Maybe it’s the podiatrist who cured your claw toes, or the pediatrician who broke your little one’s fever. Whichever M.D. you treasure in your life, doctors are the miracle workers that make all of our lives better—and they deserve a world of gratitude this holiday season.
The question is: How do you thank a person who saves lives daily? The answer may depend on who your favorite doctor is beneath that white coat—but we’ve got quite a few ideas that can support them at work, at home, and at rest.
Whether you’re close with a longtime family practitioner or a resident just getting their feet wet in the operating room, these 30 thoughtful gift ideas for doctors are sure to make any care professional feel cared for in turn.
Gift Category 1: Nourishment and Nutrition
It’s a common saying that doctors are too busy taking care of others to take care of themselves. Luckily, you can break that stereotype with an appreciation gift that makes it easier to build a wholesome, healthy foundation for their work-intensive lifestyle.
Keep your favorite M.D. nourished and energized with these food and beverage gifts for doctors:
- Farm-fresh produce subscription – Even doctors will cave for tasty treats during the holidays—but there’s no better way to start the new year than with a fridge full of healthy whole foods. Farm-to-fridge produce subscriptions like Misfits Market and Imperfect Foods provide nourishing ingredients and quick-and-easy snacks, often sourced from local vendors. Gifting doctors a weekly box means they’ll have access to fresh foods if they don’t have time to drive to the grocery store.
- Coffee or tea subscription – There’s nothing like a hot cup of coffee to blaze through a packed patient roster. Help your favorite doctor stay energized and cheerful with a coffee or tea subscription. Every month, they’ll receive fresh artisan tea leaves or beans to make their morning shift extra special. As an alternative thank-you gift, a nice coffee mug is always a great gift idea!
- Espresso machine – For the die-hard coffee lover, a fancy espresso machine is the way to go. Look for a model with options for different drinks like lattes, drip coffee, and simple espresso.
- Meal delivery gift card – No matter how organized an M.D. may be, sometimes there are days when dinner is served by the delivery guy—and thank goodness. Treat your special doctor to a day off from meal prep by gifting them a gift card from a service like DoorDash or GrubHub. For bonus points, create a map of the most drool-worthy restaurants near their home or practice.
Gift Category 2: Style in the Hospital
Everyone has that quintessential picture of a doctor’s uniform in their head. Crisp, white lab coat, stethoscope around the neck, and a fresh set of scrubs to change into for operations. It’s a classic look, sure—but there’s always room for a personal touch when it comes to on-the-clock style.
Give your doctor some singular flair on the job with fashionable versions of these uniform essentials:
- Scrub sets in soft and moisture-wicking fabrics for easy all-day movement
- Scrub caps with plenty of grip to control fly-aways
- Jogger pants for easy changing into uniforms or off-duty work
- Compression socks to support healthy circulation for busy feet
- Sports bras for women who need support under their scrubs
- Thermal undershirts for extra warmth in chilly hospital rooms
Gift Category 3: Gifts for Stress Relief
From OBGYNs to dermatologists, doctors often face plenty of stress, no matter their discipline. Residents are expected to work nearly 80 hours per week, and some studies show chronic stress affects some 28% of doctors.1
In short, doctors could use some extra support to unwind when they find the time. This holiday season, give your cherished M.D. a leg up on mental health with these zen-inducing gifts:
- Meditation app subscription – While working, it’s easy for stress levels to get out of hand. Fortunately, smartphone apps like Calm or Headspace are an accessible way to keep relief in their back pocket. By paying for a membership, they’ll get hundreds of guided meditations and calming breathing modules—tools for building stress-busting skills to serve them long into the future.
- Massager – A tennis ball may work for mild muscle knots, but home massage machines take self-soothing to the next level. Massagers can relieve soreness in major muscle groups across the body, while heatable back massage pillows instantly relieve stress and assuage muscle knots. One of these will make your doctor's day!
- Stress ball – Stress balls can help channel excess energy and nervous fidgets. For bonus points, give them a medical-themed stress ball (one shaped like a mini brain or tiny physician will do!). These kinds of items also make for great office gifts for a medical professional!
- Plants – Subtle yet effective, plants have the power to reduce human stress levels just by hanging around them.2 A low-maintenance potted plant can transform a doctor’s office or home into a stress-free zone.
