Doctor Cha season 1 episode 16 recap, review & ending explained

Doctor Cha episode 16 marks the conclusion of the Kdrama with the main characters contending with the major life changes as the titular doctor undergoes surgery for the second time.


Jeong-Suk chooses neither Roy Kim nor In-Ho for the liver donation, instead, she chooses the bike behind them, before going on a ride on it with Kim. Seung-Hi decides to take over Convalescent Hospital.

Professor Kim insists again to let him save her life but Jeong-Suk asks for a short leave for the day that she uses to meet with her best friend Mi-Hee and later go to In-Ho’s house and do multiple chores, in between reminiscing about the memories.

She also writes a letter for kids in case she doesn’t live to see the days soon. Later, In-Ho signs the divorce papers and hands them to her, asking her to let him donate his liver and repent for his sins.

He later meets Seung-Hi and the two seem to be over in terms of a relationship with each other but Seung-Hi reminds him that he still has a daughter in Eun-Seo. Meanwhile, Jeong-Suk meets Eun-Seo and talks to her about all that has transpired, telling her to not resent her mother anymore.

Seung-Hi is given a farewell party by her fellow doctors as In-Ho prepares for the surgery, which is successful and Jeong-Suk leads a healthy life. She and In-Ho go through the proceedings to make their divorce official, following which they end things amicably.

Eun-Seo meets In-Ho and while he promises to try his best as her father, she asks him to not give up on Seung-Hi. Roy Kim finally proposes to Jeong-Suk but she politely declines, saying she just wishes to live out her days one day at a time. Three years later, she runs a unique clinic at the building In-Ho let her keep earlier.

In-Ho also becomes a much more capable person in terms of being devoted to his fatherly duties as well as helping out Seung-Hi with her hospital and patients while also managing his own work as a director at Gusan University Hospital.

Jung-Min and Jeon So-Ra lead a happy life as a couple and entertain the ideas of an extended family. Jeong-Suk lives a content life while juggling various professional and personal roles.

Doctor Cha season 1 ending explained in detail:

Who does Jeong-Suk end up with?

Cha Jeong-Suk finds out about the affair that her husband has been having for more than a decade with his first love. She’s absolutely shattered at the discovery and her heart is broken beyond repair by In-Ho.

He then begins to shamelessly cling to her, like he and his mother have been ever since Jeong-Suk came to their home and took over all the household affairs.

Meanwhile, Roy Kim, a young and dashing surgeon who falls for her becomes a romantic rival to In-Ho. Jeong-Suk considers staying with In-Ho for the sake of the children and the marriage but she can’t do it, having been subjected to so much pain by her husband who continues to be cruel and cowardly.

She decides to divorce him but he protests as much as he can, before realizing his mistakes and signing the divorce papers. Meanwhile, Roy Kim proposes but Jeong-Suk doesn’t wish to live with another man, at least for the moment. She wishes to live life one day at a time and enjoy her independence and freedom, which she does.

What happens to Seung-Hi and In-Ho?

A cowardly In-Ho who can’t stop clinging on to his wife decides to break up with Seung-Hi, who’s absolutely shocked at his spineless behavior and tells him that she’d be the one to break things off.

They more or less call it quits and drift away, even when In-Ho and Jeong-Suk separate. However, their daughter Eun-Seo asks In-Ho to not give up on her mother yet and to try his best to be by her side.

In-Ho does just that and while working as the director of Gusan University Hospital, he’s shown to often assist Seung-Hi at her hospital.

It’s also shown that Seung-Hi has overcome her obsession with the pursuit of his love and time and yet in the end, things are not definitively ended or begun anew between them. They seem to be going at it in at least a friendly capacity, and In-Ho is making efforts from his side.

What happens to Roy Kim?

Roy Kim falls for a much older Jeong-Suk, and throughout his budding friendship with her, he doesn’t confess his love to her, since he doesn’t want to distract her from her aspirations or trouble her while she’s suffering from a liver condition.

However, he engages in total romantic rivalry with In-Ho, so much so that he also gets physical with him. He vies for Jeong-Suk’s love and after she completes her recovery from the second liver surgery, he confesses.

When Jeong-Suk rejects him, he seems heartbroken, but by the end and three years later after that, he’s shown to have started a new relationship with another woman, someone who Jeong-Suk seems aware of since she explains how she and Roy Kim are still friends.


  • Doctor Cha episode 16 is a great finale on many accounts and misses some minor beats too. However, the conclusion to the central love triangle seems to be grounded in reality in a way that seems refreshing.
  • The finale seems too epilogue-y as it tries to cram in the conclusion of all the characters and their storylines in ways that feel all too hasty.
  • Roy Kim’s absence and lack of screen time after Jeong-Suk rejects him is a bit off-putting. It can be argued that In-Ho’s character development seems a bit too quick and if it were to take place over the course of the last few episodes, it would have been significantly better.
Doctor Cha season 1 episode 16
Doctor Cha season 1 episode 16 recap, review & ending explained 1

Director: Kim Dae-jin, Kim Jung Wook

Date Created: 2023-06-04 20:30

Editor's Rating:

Also Read: The love triangle in Doctor Cha explained

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