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Doctor John Episode 15-16 Recap

Doctor John Episode 15-16 Recap

Yo Han runs down the corridor making his way to the isolated ward. Mi Rae tells Min that Si Young is still unconscious. Yo han walks up to Min and asks for a Hazmat suit so that he can go in. Kwon suk says no one is allowed to go in.


Yo Han explains that the suspect had been admitted for headaches that he had for over a year. He says that though the symptoms match the Nipah virus it may not be the same virus. Kwon Suk still refuses saying protocol has to be followed. Yo Han tells Min that the patient is showing new symptoms and a resident is unconscious. Kwon Suk refuses to give the hazmat suit and tells Yo han that he can’t solve everything.


Yo han waits for Min’s response. She says they will follow protocol, as Dr Kwon is right. Mi Rae is shocked to hear this. The child’s (patient) mother comes back with her purse/snack and starts panicking when she understands the situation. She says her child has juvenile diabetes. She says if the child doesn’t have anything soon, she will go into hypoglycaemic shock as she has skipped lunch. Min watches the mother as she starts yelling to be let in.

Yo Han calmly tells Min that there is a situation here. He asks for glucagon (hormone raises glucose level and fatty acids) and a hazmat suit. He says someone must go in, no matter what.

Won Hee opens the door but lets the patients know that they can’t go out yet. He says someone is coming in.

Inside the treatment room, Yoo Joon shakes Si Young awake. She wakes up to see a blurry vision of Yo Han in the hazmat suit. He asks Yoo Joon to check the patient and he sits next to Si Young, noting that she is awake.

(Episode 15- Understanding someone)

Meanwhile, Heo Joon administers glucagon to the child. When asked why he is inside, he looks at Da Hee. He has asked Yo han to take him in as he will regret it forever if he doesn’t come in now.

Heo Joon stands quietly by Da Hee’s side and apologises to her as she is sleeping.


Inside the treatment room, Si Young asks Yo han why he came in. She closes her eyes again and he checks her vision. She asks him again why he is inside and he asks if she is feeling dizzy or nauseous. After checking that she has no numbness he helps her up to a sitting position.


She again asks him why he came in. He says he is not here because of her and puts the suit’s helmet over her head. They look at each other for a moment and then he asks her to get up.

Yoo Joon says that the pulse rate of the patient is high but he is becoming stable. Yo Han mentions palpitation (increase in pulse rate or awareness of cardiac contractions). He then explains that the entire body is showing symptoms. He says the nerves in the patients respiratory and circulatory system are dying. He says they have to find the name of the disease before the patient gets worse. He adds that findings should be on the basis that it is not the Nipah Virus. Si Young and Yoo Joon go silent as they hear this. Yo han lists the symptoms on the board.

Chief Min watches from the surveillance room.

Si Young goes up to Yo Han and says he is a part of the high-risk group. He asks her to think of this like a hostage situation. He says something in the patient’s body is the culprit that is holding the patient and them as a hostage. Yo Han smiles and says he is the negotiator. Si Young asks if he is having fun.

He asks if he looks like he is having fun. He says he has to get out of this place as fast as he can, so he needs her help. Chief Min calls up Si Young and asks how her health is. She asks Si Young to be careful until the results come out. She asks her to tell Yo Han to keep the medical team in check until the results are out. She asks them to call her if there is an emergency. Yo Han watches as Si Young tells her that it may not be Nipah Virus.

Meanwhile, Kwon Suk is complaining to Yi Moon that Yo han doesn’t follow rules. Chief Min walks in saying the patient would’ve been in danger if Yo Han hadn’t gone in. Kwon Suk says Yo Han thinks it might not be Nipah virus. Yi Moon says Yo han has to be punished for not following the protocol.

Inside the treatment room, Si Young erases the sketch Yo Han drew on the board and she starts drawing. She says that he draws badly. Yo Han Smiles as she draws the anatomy. She tells him not to remove the suit until he goes out. Yo Han says that she gives up hope quickly.

She says he won’t listen to her and won’t stay still either. She says it is a waste of energy. Yo Han says she shouldn’t have fallen down. Yoo Joon looks away when Yo Han looks at him. Yo Han calls him and tells the two of them that the disease could be anywhere in the body.

Yoo Joon says they have an update on the patient’s friend who came back from India. He says the person had a slight fever but he is fine. He says they can’t rule out the Nipah Virus yet. Yo Han says that the patient is showing symptoms that are not of the Nipah Virus.

He says that since there is no MRI or CT scan here, the doctors must become the examination equipment. Yo Han gets the entire team on a conference call.


