Manhwa Review: Medical Return

Details: Currently ongoing. Also known as 메디컬 환생.

Score: 7.2/10

I’m tempted to say this is an isekai since it’s core concept involves the trope of being reborn into your younger self, but this is clearly a medical drama. What I really enjoyed about this comic was how educational it was. I don’t know of any other fictional story that spent so much time going through details of the medical field, specifically, details about medical school in Korea. The author clearly spoke to some actual doctors before writing this.

Kim Jihyun is a failure of a doctor. After a lifetime as a practicing surgeon, he is drowning in debt from a failed medical practice and is about to die from terminal cancer. As he’s sitting in a park looking back as his failed life, one of his old patients shows up and offers him a second chance. Jihyun is then reborn back into his sixteen year old self, but with all the memories of his past life. Now, Jihyun seeks to relive his life the right way and avoid all the mistakes he made previously.

As said above, I love the seemingly factual details in this story related to the medical profession. For instance, Jihyun was a surgeon in his past life, but seeks to go into dermatology in his new life since it is extremely lucrative and an easier field to practice in. I knew Korea has a booming cosmetic surgery and I know that some fields in medicine pay better than others. I did not know dermatology was essentially the field of cosmetic surgery nor did I know the massive differences in money made and difference in stress between the fields. I also didn’t know the specific steps you need to take in Korean medical school in order to become a surgeon or a dermatologist. There’s also another bit about how clinical trials work, which was an interesting subject I only had peripheral knowledge of. There’s just a lot of interesting details this series educates the reader about the medical field that makes this story feel well researched. Don’t mistake this to say that this is a story meant to educate. It’s not. It’s just that the details are so well done that I get to be entertained by the fictional plot and educated by the realistic details as well.

The story itself is very standard for a Korean drama or an American medical procedural like a Grey’s Anatomy. The only supernatural elements are that the protagonist is reborn and has a lifetime of medical knowledge already within him. Other than that, it plays out like he is a gifted prodigy. There’s not action anything, just the drama between characters. The main plot points of interest are when he encounters people from his prior life and the far reaching consequences his actions have as he makes changes to his new life. It’s also fun watching a prior failure succeed for once.

There’s also a bit of romance in the story. The protagonist had a failed marriage in his past life and how he wants to deal with it this time is a major plot point.

The art is fine.

Overall, this was a very entertaining read and I strongly recommend it if you like medical shows like Grey’s Anatomy or Korean dramas. The comic is still ongoing so I will gladly continue to read it.

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