The best gifts for physicians that they’ll actually use and appreciate
‘Tis the gift-giving season. Have a healthcare professional in your life and wondering what to get them? Or you’re a physician yourself and you keep getting asked what you want? The gifts for physicians below are top-notch ideas.
… and none of them have a caduceus plastered on the front of them.
The first five are material things, but definitely things that will get used and that serve a purpose. The last several are intangible gift ideas that are perfect for doctors who don’t need or want “stuff.”
Caffeine and booze
Most people love alcohol or coffee or both. Go for the high-quality, super intense Death Wish coffee for sleep-deprived doctors with a rough call schedule.
Beer-loving docs will get a kick out of the medical beer names from Doctors Orders Brewing such as Iron Lung and Anaphylaxis, and the stout labels that look like prescriptions from La Calavera. Or go a bit classier with a bottle of The Doctor’s Sauvignon Blanc. Or go a bit stronger with Doctor’s Orders Gin.
Time is of the essence for most physicians. Any gift that helps to maximize our productivity is a blessing.
A physician who comes home after a long day of work and still has charting to do needs an extra computer monitor. This is something you might not realize you need until you have it.. then you can never go back. I recommend a Dell flat panel monitor. The matte screen is easy on the eyes, and there’s plenty of space to view two applications side by side.
Do you know a doc who still takes calls by holding the phone to his ear and trying to scribble notes simultaneously? He needs a Bluetooth headset. I use Canbor wireless headphones, and love them.
Stay fit and get work done at the same time with a treadmill-desk combo. I’ve been using various versions of a treadmill workstation for over six years, and I have not become obese.
Ways to carry stuff around
We carry around electronics, stethoscopes and other diagnostic tools, changes of clothing, paper files, snacks, and more. High-quality totes and luggage are more comfortable and reliable than the cheap stuff.
But a doctor who’s still paying off student loans probably hasn’t spent the money on a nice bag for work. And a busy healthcare executive might not have the time to shop around for luggage that looks sleek and will last.
A plant that’s easy to care for
Plants are a wonderful idea for any medical professional with an office, but especially someone that you don’t know very well or aren’t personally close with. Most docs will appreciate a plant to brighten up their space.
There are several varieties that tend to do okay when they’re somewhat neglected. Here are a few to consider:
- Spider plant
- English ivy
- Peace lily
You can get a lovely plant in a good-looking container inexpensively.
A nice piece of clothing or accessory
Physicians who work in scrubs may find it hard to justify buying new clothes that don’t get worn on the day-to-day. Others are too busy to go shopping and buy clothes only out of necessity. A thoughtful addition to a doctor’s wardrobe will be valued and get a lot of use.
Non-tacky medical-related accessories do exist. I’d wear these anatomical cuff links if I was a guy, for sure.
Experiences and services
Experiences and memories are the best type of gift.
Services for saving time
Give a physician the give of free time to spend with family or to relax and enjoy life. Spouses and others who know the recipient’s schedule and taste can order and schedule the service. Others can give a gift certificate for a service, such as:
- House cleaning
- Grocery delivery, such as Shipt
A low-key class to learn something new
Many medical providers live and breathe medicine. Even when not at work, physicians read journals and take CME just to keep up with their line of work. Help a doc learn a fun new skill that has nothing to do with medicine. Sign them up for an evening or weekend class. Here are a few ideas:
- Defensive shooting
A fun time in their own city
Most of us live in or near a city with oodles of options for fun and interesting things to do. Yet we spend our days either at work or at home. Consider taking the doctor in your life to:
- A local museum
- The community theatre
- A hip new rooftop bar
- A botanical garden
The gift of an experience being a tourist in your own city is a great way to break the work-home-work cycle.
Cultivate a new hobby
It’s tough to take up new hobbies as a practicing physician. Schedules can be rough and demands of the job can leave us exhausted. Some hobbies, though, can be done any time, any place without advance planning or commitment. Give a gift that helps to get started:
- A nice skein of yarn and knitting needles
- A new yoga mat and couple DVDs
- A book in a language they’ve been learning
- A new hobby in a box
All the planning and prep is done for them – they’ll just need to get down to it.
Instead of a wrapped present, spend some quality time with the physician you love. He or she may not have the time to do the planning for a date night. Offer to do the legwork so that all they need to do is show up and enjoy being with you.
Looking for additional gift ideas? Check out our new article of gift ideas to keep physicians healthy and happy.
Leave us more gift ideas in the comments below!
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