The scene shifts to the team in the meeting room and they have a discussion. Yo han briefs them on the case. He asks them to find out a disease that could turn into a systemic disease (a disease that harms the entire body). He assigns the organ or body part to each doctor to work on. Yo Han says he will make the overall diagnosis.

The team starts giving their inputs and Yo Han notes them down. Just then, Mi Rae asks if the patient’s name is Yu Deok Ju and if he has white hair. She says she knows the patient. Yo han says it is the best thing he has heard so far and asks her to give more information on the patient. She says that the patient is a priest whom she knows through her volunteering work. She says he does a lot of volunteer work and good deeds.


Yoo Joon says he is an atheist. He asks why a good religious person is suffering if there is a deity. Yo Han says that is religion. Mi Rae asks if the man is slim and they confirm it. She says that another symptom is loss of weight (loss of 20 kg) as the person was well built when she saw him last year. Si-young says they don’t know about illnesses like cancer or other infection. They wonder why he started showing the symptoms a year back.


Meanwhile, Da Hee is writhing in pain clutching her amputated hand. Won Hee and Heo Joon come towards her. Yo Han asks for Heo Joon. Heo Joon stands rooted to the spot. Won Hee calls out his name and he gets back to reality. Yo han tells Heo Joon to solve it and says it will be hard if he waits longer. Heo Joon says he will inject an analgesic to relieve pain.

(Episode 15- Yo Han Goes inside the Centre)

In a flashback, Yo Han asks why Heo Joon wants to own up to the truth now. Yo Han says that Da Hee’s pain may not be Heo Joon’s fault. Heo Joon says that if he doesn’t do it now, diagnosing her may get harder. Yo han says he will allow Heo Joon in, as he liked his answer. He says Heo Joon didn’t want to come in because of guilt or because he felt sorry for the patient but wanted an accurate diagnosis.

At present, Da Hee calms down as her pain reduces.

Inside the treatment room, the patient (Yu Deok Kyu) wakes up. Yo Han asks him why he has been losing weight over the past few months. Yo Han says the loss of appetite doesn’t explain the rapid weight loss. Yu says that he started taking sleeping pills a few months ago and that is when he started vomiting and losing weight.

Yoo Joon says that they didn’t find those pills on his prescription chart and asks if they weren’t from a hospital.

Si Young takes the phone from Yo Han and cuts the group call. She then tells Yu that what he says now will be kept a secret as they have an obligation to protect a patient’s personal information.


Yu says he collected the pills over a decade and he didn’t get a prescription. Yo Han starts tapping his finger and Yoo Joon says one thing is solved as the pills caused the vomiting. Yu says they too won’t be able to find the cause. Yo Han asks him why Yu thinks so and reminds him that he came here to get better. Yu says he wants to get better but doesn’t complete the sentence.

Yo Han pulls up a stool next to Yu and asks him if he has a religion. He then asks Yu why the deity makes people suffer. He says he is sure Yu would’ve asked this question a lot of times. He asks him what answer Yu found. Yu says it is because he is paying for his sins.


Yo Han is shocked when Yu says that he has killed countless people. Si Young and Yoo Joon exchange look. Yu says his sins won’t be forgiven no matter how much he repents. He starts to whisper something and Si Young bends forward to listen.

The man struggles to breathe and Yoo Joon hits a canister while walking. Yo Han stops him and snaps a finger but it Yu isn’t able to hear it. Si Young claps her hands and he isn’t able to hear that either. Yo Han says it is a nerve problem. The saturation level drops and Yo Han instructs to inject Ephedrine (lowers blood pressure).

An alarm sounds outside the treatment room and the team wonders what is happening.

Just then, Da Hee wakes up and Heo Joon helps her up. She asks him if he thinks she is crazy as she is complaining of pain in an arm that doesn’t exist. Heo Joon tells her that it may not be psychological and they have to run a few tests. He says the pain could be phantom limb pain. He says it’s a condition where you feel pain in the limb or body part that has been cut off. She asks him what causes it.

Heo Joon clenches his fists as he says that the first cause is a problem in the sensory neurotransmission to the brain. He pauses before telling the second cause.

The entire ward watches as he kneels beside her and apologises to her.


In a flashback, we see Heo Seong monitoring Da Hee’s surgery.

Heo Seong narrates that due to his mistake Da Hee had woken up during the surgery. (Bispectral Index was 90 whereas it should be between 40-60 for general anaesthesia) Heo Joon notices the tube carrying anaesthetic has come away and the medicine was leaking. He immediately tightens it and injects a drug. Heo Seong says that since Da Hee was given a muscle relaxant she wouldn’t have been able to move though she felt pain.


