Between exams and hospital rotations, medical students don’t have a lot of time to write to Santa or drop hints about good holiday gifts. Are you looking for the perfect present for your med school friend/son/cousin/sister? To help you out, here are 9 gifts every medical student would appreciate.
Leave your own suggestions below!
Navigating medical school is a study in the balance of caffeine and sleep. Not every hospital or library has easily accessible coffee shops; fresh coffee can be hard to find, especially on overnight shifts.
Keurig pods are an easy choice since many hospitals now have Keurig machines available. Alternatively, most cities have a local bean roaster for a more personalized touch. To go all out, a French press and hand grinder can provide years of great tasting coffee.
2. Monthly Subscriptions
When your sleep/wake cycle revolves around entering and leaving the hospital instead of the rising and setting of the sun, it’s always nice to come home to a little surprise waiting in the mailbox. Many companies such as Birchbox, provide monthly packages with full and sample-sized products, from accessories and clothing to soaps and scents, to keep your med student fresh and happy, even in the fourth hour of rounding.
3. The Perfect Pen
Pharmaceutical reps used to be a reliable source of nice pens. Now we have to fend for ourselves. Get a pack of smooth rolling, quick drying, easy to read pens, and your med student will be the envy of all the staff. You may even be able to read their handwriting.
4. Exceptional Headphones
Studying in a coffee shop is great except for all the conversations going on around you. Let your med student get in the zone with some noise cancelling headphones. Or, you can go wireless with a Bluetooth model, that would be great for quick post-study workouts.
5. A Good Stethoscope
The physical exam is not dead yet, and having a great stethoscope will help your med student look like a rock star when they start diagnosing heart murmurs from a physical exam alone.
My personal favorite is the Littman Cardiology Soft-Touch, which has lasted 8 years of abuse on ambulances and ERs. The important details to look for are thick, quality tubing and heavy duty bells. I recommend sticking with the well-known name brands, including Littman and Prestige.
6. Fun Socks
Medicine is a serious field. Having some fun socks can break up the monotony and give your pediatrics patients something to laugh about. Fun, interesting socks can set your med student apart from the rest of the crowd, and they can finally get rid of their socks that look like Swiss cheese.
7. Home Cooked Food
Being able to come home from a long day at the hospital and be greeted with a warm, home cooked meal may be one of the best gifts you can give. Not only does it show how much you care, but it also gives you a chance to catch up (assuming you don’t just leave the food at the doorstep). Plus, even if you aren’t a great chef, anything looks gourmet compared to hospital food.
8. A Simple Thank You
Medical students may not be making all the decisions for treatments, medication orders, or testing, but they are working hard everyday to help the patients in front of them and to learn how to treat those who will come in the future. Medicine can be a rollercoaster of emotions, as the joys and tears of life play out inside the sterile environment of the hospital. Knowing you are appreciated and loved is the best gift you can give.
For the medical student who has everything, consider giving the peace of mind that comes with a perfectly written resume and residency personal statement, reviewed by the experts at Accepted. No portfolio or snazzy piece of clothing will make them standout better than having a polished residency application.
Evan Kuhl is a PGY-1 emergency medicine resident at The George Washington University in Washington, DC. Evan is interested in the intersection of sports and medicine, and is an avid cyclist. His website, www.evankuhl.com, includes helpful tips for pre-med and current medical students.