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Years of education and training can take a toll on any doctor—and though there's no single present that can fully show how much their tireless work is appreciated, it doesn't hurt to try. Whether you want to show love on their birthday or a just-because present, there's something for the M.D. in your life. The options can range from items they'll use at work or products that can help them unwind after a long day.
Whatever your budget, here are the best gifts for doctors.
Ivation Foot Spa Massager
There's no doubt that your doctor is on their feet all day, so a foot massager will seriously be put to good use. Ivation's massager has rollers and water jets to soothe those aching arches. There are even a few included accessories like a pumice stone. The water also warms up to 122 degrees Fahrenheit and there's a convenient carrying handle.
HandcraftedAffairs White Coat Hanger
The white coat ceremony is a rite of passage, so this customized hanger is perfect for new doctors. Choose the hanger color (black, natural, walnut, or white) and then customize it with the doctor's specialty, school, and year of graduation, as well as their name. This is such a special gift, they may actually use the hanger or have it displayed as a keepsake.
Atlas Coffee Club
A single cup of coffee can be appreciated by any overworked, exhausted doctor, but to really show your appreciation, try a subscription to Atlas Coffee. A three, six, or 12-month subscription includes coffee from a different country. Also included are brewing instructions and a postcard from the coffee’s country of origin. This is a fun way to let your doctor sample a variety of coffees and hopefully find a favorite.
Headspace Meditation App
Whether it’s in between patients or while at home, Headspace is an app your doctor can find useful. A monthly or year-long subscription gives them access to hundreds of guided meditations that are intended to help them de-stress or focus. A new meditation will be sent to their phone every day.
Book of the Month Club Book of the Month
Books can be a great escape and Book of the Month delivers a selection to your recipient’s doorstep. Each month they’ll get five options and can select their favorite book. For an extra fee, you can receive a subscription as well so you and the recipient can read along together. This can be a great bonding moment, especially if you want to feel connected to someone who’s far away.
Vitruvi Stone Diffuser in Terracotta
Some essential oil diffusers aren’t the most visually pleasing or they can clash with your decor. However, Vitruvi’s diffuser looks like it could be a piece of art. The matte ceramic item is available in a variety of colors and would be a great addition to any nightstand or bathroom countertop. The diffuser doesn’t come with any essential oils, so consider picking up an herbal essentials set (view at Nordstrom) that includes pacific, peppermint, eucalyptus, and rosemary. A few drops in the diffuser creates a spa-like vibe.
"The instructions recommend using 10 to 15 drops of essential oil, and we found that was way too much. Two to three drops were all we needed for dispersing a subtle, relaxing scent. Every space and a person's sensitivity for perfume is different, so it’s crucial to start slow and experiment with oils when purchasing a new diffuser."—Julie Hershman, Product Tester
Mavogel Cotton Sleep Eye Mask
Doctors who work the night shift might struggle with sleeping during the day when the sun is shining bright. This mask from Mavogel will be a welcome gift. While some sleep masks have tight, uncomfortable straps or material that’s too snug around the eyes, this one doesn’t have those problems. The straps are thicker and wider for a comfy fit and the front and sides of the mask contour around the eyes. Also, there isn’t any annoying gap at the nose so light won't peek through.
Amazon Doctor Life: A Snarky Adult Coloring Book
Your doctor can probably use a bit of a stress reliever and a laugh. This is a book that does both. “Doctor Life: A Snarky Adult Coloring Book” is 100 pages of fun. The designs feature funny moments related to medical school, residency, and general experiences that only doctors can truly understand. It’s a fun gift, but coloring can also be pretty relaxing after a long day.
Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
A solid pair of headphones can be pretty expensive, but for the doctor in your life who loves to work out or listen to music, it’s well worth the price. These Bose 700 headphones have amazing noise-canceling features with eleven different levels, so they can determine how much or how little external noise they want to hear. Also, for the person who takes calls on the go, the microphone cuts down on outside noise and wind, so the speaker’s voice is always crystal clear.
Sips By Tea Subscription
While coffee is a hot beverage many people love, tea can be just as amazing and provide a caffeine boost. And the varieties extend way beyond the grocery store options. Sips By is a subscription that can introduce your gift recipient to more than 150 brands of tea from around the world. Simply buy a gift card and then your recipient can select their taste preferences and a box is shipped their way.
