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Thanks for fixing my back!
September 11, 2012 8:50 AM   Subscribe

My physical therapist told me that our next session will be our last--graduation! Can I get her something?

I hurt my back in July, and have been going to an awesome physical therapist since then. She's about 30, hip and energetic, with a yoga practice on the side. We've worked well together, and I'd like to get her something.

First off, is it even appropriate? I mean, she's a highly-paid professional, and it's not like we've become best buddies.

Second, what to get? I assume she makes as much money as I do, so there's likely nothing she needs. I know she's vegan, and it wouldn't surprise me if she didn't drink alcohol. It's a practice with 4 or 5 therapists, and 2 or 3 office staff. Our next (last) session is at 9:30 on a Monday, so I was thinking coffee and doughnuts for the office, maybe? Flowers for the office?
posted by MrMoonPie to Human Relations (15 answers total)
 
Ask the front desk staff.

I wouldn't buy donuts for someone who is vegan with a yoga practice on the side, even if I could get vegan donuts. Most donuts include eggs as an ingredient.
posted by yohko at 8:57 AM on September 11, 2012


Edible Bouquet?

Unless they're very clearly marked as vegan, she may not be comfortable accepting doughnuts. People with special dietary needs tend to be particular about accepting food from unknown sources.
posted by missmagenta at 9:01 AM on September 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh, a Starbucks gift card might be appropriate - even vegans like soy lattes, right? You might want to get a gift card for a local coffee place instead, though; it is more hip, and people who are into veganism and yoga are more likely to be into buying local in my experience.

I love the idea of an edible bouquet, especially since it's vegan-friendly and yummy.
posted by k8lin at 9:07 AM on September 11, 2012


A gift card to a day spa that offers massages. I gave one to the lawyer who helped me buy my condo.
posted by brujita at 9:14 AM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think a nice note is really all you need to do. Every other sort of conventional gift--candy, treats, flowers--is fraught with some sort of allergy, offense, etc. And you haven't been seeing this person for years--it's 6 months of treatment. Recommend her to your friends, give a good review on Yelp or whatever and thank her sincerely.
posted by Ideefixe at 9:18 AM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Make sure you also send a card in which you are specific about what was so great about her. Not just, "Thanks, you were great!" but "I felt that you took the time to understand what I was feeling," or "Your optimism was contagious," or "Your tough love really motivated me," or whatever made her totally awesome.

Sometimes we forget what our greatest strengths are, and it can be a real treat to have someone remind us spontaneously. Also, she can file your note away and use it if she has a review with her boss.
posted by BrashTech at 9:47 AM on September 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


A naked pic of yourself.

Kidding.

Yea go with the Starbucks or Visa Gift card.
posted by stormpooper at 9:55 AM on September 11, 2012


On my last day of radiation treament I baked a batch of these awesome vegan cookies for the staff. They went down well.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:56 AM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Better than food are notes to her supervisor (if one exists), the referring physicians, and Yelp. But if you want to give something in addition, I think a fruit basket might be nice.
posted by grouse at 10:10 AM on September 11, 2012


The healthcare system where I work won't let us accept personal gifts, but gifts for the whole team are generally ok. If you can think of something food-related that could be shared, that seems like the easiest way to go. Edible bouquet is starting to sound like the winner. Definitely include a thank-you card that specifically calls out your therapist and the things she did that were so great.
posted by vytae at 10:10 AM on September 11, 2012


Great advice, all--really hitting on the questions I had (or wasn't quite able to articulate). And it wasn't even 6 months, closer to 2. The weddings I've performed put me on the other side of the issue--not looking for money or anything valuable, but a thank-you note (a specific one) is always nice.
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:40 AM on September 11, 2012


My dad bakes cookies for the entire office in these situations. Make sure to include an ingredient card so people know whether or not they can eat them.
posted by Loto at 12:31 PM on September 11, 2012


As a therapist myself, it's always nice to get a thank you at the end of treatment (whether you are highly paid or not!) A gift card is a nice gesture, as are treats for the office, and a written note about how the therapist has helped you is always good (especially if you provide a copy to her supervisor. I got plenty of verbal praise, but that doesn't count so much when it's review time). But, consider keeping gifts under $25. Many professional organizations have rules about accepting gifts more than that, and you don't want to put her in a strange spot of having to refuse your gift because she doesn't want to violate ethics policies!

You are a very considerate patient for thinking of her. Therapists put a lot of energy into building relationships with their clients, and it separates good therapists from great ones. Glad you're feeling better!
posted by absquatulate at 2:05 PM on September 11, 2012


My current plan is to not take anything to the last visit, but give a heart-felt verbal thank you, and ask her who to send a letter to. Afterwards, I'll send a letter (copying her), and then an Edible Arrangement for the office--that way, I won't be there for any awkwardness, at least. How's that sound?
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:51 PM on September 13, 2012


Well, my first instinct for a Vegan gift in DC would be to get her (or her staff) something from Sticky Fingers -- a fairly well-renowned vegan bakery up in Columbia Heights.

If that doesn't tickle your fancy, you might want to check out the list of participants in the DC VegFest, where you might be able to find something a bit more local/unique than Edible Arrangements.
posted by schmod at 1:27 PM on September 16, 2012


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