- Essential oil diffuser – Never underestimate the power of smell to bring on calm. During a long day at the hospital or clinic, a diffuser can fill a room with relaxation (lavender), energy (rosemary), or optimism (ylang-ylang). You can even look for devices that light up in various colors to add a visually soothing sensory experience.
Gift Category 4: Gifts for Self-Care
The best gifts for doctors are those that help them feel like the best version of themselves, so they can put their best foot forward with friends, family, and patients. In most cases, that means creating a regular self-care ritual—but not everyone knows where to start (even M.D.s!).
To design the perfect self-care starter kit for your favorite doctor, take a moment to assess what replenishes them in their off-time: Do they love swimming laps each morning at their local health club? Indulge in a scoop of mocha chip cream every other night?
If you’re still unsure of where to start, let’s take a look at three self-care bundle ideas—you can customize each one to make them a unique gift for your favorite doc.
Doctors who use weekends to catch up on sleep debt might adore:
- A linen spray in a soothing scent
- A bedside scented candle
- A weighted blanket
Those who prioritize fitness in their downtime could love:
- A gift card to a local pilates or yoga studio
- Ankle weights or premium exercise bands
- A runner’s armband to hold essentials while they’re training
- A stylish cycling outfit for their next big trip
- An under-desk exercise machine, like a desk elliptical—it’s never been easier to fit cardio into a busy work schedule!
And for those M.D.s who find it hard to care for themselves during the work day? Encourage them to take care of themselves with:
- A gua sha tool for a quick pressure point massage between patients
- Hand-written affirmations to boost morale during the day
- High-quality herbal teas like peppermint, ginger, or chamomile (just pop them in a mug of hot water!)
Gift Category 5: Gifts for On-The-Go Pros
Unless they have a home practice, almost every doctor has to commute to get to work. And once they’ve reached their destination, that movement doesn’t stop! Doctors often work on their feet for hours at a time, transitioning between hospital beds, wards, and colleagues’ offices.
With all that commotion, doctors need all the on-the-go support they can get. Smooth out their day with these travel-friendly gifts:
- Briefcase or bag – Make their commute a breeze with a durable briefcase or messenger bag—leather is always a high-quality, long-lasting bet. Make sure their work bag has enough room for all the essentials, like a stethoscope, ID badge, journals, notepads, snacks, and the like. Multiple inner and outer compartments will also help your M.D. extraordinaire feel organized—and make it that much easier to locate their keys when they finally make it home.
- Lunch bag – For doctors, “lunchtime” may be those five precious minutes when they get to reunite with the hospital vending machine. So why not gift them an insulated lunch bag? They’ll be able to bring wholesome home cooking to work—and that bag of chips can take the backseat ‘til snack time.
- Compression socks – Given the amount of time they spend standing on their feet, many healthcare professionals bear the burden of sub-optimal circulation. Compression socks are one of the simplest options for remedying swollen feet while supporting overall circulation in the body—and if anyone can appreciate that gesture, it’s a doctor.
- Doctor shoes – Tie-dye Crocs? Not exactly ideal for an M.D.’s office footwear. Doctors deserve shoes that give optimal support without sacrificing polished professionalism. Treat your doctor to a pair of doctor's shoes with custom Ortholite® insoles. These make feet feel lighter than air and come in sharp, limited-edition shades like supernova pink, agave green, and supernova blue.
Let Your Favorite Doctor Kick It with Snibbs
When it comes to holiday and Christmas gifts for doctors, any token of gratitude for their heroism will go appreciated. That said, nothing says “Thank you!” quite like gifts that build the foundation for well-being in work and life: durable, supportive footwear they’ll want to wear Snibbs doctors shoes on and off the clock. Not only do these shoes prevent slips, trips, and falls in healthcare, but they’re stylish too.
What makes Snibbs different? Our shoes are created by professionals, for professionals—which means each design is built to enhance comfort from home to the hospital, and back again.
With slip-resistant soles, custom Ortholite® interiors, and slip-on designs as seamless as “scrubbing on” their favorite operating room staples, Snibbs is the perfect foot-saver for the life-saver in your circle.
- NIH. Doctors, their wellbeing, and their stress. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1125585/
- Ellison Chair in International Floriculture. Health and well-being benefits of plants. https://ellisonchair.tamu.edu/health-and-well-being-benefits-of-plants/
- The Atlantic. Why So Many Young Doctors Work Such Awful Hours. https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/02/doctors-long-hours-schedules/516639/