in the process, insulting him and shouting that the doctors hadn't done anything for him. The professor eventually gave up on the patient, saying he could not treat a patient who does not respect medical workers.
Kim and Yeon said Hospital Playlist sends out a comforting message to all hospital staff with the lesson that doctors are also human. “My favorite line is ‘Patients do not live just because doctors are kind,’” said Kim, explaining that it brought out a sense of duty on his vocation.Yeon added that “People may think that the hard work of medical workers is exaggerated in the media, but doctors go through a lot of pain to save patients.” The two hospital trainees paid deep respect to all medical workers and said that they will continue their efforts to become hard-working doctors.
Hwang Hee-won email@example.com
Photos by Ryu Seo-hyun
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