Med School Gratuation gift
April 16, 2005 9:47 AM   Subscribe

What's a great thing to get someone graduating from medical school?

A family member is graduating soon from medical school. I have no idea what gift to get them to mark the auspicious occasion. I know it is common to buy a recent graduate a good stethescope, but in the field my relative plans to enter (psychiatry) it probably wouldn't get much use. I have a budget in the $200 to $300 range. I would like it to be something that would last a long time and/or have meaning to her chosen field. Any suggestions? My mind is a complete blank.
posted by contessa to Shopping (17 answers total)
If in doubt go for the gag gift...

... a shunken head...
... case of No-Doze ect.
posted by The Infamous Jay at 10:15 AM on April 16, 2005

I don't know why, but whenever I think of a psychiatrist's office, I think of it having a metronome.

Obviously, it has very little (as in no) connection to psychiatry. Maybe I saw it in a movie. Anyway, it's sort of an unusual gift (for anyone other than a musician), and it looks great. Just imagine his patients relaxing to the soft tick of the metronome...
posted by veedubya at 10:47 AM on April 16, 2005

How about a clock, so she knows when to say, "Our time is up."?
posted by fandango_matt at 10:50 AM on April 16, 2005

How 'bout some malpractice insurance?
posted by fixedgear at 10:52 AM on April 16, 2005

A phrenologist bust is a cool accessory for a psychiatrist. Here's a cheap one, but it's pretty ugly - there are nicer ones out there.
posted by painquale at 11:25 AM on April 16, 2005

If you want it to be used immediately, maybe a nice leather Doctor's bag, a watch, or a pen (boring, I know). Any nonportable or decorative stuff is probably going to stay at home until your relative's residency is over.

If that's fine, a set of antique medical books or equipment would be nice, sort of a forward-looking gift to when they set up practice. If you can find stuff related to psychiatry, more the better, though some psychiactric artifacts can be pretty brutal. I have only the vaguest idea what these sort of things cost, though, so I can't really predict what you could get on your budget.
posted by monocyte at 11:33 AM on April 16, 2005

Freud, Jung, etc action figures or bobbleheads.

Really: a nice pen, or two, or a nice desk set.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:40 AM on April 16, 2005

You might get him/her a hard back or PDA version of the DSM IV which is the standard diagnostic and statistical manual for psychiatry--I am sure he/she has a paper back version--it is almost a requirement--an upscale hard back or bound edition could be used in the office--probably more useful would be the version for a PDA--you could supplement that with PDA programs specifically designed for psychiatry--drugs, drug interactions,best practice protocols, etc. Easy to find on the Web--if you want some help write rmhsinc at clara dot co dot uk--I run two community mental health centers in the US. always glad to see a physician choosing psychiatry--don't go for a gag gift for graduation--they have worked hard and long--Frank
posted by rmhsinc at 11:46 AM on April 16, 2005

A subscription to Placebo Journal is $24 for a 1 year 6 issue subscription. It might be a nice little gift in addition to whatever else you decide on.
posted by mlis at 12:03 PM on April 16, 2005

My husband got a nice pen (a Mont Blanc, I think) from his parents when he graduated and he still carries it to this day-14 years later.
posted by davenportmom at 12:28 PM on April 16, 2005

I found that it took me forever to settle on a nice system for keeping notes on the patients I saw throughout residency; it wasn't until halfway through residency that I settled on a ruled journal (I use Moleskines), and since then, I have a durable, permanent place for the notes on every patient I've seen. I love having the notes -- lots of memories in there, and I can imagine what it'll be like to look at them decades from now. So two or three Moleskines might be a nice part of a present -- perhaps with davenportmom's suggestion of a nice pen. (Suggestions from this doctor for a pen: nothing that looks fancy enough that inadvertantly leaving it on top of a chart will get it stolen, nothing that requires super-expensive inserts, something that offers the ability to use fine-point tips, and definitely a hard-tipped pen like a ballpoint, since there's a lot of writing in duplicate or triplicate that goes on inside hospitals!)

Other suggestions: a good pair of comfortable on-call shoes (like Danskos), a subscription to the electronic version of the Tarascon Pharmacopoeia, or a nice automatic coffeemaker so that they can have coffee ready when they're running from the shower to the door to get to work at godawful times in the morning! And in the non-medical realm, most interns and residents in my life would love to have a benefactor who's willing to fund a cleaning person coming every week or two, or willing to fund a stay at a nice hotel for a few nights when they get a long weekend break from being at work all the time.
posted by delfuego at 1:19 PM on April 16, 2005

If you can find one, a backward counting "life clock" would be neat. As an MD one would think they could calculate their life expentancy to the minute... :-D Set the clock and watch it depressingly!
posted by shepd at 2:55 PM on April 16, 2005

First editions of Freud or Jung...
posted by judith at 4:42 PM on April 16, 2005

A good practical gift would be a Palm of some sort - I think the Tungsten E would fit in your budget.

But for a psychiatrist, a nice (and small) desk clock would be great. Methods may change, prescriptions may fall in and out of favor, but 50 minute hours will last forever.
posted by sachinag at 6:00 PM on April 16, 2005

How 'bout The Sopranos Season 1 DVD Boxed Set?
posted by Fat Guy at 7:56 PM on April 16, 2005

My take on gifts for other people is that they should never address their needs but their wants. I.e. something they would feel guilty splurging for themselves, not something they would eventually buy anyway. You will have to figure out what exactly that would be -- a meaningful gift will always be tailored to the recipient.
posted by randomstriker at 1:18 AM on April 17, 2005 [1 favorite]

A good leather doctor's bag will always be appreciated.

I'd suggest not getting a pen or other tools of the trade - I'm quite particular about which pens, stethoscopes, reflex hammers etc. I use, and your friend will probably be the same way.

But you can't go wrong with a doctor's bag.
posted by ikkyu2 at 7:12 AM on April 18, 2005

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