‘Doctor Cha’ Episodes 1 & 2: Recap And Ending: Why Does Jeong Suk Apply For Residency Again?

Cha Jeong Suk is the wife of a chief surgeon, Seo In Ho, who works at a reputed hospital in Seoul. She is the mother of two—a son, a medical student, and a daughter, a high school student. Her grandmother praises her for being an ideal housewife, and that’s the only identity Jeong Suk has now. However, she is a doctor herself though she left her career in the middle because of her son. After a life-altering incident, Jeong Suk decides to regain her own identity by starting her doctoral practice again after 20 years.


Spoilers Ahead

Why Does Jeong Suk Get Hospitalized?

Jeong Suk dresses up elegantly and visits her friend Baek Mi Hee’s clinic. Someone might mistake Jeong Suk for a doctor based on her smart looks, and Mi Hee nags Jeong Suk a lot for the same. Jeong Suk could have had a successful career, but she gave it up for her family. Jeong Suk is happy with her family, but seeing Mi Hee’s success somewhat makes her feel she could have had it too. Her dreams are crushed in no time when a person suddenly collapses on the bus, and she cannot do anything for him despite being a licensed doctor. The other doctor, who saves the person, gets angry at Jeong Suk for faking being a doctor and risking a person’s life. Jeong Suk’s confidence goes down even further after hearing these words. She goes back home, returns her mother-in-law’s designer clothes that she wore, and goes back to being a housewife. Her husband criticizes her cooking and says that she has gotten old now. Jeong Suk’s only responsibility is taking care of the house and her family members. She doesn’t have a say in anything else, not even her children’s careers. Meanwhile, her husband is living an amazing life while having an extramarital affair with Choi Sung Hee, his first love.


Jeong Suk goes to a mall to shop, not for herself but for her husband, and collapses suddenly. She wakes up in the emergency room and finds out that she has severe hepatitis. Her husband is going to a conference abroad with Sung Hee and asks Jeong Suk if her illness is severe enough for him to cancel the conference. Her mother-in-law is busy at a reunion and refuses to go to the hospital. Jeong Suk visits the doctor alone, and the doctor turns out to be the one who’d criticized her for faking being a doctor. However, he consults her first and tells her that she needs a liver transplant to survive. Jeong Suk ends up calling her mother her guardian as she needs to get admitted to the hospital. Out of Jeong Suk’s family members, only her husband, In Ho, is eligible to donate his liver, but his mother throws a fit about it and won’t let In Ho donate his liver. Jeong Suk is disappointed, but her doctor, Roy Kim, tries to comfort her by telling her that there are many cases where family members have backed out. Jeong Suk changes the topic as it makes her uncomfortable, and talks about how much she misses being a doctor. Dr. Kim is strict when it comes to work, but he is also kind. He allows Jeong Suk to enter an operating room to let her reminisce about her old days.

Jeong Suk’s mother begged her nephew to donate his liver and even gave him money, but a day before the surgery, he backed off because he was still young and had recently had a baby. Jeong Suk is hopeless but still tells In Ho that she needs to survive for her children. In Ho is in a dilemma, as he doesn’t care about Jeong Suk as his wife, but he needs to save his children’s mother. Sung Hee and his mother don’t want him to become a donor, which is delaying In Ho’s decision, but Jeong Suk doesn’t have enough time left.


Does In Ho Donate His Liver to Jeong Suk?

In Ho has signed the consent form because he still has a sense of decency toward the person he has lived with for more than 20 years. However, his mother will not let him donate his liver at any cost and tears up the form signed by him. Dr. Kim is only worried about Jeong Suk and, miraculously, finds a match with a patient who was declared brain dead just a while ago. Jeong Suk is recovering well in the hospital after the transplant, but after going back home, she is treated as a patient only for a day, and then it’s the same old routine again. She wakes up to make breakfast for her family, which they don’t even finish. Jeong Suk is used to it, but it feels different to her now. While her family is at the table laughing and talking to each other, she feels lonely preparing food for them. She feels unseen and unheard as if she doesn’t exist for them. She almost died a few days ago, and she is grateful that she is alive. She survived by thinking about her family, but none of them seemed to care about her.

Jeong Suk is tired and frustrated. While running an errand for her mother-in-law, she buys a lot of luxury items for herself as well, using her husband’s card. In Ho is shocked when he sees the messages about how much money has been spent on his card. Jeong Suk has lived modestly so far and never used her husband’s money unless it was absolutely necessary. She even wore clothes that her mother-in-law was tired of using and traveled by bus instead of getting a car for herself. Her husband has more than enough money for her to splurge on herself, and she wonders why she lives that way.


When they were in medical college, In Ho was in a relationship with Sung Hee, and everyone thought they would get married one day. However, when Sung Hee was on a foreign trip, In Ho and Jeong Suk had a fling and got pregnant. They got married while they were still studying, and Jeong Suk later quit her practice to take care of her son. After all these years, Jeong Suk has started feeling a void in her life. Her life revolved around her family, and she didn’t live for herself. She is looking for validation and asks In Ho to put her name on the house deed. Ho’s mother would never agree to it. In Ho understands the sudden change in Jeong Suk’s behavior because he knows, as a doctor, how much people change after coming back from the brink of death, and he tells his mother so as well. Jeong Suk’s mother-in-law tells her that the house will be handed down to her son from his father, and she shouldn’t try to claim it. Jeong Suk doesn’t really think she needs to own the house to be happy, but she doesn’t know what makes her happy, either. She asks the person who knows her the best, her mother, what she was good at while growing up. Her mother has only one answer: studying. Jeong Suk was extremely smart, and her mother felt that she shouldn’t have given up on her medical career.

‘Doctor Cha’ Episode 2: Ending

Dr. Kim suggested that Jeong Suk restart her career, so Jeong Suk started thinking positively about it. Her son, Jung Min, is preparing for the residency exam, and Jeong Suk can solve his mock exam papers easily. When she tells In Ho that she is going to try for residency, he just laughs it off, but Jeong Suk starts preparing for the exam anyway. Jeong Suk passes the exam with a high score and applies for residency. In Ho only finds out when Sung Hee calls him to inform him that Jeong Suk has applied at her hospital and her department. However, looking at her age and her medical history, she believes that she won’t get accepted. Jeong Suk gets questions about her age and liver transplant during the interview and later gets the call that she has been rejected.


“Doctor Cha” is a fresh medical drama about a woman on a journey of self-discovery and self-love. Jeong Suk is indeed smart but needs a little more confidence to become her real self again. More often than not, people believe that life cannot be changed after a certain age, but Jeong Suk is here to prove them wrong. With an optimistic outlook, she is determined to restart her career in a competitive and challenging medical field.

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Neha Bhondve
Neha Bhondve
Neha not only loves to write entertainment articles but is also a Korean culture and language enthusiast. In her free time, when she is not exploring the world of entertainment, she likes to explore new people and new places.

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