Kwanghyun prepares for the medical exam with Jinyung’s help. Officially the rules may have changed but that doesn’t mean that the aristocrats have to like or accept the new rules and it looks like Kwanghyun is not going to have an easy time. Passing the medical exam may only be the beginning of his problems!
Sungha sees Jinyung talking to Kwanghyun AGAIN. And he’s not happy about it. But he persuades himself that she’s just spending time with him because he reminds her of her old childhood friend since they both have the same name. (Poor Sungha) But he can’t possibly BE her childhood friend since he is dead, isn’t he?
Kwanghyun gets a mixed reaction when he tells everyone that he intends to take the medical exam. Jinyung is surprised but determined to help him. Jabong on the other hand can’t believe that a horse doctor could ever be accepted. They might say that everyone has a chance, but do they really?
The princess is busy in the royal kitchen trying to cook eggs. She’s clearly not a good cook but keeps trying again and again but her lady-in-waiting rolls her eyes in despair when the princess says WHO she wants to cook the eggs for! The atmosphere turns tense when the queen mother turns up though. What on earth is the princess doing in the kitchen, she demands to know? And the princess is immediately summoned to the queen mother’s quarters.
The princess is grateful to Jinyung for helping her out with the QM
The QM can smell a rat and wants to know what’s going on. And if she isn’t told soon the lady-in-waiting is going to be taken away and tortured to find out the truth! (Now that’s a bit extreme, isn’t it? She was only trying to cook eggs.) Jinyung is summoned too as the queen mother trusts her to tell the truth.
Jinyung manages to think up some good reasons to explain the strange behaviour WITHOUT mentioning the horse doctor! She tells the queen mother that the princess was merely worried about her cooking for her future marriage and wanted to practise (not a total lie, although she will hardly be expected to slave over the kitchen sink when she gets married.)
Jinyung’s quick thinking gets the princess out of trouble
Lots of men turn up to take the medical exam. But they come from respectable hospitals. When Kwanghyun arrives and announces himself as a mere horse doctor there is uproar.
Kwanghyun gets a bad reaction when he announces himself as a horse doctor
Of course at this very moment Myunghwan arrives with his entourage and he too is horrified to see Kwanghyun applying for the exam. Kwanghyun points out that he is perfectly at liberty to take the test since the rules have changed. Myunghwan goes running to complain to Dr Ko annoyed that any Tom, Dick, or Harry can now apply for the exam.
Myunghwan is not amused to see Kwanghyun lining up to take the exam
But Dr Ko loves winding Myunghwan up and points out that Kwanghyun wouldn’t be the first doctor who had also treated animals! Myunghwan thinks back to when he first joined the hospital and how the others teased HIM for being a horse doctor. He was never a horse doctor though although his father was. And Dr Ko knows this. At the time Dr Ko promised to keep Myunghwan’s “secret” but now Myunghwan takes Dr Ko’s words as a threat.
Myunghwan confronts Dr Ko about his new rules
Kwanghyun tries to buy books on medicine but in the store other candidates recognise him and turn on him appalled that a horse doctor would dare to apply to do real medicine. (It’s interesting how threatened the upper classes are when someone tries to enter their world.) Kwanghyun stands up for himself grabbing the pompous yangban’s wrist and demanding an apology. But more men arrive and they all set upon him beating him when Jinyung steps in to the rescue.
The other candidates may not want him to pass but Kwanghyun has a lot of help from other aristocrats. In the lead up to the exam Jinyung spends a lot of time helping him study. And the princess sends him herbs to help clear his mind now she knows he wants to be a doctor. So cute.
Kwanghyun studies for the medical test
Jinyung is working so hard too that one night she dozes off. Kwanghyun lays her down with a pillow and duvet cover (I like how he smells the duvet first!) and she sleeps while he continues to study. But he seems to lose focus a bit when he watches her sleep.
Finally the day of the test arrives. Dr Ko and Myunghwan arrive to observe and the test questions are revealed on scrolls. At first Kwanghyun looks worried and he is the last to start writing. Myunghwan looks smug – pleased that Kwanghyun is struggling. And Kwanghyun is also one of the last to finish when the gong goes off. But actually he’s pleased because the worksheets Jinyung prepared for him covered the answer for the test.
Kwanghyun waits for his results
Jabong comes rushing home to announce that the results are out. Did he see Kwanghyun’s name on the list? NO he says. Kwanghyun looks disappointed until they realise that Jamong can’t read. Duh! So Kwanghyun rushes down to see for himself and of course he has passed.
Kwanghyun passes the first part of the medical exam
But Dr Ko’s reforms are not going down well with Lord Jung who realises that the king is clearly on Dr Ko’s side so they need someone on their side. And that someone will be the queen mother since she has a strong influence over the king. Sure enough the queen mother heads over to see the king.
The baddies come up with a cunning plan
Kwanghyun has passed the written part of the medical test but now he has to pass the practical too. He practices his acupuncture on a pillow until Jinyung borrows a acupuncture dummy from the hospital. Sungha catches her on her way to see Kwanghyun and asks why she’s always ‘hanging around’ the horse doctor. Inju happens to be nearby and overhears their conversation and is shocked to discover the horse doctor’s name …
Jinyung leaves Kwanghyun to practise on the dummy but when she returns a few minutes later he’s managed to find every pressure point correctly. And they haven’t even started practising yet!
Kwanghyun prepares for part two of the medical test
I think it’s interesting in this episode to see the strict rules and conventions in the Joseon class system. People could not usually move up a class. (Although ironically Myunghwan seems to have managed to do so) If you were born a peasant then you died a peasant. So now even though the rules have changed – opening up the medical exam to all, not just the elite – this is hard to swallow for the yangban as they think the lower classes should ‘know their place’. The yangban believe that THEY are the ONLY ones who have the right to enter the exam and a mere horse doctor has no business trying to take it. It’s a class issue because only yangban were considered good enough to become doctors and treat people and they would never lower themselves to look after animals.