- A maid or housecleaning service once a week. No one in medical school or residency has time to clean (or likes it)! This will be one of the most appreciated gifts you’ve ever given someone.
- A smart phone (if they don’t have one). Not only for the usual reasons, but because of the apps available for doctors.
- Along the same lines, a highly functional laptop computer is a critical piece of equipment (i.e. not the cheapest you can get).
- An iPad. There are a lot of uses for the iPad in the hospital… and even more personal uses! This is a great gift for any medical student, resident or practicing physician.
- Membership to a gym. Working out is important both for physical and mental health during medical training. But – unless you know for sure which gym is the closest to where they live, it might be better to create a homemade “gift certificate” and let them decide.
- Anything to help promote more exercise. A bicycle to commute to school or the hospital? A gift box with exercise equipment? Yoga classes?
- A gift certificate to Whole Foods (or any grocery store that makes take out food), or a healthy prepared food service. In Houston, we have My Fit Foods, Snap Kitchen, Diet Gourmet, Real Meals 365 and several other services. These types of businesses exist in almost every major city and can be easily found with an internet search.
- A gift card from Starbucks. Along the same idea (if they drink coffee), they might like a personal coffee maker like the Black and Decker brew and go coffee maker, or the “k-cup” brewers like Keurig or Tassimo.
- How Doctors Think, by Jerome Groopman. I’ve recently read this book (and will probably be posting more in the near future about the great observations he makes). This is a great read for anyone in medicine, but especially for students and residents.
- Any (or all) of Atul Gawande’s books
- A necklace with molecules? Your own DNA portrait? Stethoscope cufflinks? Anatomical heart necklace? Here are some other unique presents to think about: scienceroll.com, incrediblethings.com, gifts.com, streetanatomy.com, zazzle.com, gigglemed
- And – the always appropriate… Visa, Mastercard or Amazon gift card. Or, give them a “prescription” for cash.