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Thank you gift for doctors office
April 28, 2019 Misc. Thanks 4 comments

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Episode Notes

Lara discusses gift etiquette do’s and dont’s for physicians and their spouses with Karen Hickman, a social etiquette expert and nationally recognized speaker and writer who was married to a physician for many years.

Click Here for the Ultimate Holiday Shopping Guide For Physician Families

About Karen Hickman

Karen Hickman is passionate about raising the civility quotient in America today. She is an expert in the most current and universally accepted etiquette and protocol affecting today’s business community and contemporary society. As owner and director of Professional Courtesy, LLC Ms. Hickman addresses the challenges of the business person in a global economy.

With training and certification from  The Protocol School of Washington© – a major resource for the Military Attaché and other government agencies – Ms. Hickman represents the highest degree of professionalism and quality programming. Since 1999, Ms. Hickman has developed and offered seminars for her clients that include Contemporary Business EtiquetteDining Skills for Business and PleasureInternational Etiquette and ProtocolCommunication SkillsNetworking Skills and more. In addition, she has used her nursing background to design seminars specifically for the Medical/Dental Office Practices and Hospitals.

Recognized nationally for her speaking, training and writing for business publications, she has also contributed dining etiquette to the recent publication, Dishing Up Smiles, for the Alliance of the American Dental Association. She writes a weekly Q&A etiquette column for the Ft. Wayne News Sentinel called Contemporary Courtesies.


Opening:00:00 This is the Married to Doctors podcast, episode number 54.

“The underlying philosophy about all of the rules of propriety and civility and etiquette is consideration for other people.”

Welcome to the Married to Doctors podcast. Because we know that being married to a doctor isn’t always as glamorous as it sounds, our podcast helps successful homes be happier. We’re here to build community, hear your stories, and explore solutions with the experts. Here’s your host, Lara McElderry.

Lara:00:37 Hey everyone. I’m so happy to be with you today. I’m recording this, it’s November first, so last night we survived Halloween and that’s exactly what it felt like. It got cold and rainy and the kids were insistent on trick or treating. We got wet. We also, you know, had different costumes for school and then something they wanted to be at home and it just felt like a lot of hullabaloo, to be honest. The house was kind of a disaster with costumes and half-eaten pizza and cupcakes and oh my goodness.

But it is so fun to see families celebrating the holidays together and I love that because we know that I’m all about marriage and family and trying to strengthen that and so I hope that you have some traditions or that you can start some that your family can do. Also, want to give a shout out to anyone who went trick or treating with their kids alone. Been there, done that. And I know that that can be tricky indeed.

Speaking of the holidays, they are coming up. We’re getting ready for them and I wanted to help, you know, get you prepared a little bit and I thought what better way than to talk about some of the questions we have as physician families when it comes to etiquette with gift giving as the physician and in the workplace. And I know I had a lot of these questions and I think many of you probably have to. So I hope that you’ll enjoy this episode.

My guest is Karen Hickman. She has been trained as an etiquette specialist and I have her complete bio in the show notes. If you want to know more about her. What I love is that she was married to a physician for many years. She’s widowed now, but he was a family medicine doctor and so she shares, you know, some of her experience from that as well as this etiquette background and I think it just came together perfectly. On my blog I have the ultimate physician gift guide, so look for that because I’ve linked there a lot of this information as well as a lot of fun gift ideas that you can look up there too. So with all that, enjoy the episode.

Sponsor:02:43 Today’s episode is brought to you by Contract Diagnostics. Contract Diagnostics is a firm 100 percent dedicated to physician contract reviews. They provide a service that all physician families will need at least one time in their careers, and many of you may need it more than once. I love this company as they’ve helped many thousands of physicians understand not only what they’re signing, but also the risks they’re taking for their families. They actually encourage the spouse to also join in on the calls, which I really appreciate. All contracts are reviewed by an in-house attorney and presented in a simplified way back to you using custom documentation, compensation data and times outside normal business hours, they really do make it easy for you. The packages are flat price, so you know what you’re going to pay up front and residents and fellows can even make interest free payments over time, which is something else I really appreciate about them. So look them up; they’re or their phone number is 888-574-5526. We actually used this company ourselves once and we really had a great experience with them, so reach out to them anytime.

