K-drama Resident Playbook postponed due to ongoing Korean medical crisis – tvN makes correct decision

Photo courtesy tvN

The upcoming tvN drama Resident Playbook — a spin-off of the massively popular Hospital Playlist drama series has been postponed until the latter half of the year due to the ongoing Korean medical crisis.

The Resident Playbook drama series was scheduled to premiere on May 11th after the currently ongoing Queen of Tears comes to a close.

But, due to the Korean medical crisis, which has caused mass resignations of junior doctors and medical residents across the country, as well as a Korean public slowly beginning to turn against some segments of the medical community, tvN felt it was not the appropriate time to air a drama that follows a group of medical residents.

Unfortunately, I would say they are correct.

What is the Korean medical crisis?

As for what the country’s medical crisis is all about, if you have not been watching the news from South Korea, it is a situation that developed earlier in February after the South Korean government announced they would begin to recruit more medical students in coming years.

This decision was made due to South Korea’s rapidly aging population, and a need for more doctors to be able to take care of that elderly population.

In a country, I might add, that already has fewer doctors per 1,000 people than many other developed countries.

A segment of the Korean medical community then decided they are against recruiting more medical students (they have various reasons that don’t make a lot of sense) and, because of that, thousands of them walked off the job.

This has put a massive strain on the already stretched South Korean medical system, as well as on the doctors, and the more responsible medical interns and residents who did not walk off the job.

Several people have also reportedly died due to not being able to have access to the medical care they would normally have received if a large percentage of the country’s medical interns and residents weren’t on strike.

As you can imagine then, a large percentage of South Korea now has negative feelings towards a segment of their medical community, with a recent poll showing 90% of respondents support the government’s plans to increase medical school admissions.

This week it was also announced the Korean government will start suspending the medical licenses of those junior doctors who are still on strike and refuse to go back to work. (Good for them!)

Airing Resident Playbook then, and expecting Koreans to tune in and cheer for the medical residents portrayed on it?

Probably not a good idea, eh?


Jung Ryeo Won and Wi Ha Joon star in Midnight Romance in Hagwon

What will replace Resident Playbook after Queen of Tears ends?

That, in a nutshell, is why tvN has chosen to postpone the premiere of Resident Playbook and to have Midnight Romance in Hagwon (previously titled Graduation) to air in its place.

Midnight Romance in Hagwon stars Wi Ha Joon, and Jung Ryeo Won and will premiere on May 11th on tvN in the same time slot as Queen of Tears.

No decision has yet been made as to when Resident Playbook will premiere (which is a shame for the actors/staff involved), as that will depend on what happens to the Korean medical residents’ strike.

We will keep you updated as soon as more information is released.

Until then, look forward to Midnight Romance in Hagwon, as it sounds interesting too.

About Michelle Topham

I'm a Brit-American journalist, former radio DJ at 97X WOXY, and Founder/CEO of Leo Sigh. I'm also obsessed with music, anime, manga, and K-dramas. Help!