Unique Holiday Gifts for Medical Students and Residents

medicine mug

Admittedly I am a bit of a Scrooge.I like the getting together aspect of the holidays but my family gets pissed at me around Christmas time because I more or less refuse to give them a list. Come on, when I hand you a list of things and then you feel obligated to buy them for me it seems to take the fun out of it. Where’s the surprise? The excitement? The thought? If there’s something I feel like I really want or need I will just go pick it up myself. It’s much more efficient! The best gifts are the one’s you never even knew you needed but become an integral part of your life once they are bestowed upon you. Here is a list of unique holiday gifts for medical students and residents that they never even knew they needed.

For more ideas check out Top 10 Gifts for Medical Students

Tech Goodies

Let’s face it. Anyone involved in medical education is going to spend a LOT of time staring at a screen. Might as well make it easy on their eyes. I am a huge fan of studying on a large screen monitor  not to mention that the extra real-estate makes you much more efficient. This is a great gift because it is practical for getting shit done but also has some entertainment value.

If you’re going for pure entertainment value then might I suggest a portable speaker? One of my attendings has the Jawbone Jambox. This little thing is amazing. We were rocking out one day doing a lap chole and actually had the OR next door ask if we could turn it down, our tunes were flowing into their room! How such a little thing can produce that much sound is clearly pure engineering magic. Not to mention it’s bluetooth! I have a total nerdgasm over this thing!


I’m pretty sure that chick’s arm has been photoshopped… but the Jambox is cool!

Monthly Subscriptions Services

nature boxUsually you want to avoid “gifts that keep on giving” but I can tell you first hand that receiving something special in the mail can turn around a terrible day. There are many theme based subscription “boxes” popping up around the internet. My favorite is Nature Box… no you will not be receiving a box of seedlings every month. Nature Box sends you a monthly selection of healthy, natural snacks to munch on throughout your study sessions. I know I used to eat shitty while studying, mostly out of laziness, having a healthy snack available in my house helps me choose the better option. (use the links above and code SHARE10 to get $10 off).

There are a multitude of other options. There’s Birch Box, sending you monthly samples of beauty supplies. Loot Crate for the gamers. There’s even Man Packs if you want that special someone in your life to finally have socks without holes in them! For a full list you can checkout subscriptionboxes.com.

Keeping Up Appearances

We may be giving up our twenties to become physicians but that doesn’t mean we have to look haggard while doing it. Mrs. Survivor DO swears that her Clarisonic Scrubber Thingy is what keeps her skin looking so fresh (it also works great to clean the shower!*) and her Philips Sonicare keeps her teeth sparkling. I would tend to agree because anyone else that had put up with me for the last 5 years surely would have aged 20!

As young professionals we are expected to dress up on occasion. People’s definition of dressing up can certainly vary but the one rule I have learned is that it is ALWAYS better to error on the side of being OVERDRESSED. It’s awkward showing up to an event in khaki’s and a polo when everyone else is wearing suits! Your budding young physician may have finally reached the stage where receiving clothes under the tree is no longer nausea inducing.

Booze and Accessories

It may just be the Baader-Meinhoff phenomenon acting up again but it seems like everyone is into the dark stuff lately. I’m talking whiskey, bourbon and scotch. I’m a staunch supporter of this trend and science proves that I am right. Like anything else, moderation is key and if you’re going to be drinking in moderation you might as well be classy about it. Get your loved one a bottle that is a step-up from what they would usually drink along with something fancy to drink it out of and they are sure to appreciate you every time they have a glass after a long day of studying.


Sipping Stones – It’s true that the solution to pollution is dilution and I can assuredly say that most of the stuff I drank in college benefited from being watered down a bit. Now that I occasionally enjoy the finer things in life I cool it down with sipping stones. They are inert so you can just pop a few out of your freezer into your glass and you will have a cool drink unsullied by melting ice. When you’re done rinse them off and back to the freezer they go for next time. Great product.



Classy Glassy – Some might argue that drinking out of their favorite Mickey Mouse mug from 6th grade is enjoyable. However, presentation is half the fun. Some fancy glassware or a bar set can make the whole experience of having a round with friends more enjoyable.



Geeky Medical Related Things

We try to act all tough and like “oh it’s no big deal I’m gonna be a doctor” but deep down every medical student and resident loves geeky medical things. Luckily we have friends and family to buy things like the:

Still got nothing? When all else fails Amazon.com gift cards are the way to go. They are simple, efficient and guarantee your gift won’t end up stashed away in a closet. You can’t ask for much more than that!


*Just kidding babe!


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