12 Perfect, Useful Gifts for Medical Students

Wracking your brain for medical student gift ideas? Not to worry: We’ve compiled a list of great gifts that anyone would be happy to receive (as well as gifts to avoid giving)!

1. A Stethoscope

While this may seem like an unexciting gift to give, this piece of medical equipment is vital for any pre-med or medical student. Stethoscopes are required for every student and are used every single day – long after residency is completed.

Running around $100 each, a quality stethoscope provides years of use and is a great investment for any future doctor.

2. Medical Journal Subscriptions

Constant advancements in medicine mean that staying ahead of the curve is crucial. To provide high-quality data, peer-reviewed medical journals sift through international research and clinical trials.

Some of the most respected medical journals include the weekly New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), The Lancet, and the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA).

All of these journals offer student discounts, making these affordable and appreciated gifts.

3. Amazon Gift Cards

Though this present idea may sound a bit impersonal, few things brighten a millennial’s day like going on an Amazon shopping spree. No matter the amount you put on a digital (or physical) card, there are ample opportunities to brighten a dorm room, buy much-needed snacking supplies, or add to replace technological gadgets.

4. Supermarket Gift Cards

If you think back to cafeteria meals, you’ll remember how lousy they were. Offer your favorite college student the ability to feed themselves healthy, delicious options! Before purchasing a gift card, be sure that you research the students’ local options.

5. Noise-Canceling Headphones

Dorm rooms (and even shared apartments) can be constant sources of distraction. To keep your uni student focused, noise-canceling headphones might provide a great change of pace. What’s more, if they’re studying at a Caribbean medical school, good headphones make traveling a breeze – and cut down on hearing loss, too!

If the recipient already has headphones, why not provide a great party atmosphere with an excellent portable speaker? This is an especially great gift if they’re attending medical school in Aruba – they’ll be able to take their tunes to the beach without worrying about damage.

6. Digital Highlighters

A far cry from ink and paper, digital highlighters are one of the most efficient and effective tools for pre-med students, especially if they suffer from learning disabilities or vision problems. Scan images, machine-printed, and even handwritten text to load them into Google Docs, Microsoft Word, etc. Because these digital highlighters can translate instantly, we highly recommend these products for students who study in a non-native language.

7. Grey’s Anatomy

No, we don’t mean DVDs of the hit television show. Few publications have been more influential and definitive than Grey’s Anatomy. Students will appreciate its comprehensiveness, and the recipient will always treasure it. If you choose a vintage publication, it looks fantastic as a coffee table book (though newer editions include more modern techniques).

8. A Great Coffee Machine

Though you could choose a Keurig, Millenial and Gen Z people are more conscious about the environment than any other generation. Vintage-style appliances (like Moka coffee makers) are sleek and high-quality while portable espresso machines have exploded in popularity. Not only are you helping your favorite student stay alert during finals week, but you’re also providing a unique gift.

9. Spa or Massage Vouchers

If a college student in your life has been overwhelmed by their coursework, giving them a massage voucher could be a great way for them to unwind. Not only does massage help with stress, chronic pain, and depression, but it may also improve focus.

Stress is also a common culprit for skin breakouts, so regular trips to a trained esthetician could give pre-med students a boost of confidence.

10. Comfortable Shoes

Though orthopedic shoes might seem like a ‘boring’ present, that doesn’t mean that students won’t appreciate them after an extra-long shift. We really like Allbirds sneakers, which use renewable materials and the latest technology to provide a cushioned, comfortable fit.

11. Monthly Cosmetics Boxes

A monthly cosmetics box is an excellent way to lift the spirits of someone with champagne tastes on a beer budget. Sephora Play!, Birchbox, and Ipsy subscriptions are excellent, affordable ways to brighten your college student’s life on the regular!

12. Carry-on Suitcases

For students studying far from home, having a great piece of luggage makes travel even easier during the holidays. No more hand-me-down suitcases with wonky wheels – choose something lightweight with a hard shell. Some even come with USB charger ports so students are able to study on-the-go!

What Not to Give Med School Students

Listen, we know that it can be hard to shop for someone else, but save your money and avoid giving the following gifts:

Medical-Themed Novelty Items

A pen in the shape of a bone or syringe. A “prescription” coffee mug. While these gifts are well-meaning, “funny gifts for medical students” are often regifted (or thrown) away later.

Gym Memberships

While exercise is known to help fight depression, improve reading retention, and combat the dreaded “Freshmen 15”, this gift runs the risk of offending the recipient. Unless you know activities that they like to participate in (e.g pilates, kickboxing, spinning), avoid making this purchase.


We can’t believe that we need to explain this, but many well-meaning people purchase live animals for college students. Regardless of whether it’s a fish, hamster, or dog, dorms don’t allow animals.

Interested in Starting a Medical Career?

If you – or someone you know – is interested in studying at a top Caribbean medical school, consider the American University School of Medicine Aruba (AUSOMA)!