10 Best Gifts for Doctors

string of holiday lights illuminates the floor

So every time the holidays roll around, my family asks what’s on my wishlist. I tell them more sleep and a better EMR, and then they get me some socks.

Rinse and repeat, every year. Don’t get me wrong—I like socks, and I’m grateful to get anything at all. But I’ve been doing some thinking, and I’m realizing that there are actually a lot of great gifts out there for doctors and medical professionals. And many of them won’t break the bank.

Whether you’re at a stage in your career where you don’t really need anything for the holidays, or you’re a resident who really could use some essentials, there's something on this list for you.

10 best holiday gift ideas for doctors

  1. AeroPress coffee maker. Not sure if you knew this, but doctors are actually 60 percent coffee. The AeroPress is a great gift for physicians because it’s super portable, doesn’t have any breakable parts, and makes a great cup of coffee. It’s also a cult favorite for camping, so that's cool.
  2. Ember travel mug. This is a splurge gift, but it’s coffee-related, so it’s worth it. It keeps your coffee warm on the go so that the cup you made with your AeroPress five hours ago is still warm when you finally have time to drink it. Nice!
  3. Compression socks. What’s better than socks for Christmas? Compression socks for Christmas! Compression socks for doctors are a game changer for long hospital shifts. They’ll help you feel energized all day (or night) long. Since they keep the blood flowing, they can also help reduce swelling and leg pain.
  4. A sleeping mask. When you’re working nights and have to sleep during the day, you might think you’re getting good sleep, but think again. If it’s not dark enough, your body isn’t actually getting all the rest it could be. A sleeping mask brings the dark to you without the need for costly window treatments or anything too complicated.
  5. Dansko clogs. Dansko clogs are maybe the most popular shoes in medicine because they’re comfortable and long lasting. I think this is one gift where getting the brand name really is worth it, even if there are similar options out there at a better price.
  6. A portable power pack. If you're like me, your phone is always dying at the hospital. It's never a good feeling to be without your phone, especially if you've got a family and it's a long shift. A portable power pack will keep your phone going until you're home and can let it charge.
  7. Fancy hand cream. Okay, this one is super obvious, but as a doctor, I’m constantly washing my hands, and they get super dry and cracked. Like, sandpaper-level dry and cracked. And that makes it hard to put exam gloves on, which becomes a problem pretty quickly. I normally wouldn’t spend double digits on something like a moisturizer, but this one is pretty great and has alleviated my sandpaper/glove problem.
  8. An ID tag for your stethoscope. Unless you keep your stethoscope around your neck literally all day, it's pretty easy to lose, and then you're out at least a hundred bucks. If you do end up misplacing your stethoscope, it’s a lot more likely you’ll see it again if it has a tag. You can get a fancy one on Etsy, or you can get a basic one for less than two bucks here.
  9. Comfy scrubs. Some people spend a third of their lives sleeping, others spend a third of their lives in scrubs. Taking the time to find a fit and material that you like can go a long way to easing the hospital grind. Personally, I think these ones are hard to beat. And when looking for the best scrubs, by the way, don't forget to choose calming colors to help put your patients at ease.
  10. Donation to your preferred charity. Sometimes, the best gifts really are things you can’t wrap. There’s a lot going on in the world right now and asking for a donation to a cause that’s meaningful to you can be a great way to celebrate the holidays.

Hopefully you can use a thing or two from this list. Did I miss any must have gifts for doctors? Let me know in the comments!

Gregory Hanson, MD, MPH

Gregory Hanson, MD, MPH

Greg is a PGY-4 interventional radiology resident at Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals in Philadelphia. He graduated from UCLA with his BS in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences before moving across the country to New York City. While in New York, Greg obtained his Master of Public Health degree in epidemiology with an advanced certificate in applied biostatistics. He then went on to do his medical school training at Dartmouth Medical School in Hanover, New Hampshire. In June 2018, he started his post-graduate training with a surgical intern year at Jefferson before continuing there for his integrated interventional radiology residency. During his first year of diagnostic radiology, he began offering his services to various clients by any means possible and was able to make additional side income to help support his family through residency training. This is what sparked the idea for flipMD.

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