“Doctor Cha”: Cha Jung Sook’s journey of self-(re)discovery
“Doctor Cha” starring Uhm Jung Hwa sends out an inspiring message for viewers.
Cha Jung Sook (Uhm Jung Hwa) was a model medical student with impressive records. She was on her path to becoming a doctor when a past mistake put that life on hold. She got married to Seo In Ho (Kim Byung Chul) and became a full-time housewife. Despite her dedication to the family, they did not show much appreciation, and mostly indifference, for her.
Her husband, mother-in-law, and children frequently ordered her around to meet their demands. The family members might appear polite in their requests but often contained a condescending tone.
When Jung Sook was in a critical situation that required a liver transplant, neither her mother-in-law nor husband was willing to donate their liver for the operation, in spite of the transplant’s compatibility. At this point, Jung Sook realized she was not a family member in her family’s eyes.
This wake-up call urged her to live her own life and love herself. What was closest to an act of self-love to Jung Sook was resuming her medical career.
With a determined spirit, Cha Jung Sook got an almost perfect score on the written exams and became a first-year medical resident at Gusan University Hospital where her husband works. Nonetheless, her husband did not welcome her presence with open arms. In Ho expressed annoyance and constantly pressured her to quit.
In reality, it has been long since Jung Sook worked in the profession. Therefore, she made mistakes countless times along the way. There are numerous times she wanted to quit. However, she pulled through all the obstacles thrown her way and persevered to protect what she believed in.
One thing the audience loves about Cha Jung Sook is her overwhelming positivity. She always loves her family, despite the lack of reciprocated feelings from them. Jung Sook never yells back at her husband or children. She is always gentle with them no matter the situation.
Jung Sook juggles a lot of responsibilities but will find the smallest slot of time to spend on her study and keep her job at the hospital.
As a resident, she is a perfectionist. Jung Sook is ready to learn from others and willing to overlook age differences. She always treats her patients with care.
The story of Cha Jung Sook parallels the real-life situation of Uhm Jung Hwa. Prior to “Doctor Cha”, in an interview, the actress said that she spent a long time struggling with thyroid cancer. In telling Cha Jung Sook’s life story, resilience, and effort, it is as if Uhm Jung Hwa was telling hers.