2010 marked Park's return to television for the first time in six years in the period medical drama Jejungwon, about the establishment of Gwanghyewon (later renamed Jejungwon) in 1885, the nation's first "modern" Western hospital which historical records show treated sick people regardless of their economic status despite the hierarchical society of the era.
Loosely based on a real-life person, the protagonist Park played is born a poor butcher's son and becomes Joseon's first surgeon and an independence fighter.
Park Yong-woo's father was an engineering professor and his mother was a music teacher.
As a child he was shy and expressed himself poorly. When he first chose to become an actor, Park felt hampered by the fact that he didn't have any childhood or family trauma to draw from, but later realized that a vivid imagination was the key to his acting process because it didn't require him to show his "naked face." Park failed the college entrance exams twice before he was accepted to the prestigious Theater and Film department at Chung-Ang University in 1991.
He played a kindly handyman with a crush on a piano teacher in For Horowitz (2006), a world-weary cop investigating the murders of orphaned girls in The World of Silence (2006), one husband of two partner-swapping married couples in Love Now (2007), and a suave con artist out to steal treasure in Once Upon a Time (2008).
At the press conference of Kim Han-min's 2009 thriller Handphone, Park said he hoped viewers wouldn't interpret the two characters as simply good and evil, but as real people with understandable motivations within the context of their situations.
He failed twice more when he joined MBC's actor's auditions, then finally passed in 1995.
Park spent a decade playing minor and supporting roles on television and film, notably in Shiri (1999), Ditto (2000) and Age of Warriors (2003).
Park said, "I guess every actor dreams of playing a main character and I'm not an exception.
But for me, it is more important to become a good actor regardless of how big my roles are." In 2005, Park drew critical notice with his much-praised portrayal of the influential son of a paper mill owner in Kim Dae-seung's period thriller Blood Rain (2005).
He won Best Supporting Actor honors at the Chunsa Film Art Awards and the Korean Film Awards, as well as nominations at the Grand Bell Awards and Blue Dragon Film Awards.
With a relatively low budget and lead actors who were not particularly famous at the time, Son Jae-gon's debut film was a sleeper hit and became the tenth top-selling domestic film of the year with 2,286,745 tickets sold.
Park spent the next several years acting in various genres.Park said he didn't hesitate to take the role, describing his character as someone who "doesn't stop trying to achieve his goals and starts thinking not only about saving people's lives but also his country.