Celebrating physicians

Celebrating National Doctors’ Day: A gift guide by medical specialty

Miko Rose, DO, put together this specialty gift guide for those who’d like to show their appreciation to the doctor(s) in their life.


National Doctors’ Day is celebrated every year on March 30. The DO has put together a gift guide for those looking for that perfect treat for the physician or med student in your life—or for those who want to treat themselves! We’ve got you covered with this fun list of suggested gifts broken down by medical specialty.

To come up with these gift ideas, I drew from research on the personality traits and common characteristics among those in various medical specialties. Unfortunately, we were not able to share gifts for every specialty—please share gift ideas for your specialty in the comments below! If you’re still pondering your specialty, you may appreciate this article on identifying the fit and flow of your specialty.

Family medicine

Many family physicians cherish close, long-term relationships. An inspiring autobiography would be a great gift that aligns with a family physician’s penchant to hear life stories. A gift card for a meal at a restaurant where this person may have personal ties or had a memorable historic event would also be a wonderful choice.

Since relationships are key to their work, some kind, thoughtful and/or encouraging words or a beautiful card would also go far in showing your appreciation and recognition.

Internal medicine

As the analytical, detail-oriented problem-solvers in medicine, internal medicine physicians may appreciate an “evidence-based” gift. Can you ask them what their favorite gift of all time was? Another approach would be to research the “top 10” gifts for this person’s age bracket and identified gender.

For 50-year-old males, suggestions that come up often in Google searches include whiskey glasses and golf balls. For 50-year-old women—mugs, cozy socks and wine glasses often come up. A stethoscope holster or a high-quality multicolored pen would be useful, versatile gifts for internal medicine physicians of all ages.

Obstetrics and gynecology

A recent Medscape report on burnout showed a high rate of burnout among OB-GYNs. We may want to give the gift of a nap to our colleagues who are practicing OB-GYNs. Short of doing so, gifts that break up the intense pace of their role with humor and/or pampering would likely be welcome for individuals in this specialty.

A sleep mask, comfortable ear plugs or neck pillow might be a nice addition for the physician’s lounge. A self-watering plant can boost the mood of an office or room and freshen the air.


These fun-loving individuals often embrace a young-adult-themed gift, such as movie tickets to a show for kids and young adults. While we know having a hearty immune system is a must within pediatrics, a quick immunity boost might be welcome for folks in this specialty as well.

Stock a bag with bright-colored boxes of Kleenex, a face roller to help with lymphatic drainage, Vitamin C packets, Zinc lozenges, Vitamin D supplements and a variety of tasty tea bags—you’ve got a winner of a gift bag carefully packed for pediatricians.


While this is not true of every single one of us in psychiatry, I’ll let you in on a little secret—we LOVE coffee. Psychiatrists are typically sitting more than our counterparts in other specialties; coffee helps us stay focused, alert and engaged. A coffee run during a psychiatry meeting often has almost all takers wanting some sort of specialty caffeinated beverage.

A gift card for coffee or providing an innovative/different style of brewing or preparing the coffee will make these specialists feel seen and caffeinated. For the exceptions? Try tea-related gifts—we are a pensive, thoughtful group, and big fans of brewed beverages.


The first task in gift-giving to your surgery colleague or loved one—you have to find them! Surgeons in full practice are often hard to reach. If you drop off a gift in their office, make sure it is nonperishable. They may not see or receive your gift right away.

This is one of the physically most grueling specialties, and surgeons are on their feet much of the time. Something that pampers the feet, like a foot roller or foot massager that can be left under a desk and used while they are writing operation report summaries, would be a great gift. Surgeons are also often coffee lovers, and a cute new mug with a fun design or gift card for coffee would be well-liked. However, make sure it is somewhere they would already typically go—they might not have the time to venture very far to try a new place.

Bonus gift: Check out the AOA’s store for #DOProud merchandise, AOA gear and resources.

Any gift will be appreciated

At the end of the day, each gift is a personal choice based on what you think would be the most meaningful to the person you are celebrating. Any gift or gesture (regardless of specialty) will be appreciated.

Editor’s note: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of The DO or the AOA.

Related reading:

11 great holiday gifts for doctors and med students in 2023

The history of National Doctors’ Day and what it means to social media

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