Ryu Ok-hada always wanted to help people, but now the South Korean trainee doctor has walked off the job and stands outside the hospital where he worked, holding his medical gown in his hand.

Park Dan, who recently realized his childhood dream of being an emergency physician, is also one of over 7,800 interns and residents who have resigned in a confrontation with the government, which threatens to arrest them.

Ryu and Park say the junior doctors, a crucial cog in South Korea's highly regarded medical system, are overworked, underpaid and unheard.