For parents, spouses and friends of medical students it can be tempting to buy novelty doctor gifts for them for the winter Holidays. But in less than four years those “soon to be doctor,” “degree loading” or “doctor in training” shirts and mugs will be donated to the local thrift store. Instead, here’s some holiday gift ideas for your medical student that will provide surprise, joy and comfort during the rough time that is medical school.

Our holiday gift ideas for your favorite medical student…

Time

  • House cleaning. They’re not doing it, and the house can use it. Find a local service that will allow them to schedule a convenient time, but send the bill to you.
  • If they’ve got kids and you’re close, baby sit at their convenience. They need it desperately. Ask them when was the last time they had a date night, odds are good the answer is “before school started.”
  • I don’t recommend gift cards for specific bookstores or movie theatres, only because medical students are SO busy it can be unlikely to be of benefit. However, Visa gift cards can be used anywhere, and give them the freedom to get anything.
Images of massage, books, headphones, tea and a planner - as gift ideas for holidasy

Comfort & Wellness gifts

  • When I moved to West Virginia from Arizona I was woefully unprepared for the winter weather. Gifts of plush blankets or gift cards to local stores to let them get those things are a gift of comfort. This is also a good time for a Visa gift card.
  • Care box. Send their favorite dry goods from home, sweets or other treats. I couldn’t find real enchilada sauce in WV, or my favorite chocolates, and my mom would send a box full of things like that. It made me cry the first time, and filled me with joy every time after.

Caffeine

Entertainment

  • Do they have a commute to school? Some of my co-residents LOVE audio books and a membership to Audible would be pretty sweet. (I can’t focus to audio books, but love podcasts, so be sure they’ll benefit from this, as a year is $150 right now.

Organization

  • Planners are very personal, but if you know your student needs one I’m currently LOVING the Passion Planner my husband got me. He gets a discount off his next planner if you use this link (http://rwrd.io/kamnc2n?e) and is trying out their new Daily planner soon.

More Ideas

For more ideas I have curated Amazon gift lists for medical students (http://a.co/hyeveyJ) that includes some awesome organizational stuff, pens, highlighters and little cheerful things.

I also created lists for interns (http://a.co/cAAP1Ss), and one for residents or soon-to-be attendings (http://a.co/fZsGnT7).