Gifts for Medical Students- Practical and Fun Gift Ideas for Med Students

Buying a gift for a medical student? Here are a few gift ideas that range from practical to fun.


Tough to beat cold, hard cash.

– Art from the Street Anatomy Store

They have some really cool pieces of art related to anatomy and medicine.  You can find a great poster to hang up next to a desk they will be sitting at all the time.

– Nice Pens

Even though I use my laptop to take notes in class, I still write a lot. Having a nice pen actually makes a difference. I love these Pilot G-2 pens I picked up at Costco.

– Stethoscope

This can be a thoughtful gift for a medical student, especially if they are just starting school. I am no expert on stethoscopes but the general consensus is that Littman stethoscopes are the way to go. I have a Littman Classic II S.E. Stethoscope and it works great.

Amazon Gift Card

I love Amazon gift cards because I can use them to buy books for school, and if I want to buy something else (music, movies, games etc.) they have an enormous selection.

– Web Hosting

I love blogging. It gives me the opportunity to hone my writing ability, but more importantly to express myself as I venture through medical school. Owning my own domain and paying for web hosting ensures I have complete control over my website. I use HostMonster for hosting and have no complaints.

– Smartphone or iTouch

A little pricey but a smartphone or iTouch can be really useful for a medical student. The amount of helpful medical apps is astounding.

– A Vacation

This may take some coordination with the medical student but would be well appreciated. Many travel sites have vacation packages and Living Social has a bunch of short getaways.

– Any gift that shows you know them well

Medical students are people too. They have interests outside of medicine and school. If you know them well enough, you should be able to find them a gift that reflects the rest of their identity. They will appreciate a thoughtful gift that demonstrates that you recognize they have a life outside of medical school too.

I hope you find a great gift for the special medical student in your life!

Affiliate links are present in this post.

Third Year Schedule

In July of this year I start my third year of medical school.We recently had a lottery to determine our clerkship schedule. We have six core clerkships at Creighton and no options for electives the third year. Here is the order of my rotations:




Winter Break


Primary Care

Internal Medicine

So next year you’ll be hearing about my rotations in that order. I am pleased with my classmates that are on the same schedule block, it is a great group of people. It may be rough having the more difficult rotations at the end (Surgery and Internal) but there are positives as well. I want to get a feel for Pediatrics a little earlier, and Surgery will be in the dead of winter so being inside all day won’t be so bad.

Music Videos and Other Non Med School Stuff

I feel the need to share two awesome music videos I have found recently.

I am a sucker for a music video that tells a story. Two older examples I love are I Say Fever by Ramona Falls and Evil Bee by Menomena. They are both weird (watch them and you’ll understand) but I love the stories.

Recently my brother sent me two new albums, Hurry Up We’re Dreaming by M83 and The Year of Hibernation by Youth Lagoon. Both are great albums and both have an amazing video to go with one of their songs.

First off, Midnight City by M83. This music video is EPIC. That’s all I really have to say about it. Check it out:


The second music video is Montana by Youth Lagoon. Every time I watch this video I tear up. It is so freaking sad.


Sorry for making you cry, but I had just had to share.

On a lighter note, GI Joe: Retaliation is coming out this summer! The first GI Joe was so incredibly terrible yet so incredibly entertaining. Cheesy dialogue, stereotypical characters, over the top action sequences, yeah it’s all there. And it looks like more to come with Retaliation. But with Bruce Willis! And dubstep White Stripes in the preview! And a sword-fighting-while-rappelling scene! The Rock! I’ve never been so excited about a movie that will likely be horrible.

Life Outside of Medical School

I’ve got to be honest, med school is starting to wear me down. Even though I am doing fine in classes, the amount of material starts to become Having some fun at Creightonoverwhelming. Add in the stress of figuring out how to find time (and motivation) to study for Step 1, deciding on my rotation schedule for next year and balancing life in general I feel… tired I guess.

And yet, med school does not dominate my life. I do other things. And that’s what I want to talk about today. I think it will cheer me up. So what else do I do?

I spend time with my wife. She is amazing and whenever I have the chance to spend time with her, I do. We are addicted to Netflix and have gone through several TV series’ in the past year. We love to settle down with some snacks or a meal and lose ourselves in a quality show.

We go out on dates. We’ve been to the Omaha Zoo, we have a membership at the Lauritzen Botanical Gardens and we recently spent an afternoon at the Jocelyn Art Museum. We like finding second run movie theaters and sneaking in candy to save money.

We love to travel. Obviously this is difficult to manage in medical school, but we had an amazing road trip last summer and have found time to spend long weekends in Chicago, Kansas City and St. Louis. We also love visiting our families in Colorado and Oregon.

We have game nights with friends. Last year we were obsessed with Settlers of Catan. We also love Smart Ass, Apples to Apples and Ticket to Ride.

I do my best to find time to read. And I do okay. I recently finished reading The Hunger Games trilogy. Over winter break I read Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut and The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. I am currently reading Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley.

I play intramural basketball and when the weather is nice I take our dog for a jog. I don’t exercise as much as I would like to. I’m not a big fan of going to the gym and unfortunately the winters in Omaha make it more difficult to bike and run outside.

I write. I have dreams of being an accomplished writer someday but for now I’ll settle for this humble blog and the occasional article for Student Health 101. I have an idea for a novel that’s been bouncing around my head for years but I’ve only written a small portion of it. I am hoping I’ll have some more free time next year to spend a little more time on it.

And that’s a good chunk of what I do outside of medical school. Overall life is good!

Fellow medical students, what is your life like outside of medical school?

Lecture Pet Peeves

After enduring hundreds of lectures during medical school, I’ve noticed a few things that professors do (or fail to do) during lecture that drive me crazy.  I’ve often asked myself, “How would I lecture to medical students?”

With that in mind, here are a few guidelines I’ve come up that I hope to follow whenever I get the opportunity to lecture.

I will:

  • make sure all animations, videos and internet links work before I start the lecture.
  • limit the number of PowerPoint slides to something reasonable. We’ve had lectures for which we were given 180 slides. For a fifty minute lecture.  That is an average of 16.67 seconds per slide. Poor trees.
  • finish the lecture on time or even a couple minutes early.
  • ask multiple choice questions during the lecture. While most of these are based on negative things lecturers have done, this is something I have really appreciated. It gets us thinking during the lecture and gives us an idea of the type of questions that will be asked on tests.
  • speak with a little passion about the topic! I will avoid a monotone voice for an hour.
  • throw in a couple jokes, even if they are really cheesy.

I realize this list makes me sound like a whiny med student. Which is true! Med students are really good at complaining, myself included! But regardless it feels good to get those out there.

Do you have any lecture pet peeves?