At present, she asks if he is the reason. He says they don’t know the exact reason but his error would have contributed to the pain. He apologises again and she asks him to go away. As she starts screaming at him, Won-hee brings Heo Joon away. Heo Joon sinks to the floor.

Inside the treatment room, Yo Han adds hearing loss to the symptoms. Si Young tells Yo Han that Yu’s chin is swollen under his jaw. Yo han checks and says it is Lymphadenia (enlargement of the lymph nodes). He adds it to the symptoms. Yoo Joon says it could be a tumour or an infection. Yo han says based on the symptoms it could be an infection.

Yo Han states that it could be an illness with a long incubation period that is showing its signs now. Yoo Joon says most of those diseases are from abroad. Si Young says he hasn’t been abroad for 40 years. Yo Han asks if Yu has been abroad before that. She says it could be possible. She says that Yu had whispered the word “war” before he had trouble breathing. Yoo Joon says that explains killing people. She says he took the sleeping pills to help with its memories.

Yo Han says the war would have taken place overseas. They call up the team and ask them to identify overseas battles after 1970 that the patient could have been in. She says if they are right, it could be a virus from there.

Yo han says it would be the Vietnam War. Mi Rae says that during her volunteering work she had met veterans from the Vietnam War. Yo Han thinks hard and says Melioidosis (caused by exposure to soil and water). He says it has a long incubation period. Yoo Joon asks if it is Whitmore’s disease and Yo Han confirms it. Si Young asks if the bacteria lay dormant for 44 years.

Yo Han states a case where the bacteria was dormant for 63 years and the patient got the infection from World War II. Yoo Joon says it is hard to diagnose and they aren’t diagnosed till they get septic. He adds that it is almost non-contagious but the fatality rate is 40%.

Yo han walks over to Yu and says they need a definite diagnosis. He says they can confirm it is Melioidosis if they can confirm the infection.

Yo han sits next to Yu and checks his ear.

(Episode 16)

Si Young also check Yu’s ear and they find it infected. Yo han says it is Suppurative Otitis Media (middle ear inflammation that results in discharge from the ear for more than three months.) caused by generalised infection. Yoo Joon says they need a diagnostic test to confirm but it can’t be done in the ward. Si Young says they have to do it fast to stop sepsis.

A news telecast reports that the hospital has requested for a diagnostic test for another possible Nipah Virus patient (Yu). They say the results are expected by midnight.

Chief Min receives the test results.

The isolation is lifted and all the patients walk out. Yo Han, Si Young and Yoo Joon wheel out Yu in a stretcher. Mi Rae comes running towards Si Young but stops and speaks to Yu. She tells him that he will be fine after treatments.


The team gathers and Yo han smiles as he thanks them for the cooperating. Yoo Joon thanks, Yo Han. Yo Han tells Mi Rae that she played the major role today. He says, “Sometimes rather than us who see the patient with machines, a friend who saw the life the patient lived is a better doctor.” Won Hee wonders if Heo Joon will be okay.

Heo Joon tells Da Hee that he will accept any penalty or a lawsuit. He says he will do his best to cure it. She asks if it can be cured.


Heo Joon places a box (mirror box) and asks her to place her hands into the holes given. He then opens the box. The mirror reflects the left hand and it seems like her right hand is there. He asks her to open the fist now to relieve the pain. He tells her to clench the left fist and open it while looking at the mirror. She does as he says and then says that the right hand is open. Heo Joon smiles teary-eyed, as she asks how she could unclench a hand that isn’t there. He continues to help her with the therapy.


At Yi moon’s room Chief Min, Joo Kyung and Kwong Suk are present. Min tells Yi moon that if Yu wasn’t diagnosed on time, he would’ve turned septic and died. Joo Kyung asks what would’ve happened if Yo han wasn’t there. Yo Moon says Yo han diagnosed the patient without any machines. Min receives a call. Chief Min tells Yi Moon that the reporters are at Pain Management Center and they want to know what it is if not for the Nipah virus.

Yi Moon paces for some time and asks them to prepare for a briefing along with Yo han. He says they have to take advantage of this rare situation. He says Yo han entered a quarantined area and diagnosed a disease that was dormant for 40 years.

Yo han walks down the corridor and Si Young comes and drags him away. Both of them don’t notice Chief Min watching them from far.

Si Young brings him into the treatment room and Yo Han watches her as she asks him to be seated. He keeps looking at her without saying anything as he sits down. She checks his temperature twice and says he has no fever. She then checks his BP. He says he can do it by himself but she doesn’t allow him. He seems amused as he allows her to check his BP.


