Horse Doctor episode 15

Kwanghyun becomes an apprentice at the clinic but that doesn’t mean that the other doctors accept him as an equal. Even the teacher looks down on him for being a peasant. But it’s not just his social class that is a problem. Kwanghyun discovers that although he has technical skills there is still a lot that he doesn’t know  about treating patients. On the other hand star student Yun Taeju, can’t put a foot wrong and is set to become teacher’s pet. 

While Kwanghyun is trying to finish the medical exam, Jinyung pulls rank on the poor servants trying to guard her and rushes off to see him. She knows something has happened but not what exactly. Kwanghyun picks up the final needle. He’s in agony. As he struggles, he thinks back over all he has been through from the beating at the prison to the attack by Guard Kang, but he also remembers the support he’s had from Jinyung. And he manages to place the final needle perfectly just as the gong goes off. Myunghwan can’t believe it. :)

Kwanghyun struggles with the final needle

But there is no time for celebration. The doctors realise that Kwanghyun is in a bad way and he is given a piggy back to the hospital. He has a deep cut to the bone and they have to stop the bleeding. Jinyung arrives to see him and is happy to hear that he passed the test although she’s worried about his condition. Meanwhile Myunghwan ponders his next move grrr.

Jinyung recommends some medicine 삼칠근 (samchilgun) but it’s difficult to find in Joseon. She must take a boat to Uiju to get it, so the princess  gives her her ID seal 표신 (pyo-shin) to show that she is on official business from the palace and sends her guard with Jinyung too. Meanwhile Dr Ko prepares to stab Kwanghyun’s swollen arm with a thick three-sided needle (that looks like a Philips screwdriver!) to remove the dead blood. Looks grim.

Jinyung rushes to help Kwanghyun

At her restaurant, Daebang’s wannabe mother celebrates her son passing the medical entrance exam. But the restaurant chef is away cooking jon with Kibae and Jabong outside their humble house for Kwanghyun. They’ve noticed that Jinyung does’t come around any more …

Myunghwan looks Jinyung in the eye and assures her that he had nothing to do with Kwanghyun’s injury. (He’s a good liar. But he has had lots of practice.) Sungha tackles Guard Kang over what he did and demands he never do anything like that again – but isn’t Kang under Myunghwan’s orders? The king has heard about the amazing horse doctor too and Dr Ko thinks he will be the best doctor in the country.

Myunghwan denies any connection with the attach on Kwanghyun.

Kwanghyun’s cut is healing (but the cut looks a lot higher up his arm than it did at the beginning). Once released from hospital he goes to see Guard Kang. He wants to stand up to him and respond to his threat – know your place or else …..

Myunghwan seems to resent Kwanghyun because he is not ashamed of his background. He is confident and assured even though he is a chonin (peasant). Kwanghyun is proud and determined to show what he can do. Myunghwan was very different when he was young. He thinks back to when he first joined the hospital. He was told not to tell anyone about his background and he followed this advice even to the point of refusing to see his father on his deathbed. He was terrified of anyone finding out where he came from. He is so weak.

aigoo, look at the cute little monkey

Now for a cute break – Jinyung fans the cooking herbs over the fires at the clinic when a monkey appears next to her holding a tiny bunch of flowers. The flowers are from Kwanghyun who is sitting nearby. He’s noticed too that she hasn’t been to see him recently. But she doesn’t tell him why.

Kwanghyun goes to the mountain to carry out ancestral rites 제사 (chae-sa) for his father. He promises to be a good doctor remembering how his dad always nagged him to study years ago.

Kwanghyun pays his respects on the anniversary of his father’s death

Dr Ko hands out certificates to the new apprentices at the clinic. Yun Taeju’s name is called first again.

Inju is back at the horse ranch searching for info on Kwanghyun. But there is no evidence of his name in the government records of slaves so she is giving up hope.

The princess goes to see the QM and tries to make excuses as to why she can’t get married yet. She can’t cook etc etc. She has bought some time and  looks pretty pleased with herself. But then she tells her long suffering lady-in-waiting WHY she is putting off getting married: Once Kwanghyun becomes a royal physician 어의御醫 he will be considered a nobleman (I’ll write more about the ranking system for officials later) and able to marry her! So far she has called him Baek Ma-ui, Horse Doctor Baek. But she corrects herself now- he is Baek ui-seng: Dr Baek. This means he is already working his way up the ranks. The lady-in-waiting can only shake her head in despair.

the princess is planning to marry Dr Baek!

Over at the clinic classes are starting. But the teacher 권석철 Kwon Sokcheol is no push over – quite a scary guy and with no introduction to the course he simply marches the students over to the welfare clinic straight away to give them their first task – diagnose the patients. But first he tells them that half of them will fail the course. (it’s like the marines of the medical world.)

