“Doctor Cha” Ending Explained- Episode 16 Recap And Review

Published Categorized as Kdrama Recaps

JTBC’s hit drama “Doctor Cha” has come to an end, let us discuss the finale of the drama and talk about its ending.

“Doctor Cha” episode 16 recap

Cha Jeong-Suk is asked to choose between Seo In-Ho or Roy’s liver and she chooses a motor bicycle, she rides it alongside Roy while telling them she’s not accepting from either.

Meanwhile, Choi Seung-Hi is seeing a man who shows her around a small hospital her dad helped establish. She wants to take over.

At the hospital, Roy speaks to Cha Jeong-Suk and tells her she’s heading towards a liver failure and needs a transplant.

Cha Jeong-Suk then asks for a leave from the hospital, she goes to see her friend and later returns to their house. She cooks, cleans and makes bangchan. She also writes her kids a letter expressing how much she loved them.

As she’s done, Seo In-Ho and his mother come in. Seo In-Ho goes to his room and signs the divorce paper. Then, he goes to have a conversation with her. He says he’s signed it. He says she should take his liver, he wants to repent for his actions and knows she thinks he’ll cling onto her if he doesn’t file for divorce too, so he asks her to allow him to do this. She agrees.

On another day, Seo In-Ho talks to Choi Seung-Hi, they’re officially breaking up, she tells him she’ll run the small hospital and wishes him well.

Back at the hospital, Choi Seung-Hi’s daughter is waiting there for her. Cha Jeong-Suk sees her and speaks to her. She tells her its all the adults fault and she should not blame herself. Also, she should try not to hate her mother for this.

Later, Cha Jeong-Suk and Seo In-Ho go through surgery and both recover successfully.

Some time later

After their recovery, Seo In-Ho and Cha Jeong-Suk go to the court house and get divorced. They have a meal together after that, and Cha Jeong-Suk mentions they haven’t eaten out in a long time.

Cha Jeong-Suk tell shim she was allowed back at the hospital, she won’t push herself. Seo In-Ho also reveals he’s become the youngest director at the hospital. After their meal is done, she shakes his hands and wishes him well.

On another day at a bookstore, Seo I-Rang runs into Choi Eun-Seo, she tells her they got divorced and she apologizes for her hands again.

Choi Eun-Seo calls her dad and they go out for a meal, he admits he’s lacking in many ways and asks for a second chance, she agrees. She then tells him to hold onto her mom after his divorce, only that way it would be fair.

When she goes back home, she tells her mother this but her mother does not react nor is she fazed. They’re officially over.

On another day, Seo In-Ho and Choi Seung-Hi meet up and exchange words but he does not dare bring up a potential reunion.

Cha Jeong-Suk meets with Roy Kim who confesses his feelings for her. However, she rejects him nicely saying he should meet someone his age and get married.

3 years later

Jeon So-Ra asks for a pregnancy test at the pharmacy but its negative.

Cha Jeong-Suk passes her motorcycle test. She then returns to her café and works there serving people, then she goes upstairs to examine patients. She’s now a family medicine specialist. She counsels people and sells healthy salads too.

We find out that’s the same building Seo In-Ho’s mother had issues with, they gave it to her as part of the settlement.

We find out that Seo In-Ho is still hard at work, even though he’s a director. He still maintains a relationship with Choi Seung-Hi who asks him for favors about her patients all the time. We also find out that Roy is dating happily and has mentioned his girlfriend to Cha Jeong-Suk.

Cha Jeong-Suk asks Seo In-Ho to come by to help out in a village, he’s asked to scrub old people’s backs and help them in the bath house which he does. He has coffee with Cha Jeong-Suk a while later and she scolds him about his mother and says he should be nice to her.

Seo Jung-Min and Jeon So-Ra share a conversation and he’s done with military and wants to go back to the operating room. She talks about a potential pregnancy, she says she imagined their life together.

As the night comes to an end, they wave goodbye to Cha Jeong-Suk as the three of them must return to Seoul. Seo In-Ho looks back at her with a smile and she waves at him and smiles back.

The next day

She goes to a boat, she’s going far away to treat patients. She takes in the air and enjoys herself. She’s grateful for being alive.

The end.

“Doctor Cha” ending explained- frequently asked questions

“Doctor Cha” episode 16 review

This wraps it up. This was A GOOD ENDING.

I am honestly pleasantly surprised; I didn’t expect the screenwriter to wrap it up so nicely.

