10 Christmas Gift Ideas for the Medical Student in Your Life

Do you have a friend, significant other, or family member in medical school? The holidays are right around the corner, so it’s the perfect time to spoil the medical student in your life with some thoughtful gifts for all of their hard work. Tis the season.

I’m just like you. The holidays creep up on me faster than a final exam, and I’m consequently sent scurrying to find thoughtful & useful gifts at the last minute. Luckily, whether you’re an outsider looking for the perfect gift for someone traversing the gauntlet of medical school or another med student who wants to reward a friend for helping you out this semester, I’ve got you covered.

Forget medically-related gifts. Gift cards are useful, but lazy. Cash, love & affection are always nice, but if you want to surprise your medical student compadre with a thoughtful present, check out my picks:


1. Coffee Maker

Because it’s illegal to give Adderall to people without a prescription. Just kidding. Naturally, medical school requires a great deal of brain power, so caffeine is as essential to a medical student as anabolic steroids were to Barry Bonds’ home run record. Choosing the right coffee maker is more important than you may think. Please say no to Keurigs – they have loads of problems, K cups are not economical, and you have to brew one cup at a time (I prefer a full pot). Also, avoid cheap brands like Black & Decker and Mr. Coffee. They break within a year. Cuisinart makes reliable coffee machines for a good price. Click Here to purchase a Cuisnart CHW-12 Coffee Maker

If you have a bigger budget (hey mom and dad!) and your medical student is a caffeine connoisseur, you can purchase a well-reviewed espresso machine for a reasonable price by clicking here or the picture to the right.

(A new coffee maker should be christened properly – they can sip on Folgers any day, so buy them a bag of Death Wish coffee to compliment the main gift. Makes for a great stocking stuffer and will be sure to send them into tachycardia.)

2. Ninja Blender

Med students are constantly on the go, and while we may remember a great deal of facts about pharmacology and biochem, sometimes we regrettably forget to eat. Or we simply rationalize that we don’t have time. I’m not one to wake up early every morning and prepare over-easy eggs with bacon and and a tall glass of OJ for breakfast, so my Ninja Blender has been a godsend. Wake up, throw some ice, milk, peanut butter, oats, and a banana into that sucker, turn it on, and boom – a tasty, nutritious breakfast in two minutes.

Buy this model, because blending in the same cup you drink your smoothie out of means one less dish to clean, and it’s cheaper. Simply click the image to purchase:

3. Foam Roller

Sitting in a chair and leaning over a desk all day can strain the back. A foam roller is small gift that will undoubtedly be appreciated each time a medical student wants to take five to decompress with some back cracking action. You can buy a good one for cheap too. On inspection, this one looks pretty awesome.

4. Personalized Whiskey Decanter

I got one of these as a birthday gift two years ago and I can honestly say that it was one of the most unique and cherished gifts that I have received. At the end of a long week (or day) of studying, nothing is more relaxing than unwinding with a glass of bourbon or scotch, and the decanter adds a sense of sophistication. My decanter is inscribed with the phrase, “so it goes” (I’m a big Kurt Vonnegut nerd), but you can personalize the piece in any way you’d like – with their name, an important date, a favorite quote, and so on. Just click on the image to the right or click here to purchase.

5. Scrubs Box Set

For when the medical student in your life needs a 3 hour 30 minute break for studying. There aren’t many better ways to chill out than commiserating with JD, Turk and the gang. Spending some viewing time with the legendary Dr. Perry Cox is good for the soul. If they’re already a fan of the show, perfect. If they haven’t watched Scrubs yet, even better, because you’ll have gifted them with 91 hours of first-rate laughter and entertainment. You can purchase the complete collection of Scrubs here.

6. Event Tickets

Sometimes the best gifts aren’t material items, but rather experiences. Nothing is more valuable to a medical student than free time. And nothing is of higher importance than spending that free time by doing what they love. Whether that means singing along to their favorite band or throwing on a jersey and losing their voice cheering for their favorite sports team, buying tickets to a concert or a sporting event is sure to be a good time.

7. Memory Foam Pillow

Medical students are notoriously sleep deprived. I for one have a hard time saying no to a late afternoon cup of hot dark roast on a chilly day, so I’m always up pretty late. While putting NyQuil and melatonin in their stocking isn’t really advisable, a memory foam pillow will ensure that they at least have a cozy place to lay their head at night so they can drift into a deep slumber and dream about Dr. Sattar. I recommend the Snuggle-Pedic pillow (10/10 name), which also has a “Kool-Flow Breathable Cooling” feature. Can’t go wrong there. You can purchase this majestic, heavenly gift here.

8. Noise Cancelling Headphones

Since the advent and integration of the internet, going to class in medical school is as archaic as VHS tapes. We sit at our computers in the library, at home, and in coffee shops, watching our lectures like YouTube videos with a pair of headphones on. Nothing is quite as distracting as hearing someone chomp on an apple or incessantly tap their feet while we’re trying to learn medicine. We need calm, clarity, and serenity. And for that, a great gift for any med student is a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones. Do NOT buy Beats brand headphones (bad quality for the price). Instead, buy from the tried & true Bose brand. They may be pricey (hey again mom and dad!), but they last forever and it’s a gift that your medical student will use every single day. Just click on the picture to purchase.

9. Sunrise Alarm Clock

If the medical student on your mind is anything like me (and the rest of the world), there is no worse sound in the world than the generic iPhone alarms ringing early in the morning after a lousy night of sleep, other than maybe a puppy crying after you step on its paw =( . Being forced to abruptly arise from a peaceful slumber is the bane of human existence, so make it easier – buy the Phillips Wake-Up Light alarm clock. In addition to being forced to wake up from noise, this alarm clock allows you to gently regain consciousness by progressively lighting up your room as the dreaded time comes. This is next level stuff. Click on the image to buy this nobel-prize worthy device, or click here.

10. Pictures & Frame

My last gift idea is perhaps the simplest. Being in medical school, we are often far away from our friends, families, and loved ones. We study all day and often experience isolation from outside world. Having some photos of the good old days framed on the wall can instill comfort as a constant reminder of home.


For the latest updates, follow me on Twitter @JordanSoze

Happy Holidays!


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