10 Best Gifts for Doctors (Written By a Doctor)

By Jimmy Turner, MD
The Physician Philosopher

If you are friends or family with a doctor, you may be in the position of having to find a gift for them.  Unfortunately, buying a gift for doctors that they will actually appreciate can prove challenging. As a physician practicing anesthesiology, below you will find a list of suggested gifts for doctors written by someone who has walked (comfortably, as you’ll read below) in doctor’s shoes.   And, if you are looking to give your doctor cash, you may consider recommending them to refinance their student loans (most of us have them!).  Refinancing student loans through the links on this site can offer cashback bonuses that far exceed what you’d likely be willing or able to give as a gift!

1) Feed the Doctor’s Caffeine Addiction 

It is no secret that most doctors enjoy their caffeine.  From early mornings to 24 hour call shifts, sleep can be a rare commodity at times.   You know what else can also be rare in medicine?  Finding the time to drink the coffee you made, because an urgent patient need arose. Because of this, it’s not only important to buy a vessel for your coffee that doesn’t spill. It’s also important that your doctor’s gift stays warm for a very long time.   Enter here the Contigo Autoseal Stainless Steel Travel Mug.  It will prevent spills and it stays warm for hours. Now that’s a great gift for a doctor!

2) A Trusty Pen is a Great Gift for Doctors

I cannot tell you the number of times that I’ve needed a good pen in medicine.  From jotting down notes about a patient to consenting someone for a procedure, a good pen is almost always a need for most doctors. Yet, a good pen can be hard to find.  Particularly, if you lose it….which happens a lot.  One thing that would have a higher chance of fixing both of these problems is finding a pen that you really love.  That way, you’ll be more likely to hang on to it. And, you’ll also have a great pen at the ready whenever you need it. The Fisher Space Pen accomplishes this goal and in stylish fashion!  It can write in any direction (even upside down) or location (including zero gravity space).  This makes for the perfect gift for a doctor!

3) Doctor Gifts For The Humorous

While many gifts for doctors can be practical, humor is often the best medicine for the burned out doctor.  You can combine this humorous stemless wine glass with the awesome mug you decided to purchase above, or buy it as a stand-alone gift. While we may need caffeine to start our day, we often have a different kind of beverage at the end of the day after our patients have used all of our patience.  It helps us unwind, relax, and detangle after a stressful day.  

4-7) 4 Personal Finance Books for Doctors by Doctors

You didn’t think that you were going to visit a blog about personal finance for doctors (written by a doctor) without a book recommendation, did you?   Fear not, as you can trust the books below will be gifts that keep on giving.  Every book below is written by a doctor for doctors with the exception of the last book, which is a great book to read regardless of who is reading it.

4 Great Personal Finance Books for Doctors

The Physician Philosopher’s Guide to Personal Finance promises to teach you the 20% of personal finance that doctors need to know to get 80% of the results!  This is the perfect gift for medical students, resident physicians, and early career doctors. It’s a great book – though I am a bit biased.  So, check out the 5-star Amazon review for other people’s thoughts! The White Coat Investor is the book that started the personal finance journey for many of us in medicine.  Written by Dr. James M. Dahle, a practicing emergency medicine physician. This makes for a great gift for doctors.  The Doctor’s Guide to Eliminating Debt was written by Dr. Cory S. Fawcett, a retired surgeon who has an avid hatred for debt. So, if your doctor friend has debt like most doctors do, this book may prove to be one of the more important books they can read.  You can find my review of this book here.  How to Think About Money was written by Jonathan Clements.  While Mr. Clements is not a physician, he has spoken to multiple physician audiences during his time as an expert in personal finance.  Additionally, this book is an easy and important read. It turns out that the “why” behind our financial perspective is infinitely more important than step-by-step instructions.  You can find my review of How to Think About Money here.

8) Support Their Feet!

Internal medicine doctors round on the floors (while standing) for hours at a time.  Surgeons can operate for even longer periods of time. Your anesthesiologists and emergency room doctors are running around putting out fires to keep patients safe.   If your doctor is like most, they probably stand or walk for much of their day.  This makes for a potential foot problem at the end of the day if they aren’t careful.   This is why good shoes and socks can make for a great gift!  Personally, I love wearing my Belaga Silver Antimicrobial Running Socks.  They are comfortable whether I am running, standing, or just sitting around the house.  And, since they are antimicrobial, I don’t have to worry about them smelling after a long day in my work shoes!

9) A Gift for Doctors That Comes From The Heart

Every doctor needs a stethoscope.  Even if they already have one.  In fact, I have three of them!  Why would I do such a thing?  Well, because I work at two different hospitals in three different locations.  So, I keep one in my white coat for rounding. Another is in my work bag for when I travel to the other hospital, and I keep the last in my locker at the main hospital where I work. The point is that most doctors could use an additional stethoscope, and it is a great gift for doctors that allows them to be constantly reminded that someone cared enough about them to buy them a gift.  The Littman Stethoscope is a classic many of us received when we were in medical school.  

10) A Doctor’s Gift for Resident Doctors

Our resident doctor friends need gifts just as much (or more) than any other doctor.  These are hardworking, dedicated doctors who get little to no credit (and often experience much of the brunt of medicine).   So, if you have a family member or friend in residency, consider buying that doctor this hilarious T-shirt that aptly describes their job description.  If nothing else, they will get a good laugh out of it, which they probably need!  It also makes a great gag gift for doctors if involved in a dirty santa or white elephant event. 

Take Home

Whether shopping for Christmas, a birthday, or simply as a thank you gift for doctors – I hope this list made that experience a little easier for you!  

Let me know if I missed anything that you’d recommend for a doctor’s gift!  Leave a comment below.



  1. Alexis

    I had a great Littman I bought as a student, lasted for 10 yrs before it got stolen. Now I have a cheap one somewhere… I think it’s in the bottom of my call bag for the occasional patient that goes off in the ward #orthos.

    • ThePhysicianPhilosopher

      See, even orthopedic docs need a back-up stethoscope 🙂 (I think most of my ortho friends probably don’t know where even one of theirs is haha)


  2. The Scope of Practice

    Very fun post! I agree on the need for good writing instruments. I use a click top pilot v5 roller ball pen with liquid ink. It has been my go-to for 15 years. Love it!

  3. Docta jay

    Food! Boxes of bars, chocolate, and maybe some canned fruits or veggies in case we want to be healthy!

    And massages…

  4. Robert T Sterner


  5. Jen

    Interventional pain fellow….what would you gift them ?

    • ThePhysicianPhilosopher

      I think the list still applies. Have to use pens for consents and stand on their feet a lot.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You might also be interested in…

From Frugal to Fancy to Buying a Peloton

From Frugal to Fancy to Buying a Peloton

Would you believe that my wife and I bought a peloton? Are we crazy? Did we just join a cult? Come find out why I thought it was okay to go from frugal to fancy, and when you can do the same!

When Should a Doctor Get Disability Insurance?

When Should a Doctor Get Disability Insurance?

I told him I needed life insurance. He said sure.  He told me I needed disability insurance.  I told him no (three times in fact).    He asked if I was healthy, and I mentioned a couple of medical problems for which I get treatment.  Eventually, though he sold me on the idea of going for it.  “What could it hurt to try….” It hurt a lot.

Should I Tithe Pre-tax or Post-tax (or at all)?

Should I Tithe Pre-tax or Post-tax (or at all)?

Charitable giving and tithing can be a touchy subject. This website is not here to tell you what to do, but it is here to challenge you and to get you to make intentional financial decisions. That’s just what this post on tithing does.

Are you ready to live a life you love?