As an RN, I thoroughly enjoy medical dramas when they are done well. D-Day is the story of how a natural disaster makes what had been a team of medical staff who had been more focused on prestige and profits grow into ones that are focused more on saving lives using whatever means possible. Kim Young-Kwang plays an ER surgeon, Hae-sung, who rebels against his hospital system and tries to save whatever traumas that come into his center no matter if they have a small survival rate. Unfortunately, the director of the hospital is more focused on the statistics of his hospital and pushes Hae-sung out to a branch hospital because of his “impulsive” actions. Hae-sung also has a mother who is in a coma and he is pushed out to the branch hospital because he refused to compromise his morals. Hae-sung has basically lost his rights to using the scalpel as he is relegated into only doing colonoscopies (using scopes up people’s rectums).
At the same main hospital, Han Woo-Jin is a renowned robotics surgeon who has performed surgeries on many famous patients. The hospital director is pushing to get more funds for this department in order to increase the prestige of his hospital. As these hospital staff with different values and morals cross hairs, patients are the ones suffering as they are getting unneeded tests done and being transfered out if they don’t meet the hospital’s “regular patient population.” While the branch hospital of Mirae transfers their trauma patients to it’s main hospital, we meet Ddol-Mi, a young orthopedics doctor who is a huge fangirl of Woo-Jin. However, she is so inexperienced that even a nurse had to take over doing a thoracentesis in the ambulance because she was too afraid to do it (letting out excess air out of the area around the lung so that a patient can breathe). This was clearly out of the Nurse Park Jin-Na’s scope of practice, but she had done it to save a life. With these four medical staff members, they seem to have a lot of growing room and personal conflicts. At the very end of episode one, a huge earthquake hits Seoul (with tons of bad CGI, I must admit), and these medical workers are put to the test!
While subtitles are relatively slow for this drama, I am interested in pursuing further episodes. With much of the city paralyzed by the earthquake, I can imagine that the hospital will be a mess and that it will not be enough to host so many victims of the disaster. Thus, these ER medical staff will need to think outside of the box and make do with whatever resources they have to save as many lives as possible. As this kind of natural disaster can be a any day reality, it will be especially interesting to see how it will be handled. I know in the US, for Hurricane Katrina, emergency makeshift tent hospitals were set up on roofs of supermarkets as an emergency response. I wonder if this will be the case as well or if Dr. Hae Sung will need to open the branch hospital up as a trauma center or for surgeries. I hope I get to see some unique life-saving techniques, but will probably see some heartbreaking moments as well!