Some people seem to be sad because Cha Jeong-Suk did not end up with Roy but I always knew it wasn’t going to happen. I think it would be fairly difficult to jump into another relationship after a divorce this bad.

Also, she knows he’s a catch and he can date someone he can build his life with. It’s a shame but more than a realistic approach to the situation. She never once made it seem as she was in love with him or even liked him beyond a friend. So I am fairly surprised people are this disappointed.

Maybe its because I didn’t watch the drama weekly and only binged it like two weeks ago, so I had a different angle to look at and came from a different perspective as opposed to someone who might have been on the edge waiting for weekly episodes.

I liked how Seo In-Ho realized how much he f*edup and made up for it in some way. That does not eliminate the hurt and pain he caused her in the past completely but gosh darn it he handled it with more maturity than I had expected in the episodes leading up to the finale, I expected worse.

Giving his liver and giving her the chance to live another life was a great deed on his behalf especially since he did it knowing he lost her, he still wanted to atone for his behavior and see her as the mother of his children.

Some say why now, but to me, some men can only realize how much they screwed up once its taken away from them and once they’re put under pressure. He was ultimately afraid of losing her as the mother of his kids. It doesn’t mean his past behavior was nice but to a certain level, in his own world, it might have ‘made sense’ why he wouldn’t want to donate to her then.

He wasn’t a good character, but this ends it with a nice conclusion that is more than enough for me.

I’ve seen many couples around me either divorce or have terrible break ups, I wish this was how divorce settlements were handled. Eventually, Seo In-Ho and his mother realize they screwed up and gave up nicely with the settlement without much petty drama, this is honestly better than about 90% of the divorce settlements I’ve ever seen in kdrama land or real life.

Almost dying then coming back to life brings a new perspective to someone’s mind. Cha Jeong-Suk remained classy and amazing till the very end in the way she handled herself, her husband, her family and her life. The fact that she maintains a good relationship with her ex-husband shows their maturity.

I also liked the sprinkles of regret Seo In-Ho felt throughout the episode. I thought they were done nicely, its something that creeps up on you and you realize how much you screwed up as time goes by. He truly let a great woman slip away and has to deal with this for the rest of his life. I am also happy he did not end up with his former lover either, that would have been a blow.

Honestly, “Doctor cha” ending is one of the best endings of a 2023 kdrama so far.

Now onto some general final thoughts on the drama

I had some mixed feelings about the progress of the drama. I think, and I’ve heard others mention this online, the way Choi Seung-Hi’s arc was handled was not to my liking because in a sense, it felt as if the screenwriter was somewhat being sympathetic towards her… Which I didn’t like.

While the husband is definitely at fault here, the biggest fault and the ultimate betray, it felt as if the screenwriter was almost making him the sole person responsible for this fiasco and as if Choi Seung-Hi was merely following along as if she didn’t have a choice but to trust him. This irked me.

The ending she had was evident that the screenwriter more so sympathized with her rather than held her accountable for her actions. We can argue she’s yet to see the consequences, and that generally, if you screw up, it doesn’t mean the fallout shows up immediately but still, the screenwriter was too nice towards her.

Overall, I enjoyed this drama. I binge watched it and caught up with the hype like two weeks ago and it was lots of fun. The drama became one of the highest rated JTBC dramas of all time and I can definitely see why. This was the hype, especially if you were watching along as it aired. I don’t know how good it will hold up as a binge-able series.

I definitely think the writing for the drama suffered in the latter half, but that’s normally the case for all 16-episodes kdramas out there. Despite that, I think it held up, still, very well in those less eventful episodes compared to other recent or ongoing kdramas.

I appreciate how the good writing is for a screenwriter who had made her official debut with this project. Definitely among the better scripts of a 2023 kdrama and not what I’d expect from a rookie screenwriter.

So these are my thoughts on “Doctor Cha” ending, so what about you guys? did you like the endinglet me know what you thought in the comment section below.

Whats your reaction to this article?

By Jass K.

Hi, I am Jass k. I discuss some of the hottest currently airing kdramas on this site in form of reviews an/or recaps, join me in the discussion~


  1. Very dry ending. I feel like she let Roy think the obstacle was her marriage. She knew exactly what he hoped because he told her he would wait for her. She never told him anything like, “you should be dating, find someone else”.

  2. I was a little disappointed that she didn’t end up with Roy. The ex husband needed to see her being treated well by another man. I’m just petty lol, overall it was a great watch.

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