Sponsor: 03:53 Being married to a doctor is amazing. Wonderful and stressful. I should know because I am married to a doctor. My name is Gayle Smith. And while I love my husband and my life, there was a time where the stress was a constant companion in our marriage. That all changed when I took my husband to Hawaii. Stress melted away. We reconnected on a deeper level. If you long to reconnect with your loved one, Prescription Travel is here to help. And we want to show our love Married to Doctors and we are giving away a $500 gift card to Go to, fill out the form and you will be entered to win as prescription and you will be entered to win.

Lara:04:36 Karen Hickman. I’m so pleased you’re here with us today. Welcome to the show.

Karen: 04:40 Thank you, Laura. I’m delighted to be here.

Lara:04:44 So you have a company called Professional Courtesy and today we’re going to talk about manners and we’re going to ask a lot of good questions, I hope that will be useful to the listeners, especially pertaining to holiday etiquette. But before we jump into everything, can you just tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came to be a an etiquette specialist, I guess?

Karen:05:07 Yes, be happy to. Well, I am a nurse by education and my late husband was a physician and family practice and we were married 31 years and I’d always had an interest in etiquette and protocol and some circumstances moved me to go to Washington DC and be trained and certified by the Protocol School of Washington. They are one of the leading schools in the country who do training for people in the etiquette and the protocol industry. So I teach and the corporate world. I teach at the university level. I do children occasionally and I also work with a lot of physician practices and hospitals and healthcare people around the country, actually, I travel all over.

So with my nursing background, I created specific training material for the healthcare arena along with the other material that I teach. Just general corporate etiquette and international etiquette too, I do briefings for companies who are going to be doing work with internationals. So that’s how I really got to do this. And after my husband died, I really sort of jumped in with both feet and have been doing it now for almost 20 years and it’s been fun and exciting and it keeps me off the streets, so to speak. And I’ve had a column in the newspaper and written for national publications and traveled all over and met lots of interesting people. But most of all, I believe very sincerely in what I teach. I think it’s important. It’s not rocket science, but I think that it’s very important and it’s common sense, but as they say, common sense isn’t always very common. So it’s been fun.

Lara: 07:06 Yeah. And it may be common sense, but honestly, I think a lot of us struggle with some of these, I mean quote unquote basic things because we’re not really sure what proper etiquette is.

Karen:07:18 Yes.

Lara:07:19 And I wanted to really focus in on the holidays because they’re coming up and I think a lot of us physician families have questions on that. But man, I kinda want to talk to you about, you know, setting a table now.

Karen:07:31 Well maybe we can do that if we have time where we can do that at another time, Lara.

Lara:07:37 Yeah that would be fun. You know, now I’m thinking of other things we could ask you, but really when it comes to the holidays and gift-giving, I guess one question I had, you know, we have a custom of gift giving and what is proper like as far as the hierarchy? So if you’re the attending physician, is the gift etiquette different than if you’re a physician in training or a nurse or a secretarial staff? Like what is, does everyone give everyone a gift and can you help us out with this?

Karen:08:10 Well, I don’t think that everyone gives everyone a gift necessarily and I think if the physicians are in training, uh, the budget certainly comes into play with that and I think all gift giving should be done within the comfort level of the physicians or the physician families budgets and that should be the thing that directs them. I think also that referring physicians often get gifts, like my husband as a family practice physician who referred to specialists, for instance, was gifted regularly at the holiday time, mostly with gifts thanking him for referring his business to the specialist.

