21 ‘Thinking of You’ & Holiday Gifts for Medical Students


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Medical school is no walk in the park. A gift is a great way to show your favorite medical student that you care.

Overview: Our Top Picks

Best Useful Gifts for Medical Students

Best Gifts to Help Medical Students De-Stress

Best Funny Gifts for Medical Students

Best Holiday or Birthday Gifts for Medical Students

Jump ahead to these sections:

Whether you think your medical student could benefit from a useful, stress-relieving, funny, or more traditional gift, we have suggestions in every category. It’s important to be thankful for the work he or she does do and the sacrifices made. 

Best Useful Gifts for Medical Students

Sometimes the best gifts are those that recipients can use every day. Medical students may recognize their need for any of the following gifts but may not have the time or the funds to get it for themselves. Any of these gifts would likely be welcome at any time and can even help make your med student’s life a little easier. 

1. A custom stethoscope

Gift your medical student to a custom stethoscope in his alma mater’s colors, his favorite colors, or even one with a tasteful monogram or another personalized touch.

This is something that he can use while making rounds and cherish later as a professional. 

2. Orthopedic shoes

Is your med student’s kicks of choice a pair of worn-out hospital shoes or sneakers? It may be time for an upgrade. The right pair of orthopedic shoes or sneakers can make long shifts feel a lot shorter and not subject her to foot, knee, or even back problems.

You may wish to check on which types of shoes are acceptable. Some institutions do not allow mesh or cloth sneakers, which can harbor germs or other bacteria. 

3. A reliable water bottle 

Proper hydration is essential to promote healthy bodily processes, brain function, and skin health. If your med student doesn’t already have a reliable water bottle with a large capacity and good insulation, this is a great gift.

Many of these bottles are also dishwasher safe and can be easily sanitized. Also, reusable water bottles put much less of a burden on the environment. 

4. A recommended book

Your medical student may be tired of reading when she finally has downtime. But textbooks may not have the answers for every case or encounter. The best books about healthcare for both providers or patients as well as books about dementia may be helpful. 

5. Thoughtful scrubs or updated sweats

Treat your medical student to some fun scrubs that help her show off her personality. Your medical student may have a specific uniform or set of scrubs she must wear so you may need to treat her to luxe study or lounging sweats instead.

She can keep this set in her pack for something fresh to change into once her shift is over.  

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Best Gifts to Help Medical Students De-Stress

As you can imagine, how your med student handles stress determines whether he or she can make it as a medical professional. Med school exposes students to a heightened dose of stress. There are thoughtful gifts you can give your med student to help him or her deal with stress or at least limit it a little. 

6. An essential oil diffuser or candle

An essential oil diffuser or a new candle is a small gesture, but it can help your medical student create his or her ideal study or sleep environment. Pick out a soothing scent like eucalyptus or lavender. Be aware that certain essential oils are harmful to pets, whereas candles are not. 

7. A weighted blanket

Weighted blankets can help combat stress and anxiety. Many sleepers report deeper, longer, and more restful naps or nights after adding one to their bedding. Depending on the climate your med student lives in, you can choose from a few different varieties to find the best fit.

Weighted blankets can be made out of either warm or more breathable fabrics and have different weights. You may also consider buying a washable cover to help keep your med student’s blanket fresher.  

8. A heat or ice pack

A high-quality, dependable heat or ice pack may be just the ticket for sore legs, arms, shoulders, backs, or whatever else.

It’s common for med students to overextend themselves during rounds — either from having to deal with high-stress situations or simply overdoing it at the gym when they’re off the clock. 

9. A music subscription

The right music can lift any mood or help anyone work through difficult emotions. Gifting your medical student with unlimited access to his favorite artists can be an amazing addition to his commute, study hours, or even time in the operating room or lab.

Music can also be used as a therapy aid while working with patients as well. 

10. A packable hammock

Does your med student like to spend time outdoors? A packable hammock can be a great tool to help him escape during breaks or on his off days.

Many options are quite durable and lightweight and can easily be stowed in the trunk of a car or in his backpack. 

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Best Funny Gifts for Medical Students

Medical school may not always be the most uplifting place. Hard tests, classes, and difficult patients can take a toll on even the most positive individuals. Here are a few suggestions that will keep your med student upbeat.  

11. An edgy board game

Get your student an anatomy-related or other edgy board game to help him laugh a little more on his nights in. Many games can include customizable inserts or topics that you can tailor to his interests. 

12. A custom liquor or wine

Consider getting a favorite liquor, wine, or other adult beverage. Many online retailers offer customizable gifts. Or recreate the label yourself with a phrase like “antidote,” or “open after boards.” Get creative! 

13. A skateboard or scooter

Does your student have to commute across a large campus? He may get a kick out of (or actually use) a skateboard or scooter. (And if any accidental injuries occur, he can get some practice bandaging and performing wound care.)  

14. A candy dispenser

Everyone needs a little positive reinforcement getting work or studying done. Buy a candy dispenser to make study hours a little sweeter. Find a high-tech or even retro option for an affordable price and then fill it with your student’s favorite candy.   

15. Noise-canceling headphones 

If your medical student is trying to rest in an on-call room in a notoriously noisy unit, she may welcome a little silence. Noise-canceling headphones can also be a blessing during study time if her roommates or neighbors are on a different schedule.  

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Best Holiday or Birthday Gifts for Medical Students

Do you need a more traditional gift to celebrate a holiday or birthday with your medical student? You may find our suggestions helpful. 

16. A gym or fitness membership

Long shifts at the hospital even a few times per week can wipe out even the most high-energy student. But he might welcome the escape and release of a real gym. Gifting him a membership to a 24-hour fitness center nearby can be great for stress relief and general wellness. 

17. A healthy meal subscription

Medical students may understand why it’s important to have a healthy, balanced diet, but may simply be too pressed for time or money to eat well. Buying your med student a healthy meal kit subscription — either high- or low-prep — can work wonders.

Med students need to make their health a priority and ensure that their body receives the best nutrition possible against fatigue and sickness. 

18. A new coffee maker or coffee money

Coffee may offer your med student a lifeline or at least, be an energy- or mood-booster. Many machines or coffee makers can create delicious coffee yet are quite user-friendly and easy to clean.

That being said, a gift card or designated coffee fund may be your best bet. 

19. A low-maintenance indoor plant

Adding plants to indoor spaces, particularly a bedroom or study space, can bring some life to a room.

Plants can also help your mood and air quality. Since your medical student works long hours away from his or her home or apartment, select a plant that doesn’t require a ton of attention. Low-light, low-water options are a great choice. 

20. A custom journal 

Dealing with the health and livelihood of others may take a toll. Though still a student, many are exposed to completely real, sometimes heavy experiences on a daily basis.

Give your student a durable journal so she can jot down observations, research ideas, and most importantly, sort through the sometimes taxing emotions that accompany the job.  

21. An upgraded backpack or duffel bag

Your medical student may have lighter digital textbooks to lug around but may have a lot of other gear, too.

Give your medical student an upgraded backpack or duffel bag that’s durable, offers plenty of storage, or has other features like waterproofing or stain resistance. This is also a great option if your medical student plans to travel or participate in mobile health initiatives.  

Students Need Care, Too

Your student needs support every step of the way through medical school. Much of what medical students spend time doing helps patients in real-time — either through face-to-face interactions or through research.  If you're looking for more inspiration, you can check out our guides to the best gifts for doctors, too.


  1. “Essential Oils and Animals: Which Essential Oils Are Toxic to Pets?” Michelson Found Animals. www.foundanimals.org/essential-oils-toxic-pets/

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