She feels his gaze on her and she looks at him but he turns away. She says she will check his pulse. He says he will check it after seeing the patient but she is persistent. He notices her eyes tear up when she checks the pulse and he asks her what is the problem. She says he was next to an infected patient but she couldn’t do anything. She said what is worse is that she was worried, but he seemed happy.

Si Young says she knows he won’t change. She says she knows he will think about a patient till his finger is bruised. She says she will change. She says he said that she can’t understand him but she said she will try to understand him. She says she can understand him.


Yoo Joon and Mi Rae meet at a restaurant. She asks him what this is about and he shows her the kitten. She gets excited seeing the kitten. She notices that Yoo Joon is smiling seeing her. He says the cat will stay with him till the cast comes off. She says he doesn’t seem like the type to foster a stray cat.


He asks about her volunteering work. She says Chief Min went to Africa many times and Mi Rae used to follow her. He starts praising the Chief and Mi Rae asks if he is teasing her. He says Min is rare and admirable type.

Meanwhile, in the treatment room, Yo han asks, “How?”. She says when he can understand a patient’s suffering though he doesn’t feel pain, she could also do the same. Yo han laughs and she asks why he is laughing. He says he isn’t laughing at her.


Yo han says that he doesn’t understand the patients suffering. He says he only analyses and studies like crazy. He says he imagines the best he can and thinks about it. he says she will also be able to do the same. He tells her that to know and to understand are two different things.

Yo han says he monitors himself daily. He says she can’t understand that. He asks her why she wants to do something so hard and impossible. He says she can’t do it. Tears trickle down her face as Yo Han tells her not to do it, as it’ll exhaust her.

He smiles slightly saying he will see her tomorrow and leaves.

He stands for a moment outside the door before walking away as his phone rings.

At the media briefing, Yi Moon says Yo han had diagnosed Yoo’s illness, a CIPA patient and had entered a quarantined zone. He says Yo han diagnosed the illness without medical devices. He says Yo han will brief them about the illness.

(Episode 16 Si Young’s confession)

The door opens and Kwon Suk says that Yo han said he can’t come stating he is the ICU to see the patient. Yi Moon asks them to bring him.

Lawyer Han comes in and sits in the crowd. A reporter asks if Yo Han is the same doctor who was imprisoned for euthanizing a patient.


In the ICU Yo Han asks Yu How he is. Yu says the pounding in his head is totally gone. He says the confusion he felt for 4 years is also settled. Yo han says that it is good and he will be fine now.


Yu says, “The deity did give us life and He is also the being that punishes us. But what you said is right. He doesn’t abandon us when we are in pain.” Yo Han smiles slightly.

Meanwhile, Yi Moon answers all sort of questions regarding Yo Han’s license and appointment.

Elsewhere, Eun Jung watches the briefing on the television. The reporter messages her saying he doesn’t think Yo han will show up.

Meanwhile, Prosecutor Son goes to the meeting place where the “Death talk“ is held for terminally ill patients. The woman he met by the notice board is there along with other people. He watches people go in. One of them is a woman wearing dark glasses and a scarf. She is escorted in and seems very sick.


Son joins them. One by one, all the people mention their ID and talk about the condition they are suffering from (cancer). When it is his turn Son says he had learnt about the gathering just today and he doesn’t have an ID. The man says it is all right and asks him to speak about the illness.

Son says he has stage 3 stomach cancer. The woman from earlier recognises him.


The man then asks the woman with hat and dark glasses to speak and says that she has come from far.  She says she has something called olfactory neuroblastoma (rare cancer in the nasal cavity). She says it is terminal. She says that she may be dead in two months but dying doesn’t scare her. He asks if there is any other thing that she wants from them. She mentions that one of their members had gone to Switzerland and she says she has heard about assisted suicide.


The man says that euthanasia is a tough subject and asks her where she heard that. The woman starts coughing uncontrollably. She then coughs up blood and faints. Seeing that she is bleeding from the mouth and nose, they call 911.

Later on, Eun Jyung is in room 578, (Hydrangea) tending to patient Lee X Eun. She says she has given her more painkillers and asks her to sleep well. She walks out of the room and Son is waiting there.

They take a walk and Eun Jyung says that even the deity wanted to punish Seung Kyu but Yo han , a mere human saved him from the suffering. She says Seung Kyu should have suffered more with the hope of a clinical trial. She thinks to herself that Son will never know how she got Seong Kyu’s signature on the agreement.


Eun Jyung says she wanted Seung Kyu to tell her what wrong had her kids committed for him to kill them like that. Son says she had asked him for the death penalty. She says, “I could ask for the death penalty or could stab him myself but I won’t, because murder is illegal and there can be no exceptions.”