Etsy Funny Doctor Mug
For the doctor who has a sense of humor, this mug from Etsy will surely make them smile when they receive it and every time they take a sip from the cup. While other doctors may be basic and boring, yours is an absolute unicorn. You can personalize it with the doctor’s name and choose between 11 or 15 ounces.
Fitbit Inspire HR
Help your doctor keep track of their activity with Fitbit’s Inspire HR. It monitors steps, calories burned, heart rate, and active minutes. The display is easy to read, but the band is still pretty sleek. Also, the tracker even suggests breathing exercises based on the user’s heart rate. This seamlessly syncs with countless devices so they can see a full rundown of all activities and stats.
Gravity Weighted Blanket
Most people enjoy snuggling up after a long day, but an overworked doctor will really love it. Gravity's weighted blanket is available in 15, 20, 25, or 35 pounds and measures 48 x 72 inches (35lb is 90x90). The weight of the blanket, which should be about 10 percent of the person's actual weight, is meant to encourage relaxation and mimic the comfort of being held. The duvet is micro plush and machine-washable.
Yeti 12 oz Bottle, Stainless Steel, Vacuum Insulated, with Hot Shot Cap
Yeti is a brand known for its products that keep items hot or cold. This 12-ounce rambler is made of shatter-resistant material that stands the test of time. The leakproof design also keeps liquids contained in the cup, even when it’s been tilted on its side or completely falls over. Also, a simple twist of the Hot Shot cap and a beverage can be sipped from any side.
This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray
Lavender and chamomile are just a few of the natural essential oils in this spray that's intended to help anyone sleep better. Just spritz on a pillow or even pajamas to release the relaxing aroma. The 2.5 ounce bottle is small but potent and this would be a great stand-alone gift for anyone who struggles with sleep or as a part of a larger beauty basket.
What to Look for When Buying a Doctor Gift
Don’t forget that your doctor is a paid professional doing a job, and does not expect gifts. Unless the doctor literally saved your life, offer a thoughtful but modest present that your doctor won’t feel awkward accepting. This could mean anything from edible treats to a book for his office bookshelf.
Unless you are friends with your doctor, keep your gift professional. Appropriate gifts for doctors include things they can use in their office, like a stress ball, a nice pen, or a plant. Don’t buy them anything that feels overly personal. And be careful about jokey doctor-themed gifts that might accidentally offend.
An always appropriate gift for your doctor is something drinkable or edible that can be put to immediate use or shared with others. Make it healthy to show you heed doctor’s orders, like a basket of nuts and seasonal fruit in lieu of candy, or a nice bottle of olive oil instead of wine.
What do you gift to a new doctor?
If you have a friend or relative who has made it through the grueling years-long process of becoming a doctor, there are plenty of gifts to celebrate the beginning of their career. Offer them an espresso maker, a basket of skincare products, a supportive pair of shoes, an essential oils kit, or the biography of a legendary physician. And if the new doctor is a member of your immediate family, you might want to gift them a loan payment to help them reduce their crushing med school debt.
What is a good thank-you gift for a doctor?
The best thank you gift for your doctor is following orders and taking care of your health. But if your doctor has gone above and beyond, a small thank you gift will usually be appreciated. Offer them a nice pen, a potted plant, or a gourmet food basket that they can share with the staff. Be sure to include a card, signed with your first and last name—they have lots of patients to keep track of.
Can I get my doctor a gift for Christmas?
Yes, you can. While your doctor is doing a job and doesn’t expect gifts, a token of appreciation is usually welcome. Keep it simple with a gourmet food basket filled with healthy seasonal goodies that they can share with the staff.
What do you buy a doctor for Secret Santa?
Doctors have high-stress jobs, so give them a small, practical gift that they can use to decompress at home or feel better on the job. This could be a nice pair of compression socks, an essential oil diffuser, or a nourishing hand cream for those overwashed dry hands.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This roundup was written by Patrice J. Williams. She has contributed gift guides to The Spruce since 2020. She researched useful, top-rated presents and even included her personal favorites; the Vitruvi diffuser and Headspace app. In addition to her work for The Spruce, she writes commerce articles, including product suggestions and reviews, for other outlets as well as appearing on air for The Today Show, WEtv, and she was the Savvy Shopper reporter for WPIX in New York City.