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regular-article-logo Friday, 24 May 2024

Netflix K-drama Doctor Slump is a love story with a message on mental health and healing

Directed by Oh Hyun-jung, the 16-episode drama stars Park Shin-hye and Park Hyung-shik

Shrestha Mukherjee Calcutta Published 20.04.24, 01:50 PM
(L-R) Park Hyung-shik and Park Shin-hye in Doctor Slump

(L-R) Park Hyung-shik and Park Shin-hye in Doctor Slump JTBC

Netflix K-drama Doctor Slump is like a warm embrace, reminding you that it’s okay to not be okay sometimes and when you are down in the dumps, it’s even more important to have faith in yourself.

Directed by Oh Hyun-jung, the 16-episode romantic medical drama stars Park Shin-hye and Park Hyung-sik, who have reunited 11 years after the K-drama The Heirs, where Shin-hye played the female lead and Hyung-sik had a supporting role.

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Doctor Slump brings together two people with mental health issues and puts them in a situation where they are able to open up, witness each other’s struggles and take the necessary steps towards healing. The story unfolds with Nam Ha-neul (Park Shin-hye) and Yeo Jeong-woo (Park Hyung-sik) as doctors whose paths cross again after high school, where they used to be the top students and sworn rivals.

Ha-neul, now a hard-working anesthesiologist who wants to become a professor, has a hard time at the hospital where work pressure and ill treatment by her seniors pushes her to breaking point. Having had enough of the humiliation, Ha-neul quits her job after being diagnosed with depression.

At the other end, Jeong-woo, a successful plastic surgeon and a social media star with a million subscribers, lands in trouble when a rich patient of his bleeds to death in the OT. Jeong-woo’s medical career goes up in flames, and saddled with multiple penalties, he sells off his assets and moves into a small rooftop room, which coincidentally happens to be Ha-neul’s home.

When they meet under the same roof, Jeong-woo is battling post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which he developed after the OT incident, and Ha-neul is grappling with severe burnout. Their initial exchange begins with some hiccups but soon after the two fall in love.

What Dr Slump does very effectively is show how issues such as depression, PTSD and burnout can make even a healthy person struggle and derail their daily life. The drama talks about normalising mental health issues and seeking immediate medical help, apart from making an effort to go for therapy sessions, spend time with family members, take breaks from work and help others who are also struggling with mental health issues.

Most importantly, Doctor Slump emphasises the importance of finding people who will comfort you in times of distress and will accompany you on your journey of healing. Jeong-woo tries his best to cheer Ha-neul up and helps her out with her daily activities. On her part, Ha-neul works hard to help Jeong-woo crack the case of his patient’s mysterious death alongside assisting him in his court trial. They even go to the psychiatrist together. The positive energy of Ha-neul’s family and her friends Bin Dae-yeong and Lee Hong-ran shows how a loving community can nurse one back to life.

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