Son says that still stands good even now. He says he does it if it is right and not because of personal reasons. Eun Jyung yells at him saying that he is a parent before being a prosecutor. She asks if principles come before a criminal who killed children and if he has personal feelings against Cha Yo Han for giving him an easy death.

Son says that killing Seung Kyu and revoking Yo Hans license won’t change the world. He says it is the law that changes the world. He says they just need to wait and Yo han will stop by himself. Son says they have to wait until Yo Han meets a patient who has only has pain and death left.

It’s late as Yo han is in his office when he remembers Si Young’s words saying she will try to understand him.

Si Young walks in the corridor when she remembers Yo han saying that she will be able to study and analyze his disease but not understand it.

Si Young see a mother calming a baby with a fracture that cries in pain. She notices a man comforting his wife by asking if she is in pain. She also sees a son asking his mother who is in a wheelchair if they are in pain. She remembers Yo Han asking why she wants to do something so hard and impossible. He had said she couldn’t do it.

We see a montage of all the scenes between Yo han and Si Young.

Si Young’s voiceover narrates, “Parents cant suffer in their children’s stead. Husband’s cant suffer in their wife’s stead. Children cant suffer in their parents’ stead. No matter how desperately they pray for that. it’s not just for you. No human being can feel other’s pain like their own. All they can do is just try to understand. To understand a person’s pain is to understand that person. What I am trying to understand is not your disease but the person who has been suffering because of that disease… Cha Yo han. That’s what I am trying to understand.”

Si Young runs to Yo Han’s office and knocks on his door. She sees that the door is locked. She searches for him everywhere and finds him by the elevator talking to Lawyer Han. She runs over to him as he is about to get into the elevator. Yo Han is puzzled when she runs into the elevator, short of breath.

The scene shifts into a white space with the two of them in it.


Si Young tells him that we all need that person. She says that even though no one can suffer in our stead, we need a person who can understand and share our suffering. She says he has been that person to his patients while he has been suffering all alone.

He asks if she feels sorry for him. She says no. he says she feels excessive empathy with patients. He asks if this is also a sense of responsibility as a doctor now that she found out about his disease. She says it isn’t. He asks her if it is neither pity nor a sense of responsibility, why she wants to understand him. She says she likes him.

The scene shifts back to the elevator as it goes down.

Both of them lock eyes as the elevator door slides open. Dr Kwon Suk and Yi Moon are standing there with a crowd of reporters and Yi Moon tells everyone that this is Yo han. Yo Han and Si Young look at the crowd of reporters who start clicking a series of photographs. The reporter who spoke to Eun Jyung also clicks a picture of the two.

Si Young and Yo Han share a look.

Image courtesy- SBS


This episode had a good share of medical knowledge. It incorporated information about both the Nipah virus and Whitmore’s disease. Yo Han’s method of comparing the isolated ward and disease to a hostage situation was interesting. The approach taken to diagnose the illness on the basis that it wasn’t the Nipah Virus was impressive.

Ironically, everyone asks why the deity makes one suffer in pain, but in Yo Han’s case it is the reverse as he feels no pain but that doesn’t make his life any better.

Si Young needs to be discreet in voicing her concern as Yoo Joon and Chief Min already have their suspicions on the two of them. If she keeps at this, she is going to blow Yo Han’s cover one day or the other.

The scenes explaining the phantom limb pain and its treatment were well made.

Chief Min and the mother of the child with juvenile diabetes both had their daughters in the isolated ward. Chief Min didn’t have the luxury to act as Si Young’s mother (unlike the mother of the child) and she had to stick with being the Chief. I guess it was a difficult decision for her to make in that situation (to not allow Yo han in). Mi Rae (who isn’t in good terms with Si-young) herself was shocked to hear her mother say that they will have to follow protocol. It also looks like she has softened up a bit towards Si Young.

For a moment there, it looked like Son had understood why some people choose euthanasia but it looks like he is going to bring the patient from the “Death Talks” to meet Yo han. I wonder if Son is ill or he made up his illness to attend the talk. It seems like even Son feels that Nurse Eun Jyung is being unreasonable. They seem to have different opinions on “murder” when it comes to personal grounds.

Yo Han puts himself in a different category from other people as he doesn’t feel pain or temperature. So it makes sense that it would take more than a few sentences and acts of concern to change his mind.

On the other hand, the ending scene was the pick of this episode with its exceptional dialogues. Si Young’s explanation of what she meant by understanding and the exchange between Yo Han and Si Young was well written.

With the inclusion of a new character (reporter), it looks like the plot takes a serious twist next week and I am eager to see what is in store.

-By Soul Sword-

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