Hospital Playlist: Is the Korean Show Based on Real Doctors?

When Hospital Playlist was first announced by Netflix, it managed to create quite a deal of buzz among viewers, specially dedicated fans of Korean dramas. Not only does it bring together the dynamic duo, screenwriter Lee Woo-Jung and director Shin Won-ho, who had previously delivered other hits like Reply and Prison Playbook, but it also explores a very relatable storyline.

The tale is about five doctors who have been friends for the last 20 years, follow the same profession, and even have a music band together. Yes, it chronicles the extraordinary lives led by regular, simple individuals and, hence, appeals to the normal viewer. The show tells small yet warm stories, each of which takes place within the hospital, and lends us a real-time look into the normal faces hidden behind a grueling career. Too relatable, right? So, does this mean that ‘Hospital Playlist’ is inspired by a true story? Let’s find out.

Hospital Playlist is a Fictional Tale of Friendship

‘Hospital Playlist’ is a scripted drama and we cannot say that the story is based on some event that had actually taken place in real-time. But yes, the creators did take inspiration from medical cases although the drama that revolves around the incidents is purely fictional.

However, you might find some similarities when you compare the show with other Korean dramas like Reply and Prison Playbook. Director Shin Won Ho explained that the setting and background are the only aspects that are different from the two titles above. He said during an interview: Hospital Playlist “follows the everyday lives of ordinary people, telling those small but precious and warm stories. The funny moments, the interesting moments, and the sad moments of life are all part of that story that I wanted to show when making this drama.”

Won Ho shed further light on his project, telling that this is not another large-scale, grand drama, which focuses only on emergencies within a hospital’s premises. It is a beautiful story about lives — not quite different from the ones we lead. The series not only makes us sympathize with the characters but it also forces us to laugh, weep, and connect to them on an emotional level.

Additionally, the diverse characters showcased in the Hospital Playlist represent different types of people we meet on a daily basis. For instance, Ik Jun is a self-proclaimed “inside operator” who is excellent in academics and social interactions, while the polite and kind-hearted Jeon Won has a totally different side to him, which is always hidden from plain view. Jun Wan is a brilliant surgeon with a miserable personal life, Seok Hyeong is a reclusive loner, and Song Hwa is deep into spiritualism.

So you see? Each of these protagonists reminds us of someone we have met sometime or the other. The creators definitely did detailed research while bringing these characters to life. Therefore, although Hospital Playlist is not directly based on a true story, it does take inspiration from incidents that regularly happen in our lives.

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