Medical school takes an enormous amount of sacrifice. Students graduate with massive debt and memories of medical terminology and long hours spent shadowing doctors and studying for final exams. The tremendous strain on your medical school student is about to be relieved through graduation. You want to celebrate your medical school graduate’s years of hard work with the perfect gift.
To come up with a list of gift suggestions for the medical school graduate of 2009, I asked Ms. Kathryn Joseph, a medical school student who will be graduating from the University of Minnesota Medical School. She gave me a peek at what her graduation gift wish list will look like. These are some of her suggestions and tips, along with my own thoughts after researching several gift sites. The prices quoted are from March 2009 and do not include shipping and handling.
Medical School Graduation Gift Idea 1
Money. On every message board I visited where family members were searching for ideas for their medical school graduate, this was the most often cited gift. It may seem uninspired but if you include with the money a small gag gift, your graduate student will appreciate it. As Kathryn said, “We have an enormous amount of debt. Money can help us pay bills.”
As far as small gag gifts, you could choose from one of these medically appropriate suggestions: a key chain with a humorous medical saying or cartoon from zazzle.com for $3.35, a button with a funny slogan on it like “I Graduated. I Accept Cash.” from cafepress.com for $3.99, or for a bit more money, a Doctor Barbie or Doctor Ken lab coat from barbeeandfriendsdollclothes.com for $8.00.
Medical School Graduation Gift Idea 2
The next best thing for a medical school graduate is a gift card of some kind. With an Amazon.com gift card, your graduate may choose to purchase a book like “A Piece of My Mind: America’s Doctors Share Their Most Dramatic, Inspiring and Moving Experiences” edited by Dr. Bruce B. Dan and Roxanne K. Young or “Intern Blues: The Timeless Classic About the Making of a Doctor” by Dr. Robert Marion. They might want to temporarily forget medical school and read something light and non-medical.
Another good choice for a gift card is for a place like Target or WalMart. Why? Medical students will have to put their financial resources into their medical school bills and may hold back on buying things like curtains, wash cloths, and bed linens.
Medical School Graduation Gift Idea 3
Remember the long stressful hours the graduating medical student spent by putting together a treat for her. This would include anything she would spend money on if she felt she could afford it. Ms. Joseph suggested a massage or a manicure for the gals. Tickets to see a professional ball game or favorite rock band concert, a weekend stay at a spa resort, even a paid day at an amusement park, can all serve as a special treat for the medical school graduate.
Medical School Graduation Gift Idea 4
Medical school graduates may appreciate nice accessories they can wear on and off the job. Ms. Joseph suggested a watch or jewelry. Depending upon the item, these could be engraved with the graduate’s name, the letters “MD”, and the date of graduation. Another idea is a pair of Dickies medical clogs from allheart.com for $7.99 or $12.99 closeout prices. Medical clogs are a welcome and comfortable accessory for the extended hours an interning doctor may have to spend on her feet.
Medical School Graduation Gift Idea 5
Make arrangements for his stethoscope to be engraved with his name. If you are thinking of purchasing a stethoscope and having it engraved, one suggestion I found was to make sure it was a Littmann Master Classic II. On allheart.com, this stethoscope without the personalized engraving is $92.98. Personalization adds another $14.98 to the price.
If you do not want to spend that much, purchasing an engraved ID tag which can be attached to the stethoscope is the next best thing. As Ms. Joseph said, “These (stethoscopes) like to walk off, so it’s a great idea to be able to ID them.”
Medical School Graduation Gift Idea 6
A briefcase or doctor’s bag assists your graduating medical student to look the part of a professional. Though many interns use common backpacks and gym bags for the long hours they may have to be in attendance at the hospital or clinic, a leather doctor’s bag can help to organize the personal items, the notes, and instruments the intern may need on his rounds.
Steeles.com carries a line of leather doctor bags with prices up to $340.99. Another idea might be to purchase a stethoscope case from the same website for your medical school graduate for $24.50. This nylon case is waterproof and has double zippers and velcro belt loops. It can hold the stethoscope as well as a neuro hammer, scissors, and other items.
Medical School Graduation Gift Idea 7
Ms. Joseph put a business card holder on her list of medical school graduation gifts stating, “We finally need these!” A number of websites sell business card holders which may be personalized. The website giftsforprofessionals.com sells a black leather business card holder which also has a place for a prescription pad. Plain, it sells for $24.99 with personalization available for an additional $15.
Medical School Graduation Gift Idea 8
A number of nice gifts can be engraved with the graduate’s name and those two letters, MD, he worked so hard to earn. The medical intern will not immediately have his own office with a desk he can call his own. Something which can be used in his apartment or home which has his name and title will remind him he is now a professional. Personalizationmall.com has items from self-inking stampers for stamping your graduate’s return address on envelopes ($16.95) and personalized medical clipboards for $19.95 to an engraved crystal clock for $69.95.
Medical School Graduation Gift Idea 9
Some of Norman Rockwell’s most famous pictures were of doctors providing care to their patients. The Norman Rockwell Museum of Vermont sells figurines styled after some of these favorite Rockwell prints as well as the reprints themselves. Look for figurines or reprints of such favorites as “Before the Shot”, “Doctor and Doll”, “The Oculist”, “Country Doctor”, or “Take Your Medicine”. (The last picture named is actually of a mother giving medicine to her small child.) Reprints will have to be matted and framed but could include a small brass engraved plate on the bottom recognizing the graduate and his accomplishment.
Medical School Graduation Gift Idea 10
Ms. Joseph put this warning at the bottom of her list: “please, not stuff with the Caduceus.” To explain, the Caduceus is the symbol you see associated with the medical profession in the United States. The symbol of the serpents intertwined around a rod with wings at the top is way too familiar a sign by the end of a medical student’s education and training.
If you absolutely must purchase something with the Caduceus and the graduate does not mind, a site like memorablegifts.com has gifts ranging from about $15 (their ceramic medical school graduation or “The Doctor Is In” mugs) to about $115 (bookends of black marble with an antique silver Caduceus on them) all with the Caduceus and able to be personalized with the graduate’s name and new title. Kyledesigns.com also has gifts for the medical school graduate featuring the Caduceus ranging in price from about $13 for an engraved metal bookmark to $46 for a bird’s eye maple box with a lid inlaid with dichroic glass.
There are a number of good websites on which to find great prices and great gifts. These ten ideas should help you find that perfect gift for your graduating medical school student.
Personal communication with Ms. Kathryn Joseph, 22 March 2009