The other doctors rush off to begin – they only have 7 minutes to complete the task – but Kwanghyun just stands there not knowing what to do. He’s not used to talking to his patients as he has only ever treated animals – bless. But with the teacher breathing down his neck he hurries over to a patient to ‘diagnose’ his illness. Kwanghyun asks the patient what’s wrong. The patient replies he has stomach ache. Very bad stomach ache. Kwanghyun dutifully writes this down and is about to walk away when the patient asks – is that it? is that all you are going to ask? So Kwanghyun tries to think of other things to ask. Where do you live? That’s very far, isn’t it? You must be hungry?( Could that be the cause of his stomach ache! :)) The old man came on a donkey from his home and Kwanghyun ends up asking more about the animal than about the old man! (love this scene and the funny music)

Kwanghyun feels nervous on his first day of studies at the clinic

Time is up and the papers are collected in. The teacher flicks through the answers until he reaches Dr Smarty Pants Yun who gives an impressive answer to the task having followed the four steps to complete a thorough diagnosis:

망문문절 = 보고 듣고 묻고 만져서 진단하는 진료 방법
mang-mun-mun-cheol = look, listen, ask, touch; the way to make a diagnosis

Not only does he  recite a detailed list of symptoms but he goes on to suggest the treatment for the patient. Kwanghyun is speechless. The teacher is pleased.

But then the teach flicks through more papers till he reaches Kwanghun. (Oh dear). He reads out what Kwanghyun wrote “He has stomach-ache. Very bad stomach ache.” the class laughs. Kwanghyun is humiliated. But the teacher is angry. And what’s worse Kwangyun is to be demoted because he clearly doesn’t even know the basics of treating patients so he must spend time with the nurses and let them teach him. The nurses are shocked. But the teacher says that Kwanghyun is only a peasant anyway so it doesn’t matter if he spends time with them! Charming. That teacher is such a snob. The students are dismissed. (Well that was a short class. They only had one 7 minute task!)

Yun Taeju is unimpressed with Kwanghyun’s diagnosis!

Sungha is introduced to the king who congratulates him on coming top of his class in the government exam. He will work in administration of the medical facilities.

Jinyung hears about Kwanghun’s demotion and is worried that he will be down about that. But then she hears him laughing and joking and FLIRTING with a group of nurses. She storms off and he teases her that she is jealous but then admits that he is embarrassed about what happened.

The teacher calls Kwanghyun away from his duties at the clinic to complete a task – carry a gift to Sungha who is celebrating with his friends. It must be some sort of bribe as the teacher tells Sungha that he has heard about his new job in administration. But Sungha does not look comfortable receiving the gift and looks even more displeased when he notices that Kwanghyun is carrying the load. ‘Do you always make your students act like slaves?’ he asks. The teacher tries to point out that Kwanghyun is just a chonin – a peasant. ‘No he is a doctor’, Sungha replies. (Sungha is such a man of integrity. What is he going to say when he discovers what his father is really like?) That did not go as well as the teacher had planned!

Kwanghyun carries the gift to Sungha and his friends

But one of Sungha’s friends seems interested to hear that Kwanghyun is a doctor and chases after him when he leaves. He wants him to look after his sister who is not well- but he wants to keep this a secret. Kwanghyun explains that he is originally a horse doctor and has not treated people before. The Yangban is disgusted! But suddenly there’s a scream and we find the yangban’s sister in her room but she is not breathing. Kwanghyun must save the day again. There’s no one else…

Well, we can see why Myunghwan kept his background a secret. It takes a strong character to put up with all the bullying that Kwangyhyun has to endure because of his low class. And it is probably only just starting.  

My favourite scenes in this episode:

1. The diagnosis :) Kwanghyun has NO CLUE how to speak to the patients and I really felt his embarrassment when the teacher read out his rather simple answer! It sounded like something written by an elementary school student. ha ha. But the teacher is so unpleasant. He is such a snob sucking up to Yun Taeju because his father was the previous head of the clinic. And then he tries to suck up to Sungha too. But that doesn’t work …

2. The teacher tries to ingratiate himself with Sungha by bringing a lavish gift. But rather than getting one of the workers to carry the load the teacher seems to want to humiliate Kwanghyun or not let him forget that he is a peasant. The teacher’s smug face falls however when Sungha recognises Kwanghyun and demands to know why he is using student doctors as slaves. Good! I’m glad Sungha puts the teacher in his place for once. 

3. The cute little monkey scene. Just because. Awww. 

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