So that’s something I think that specialist, uh, should consider within their groups if they have key people or key family practice groups that refer to them, they might want to consider sending a gift to thank that physician for, for their business throughout the year. And that can be anything from wine or steaks or smoked salmon. I think food gifts are often very nice and appealing, but the, you could do things very specific if you know the specific taste of the physicians like books they like to read or other things in that vein that are not food related. So those are two areas and I think that when physicians, specialists, in particular, gets a patient from a new physician, I think aside from gift giving, I think it’s nice to acknowledge that they received a patient from that a referring physician and to send a thank you note of some kind for their business.

Lara:10:06 Yeah, that’s interesting. What about, you mentioned those in training, you know the budget’s tight, but is there something they should maybe do for an attending? One of my thoughts was maybe it’s just a holiday card with a thank you note written in it. What do you think about that?

Karen:10:21 I think that’s fine because handwritten notes, number one, contrary to what a lot of people think, are never out of style. And I think that form of a sincere message, handwritten goes a long way and means a lot. So I think that is perfectly okay.

Lara:10:40 Okay. And what about our nursing staff, maybe assistant scrub techs, secretaries on the floor. How do we show them appreciation without running out of money?

Karen:10:52 Breaking the bank? Yes. Well, I think you, you take into consideration the number of people and give a gift maybe for the whole department instead of two individual nurses and that could be things like people in the hospital always loved to eat. Cookies or nuts are…My husband used to give of all things grapefruit and he would take huge boxes of grapefruit along with me helping him piled up on gurneys and we’d hit every nurse’s station in the hospital and there would probably be 30 pounds of grapefruit, I think I, I don’t remember how big they were, but he sort of became famous for the grapefruit that he gave out, but everybody on the floor usually was able to get a very good juicy Texas grapefruit. So that was sort of his legacy gift giving in every department. So it wasn’t necessarily individuals, but everybody got to join in and usually, they share all of that on the floor.

Lara:12:01 And I love that too because I, I can feel like they might be endeared to him because he made it a tradition. Like he became known as the grapefruit doctor. And I like that idea of choosing a tradition maybe to give to the staff.

Karen:12:18 Yes, and I can think back to my days nursing days in the hospital and some of the very nice things that we got on the floors from the various physician groups or individual physicians like beautiful cans of nuts and cookies and chocolate and things like that. I think were always appreciated and just the fact that the physicians are saying thank you and that’s what it is. It’s a thank you to the staff for their hard work means a lot.

Lara:12:50 Okay, so if you’re given a gift but you don’t have one for that person, how do you handle that uncomfortable situation?

Karen:12:59 You just say thank you very much. How thoughtful of you, because that happens to all of us. You weren’t expecting a gift and instead of maybe you don’t have the opportunity to rush out and reciprocate, I think you just say thank you very graciously and send a handwritten thank you note again for the gift and then determine next year if you want to do that or if you think you might be caught off guard, have some gifts available that you could share with somebody.

Lara:13:34 Ah, backup gifts.

Karen:13:38 Yes, backup gifts.

Lara:13:39 A few extra things just in case.

Karen:13:42 Yes, like little hostess gift type items. Something that you could share or something that you make food wise. It’s a specialty of yours. I think is always a nice thing.

Lara:13:54 Okay. I like that idea a lot. All right. Let’s talk a little bit about work party etiquette. So one thing that’s often common, is gift exchanges, you know, maybe they’re done with a group of residents, a group of staff, whoever, if you participate in one of these gift exchanges, do you still need to do something above and beyond for everyone in your group or wasn’t that the point of the gift exchange?

Karen:14:19 I don’t think you have to do something above and beyond and if you want to do something above and beyond, pull yourself out of the group gift because I think that’s okay. Sometimes people start the group gifts and sort of catch people off guard by that. So if you’ve already planned on a private gift, just say, you know, I’m going to do my own gift and not participate in the group gift. And I think that the expectation of the group gift, should always take into consideration the cost of the group gift, so nobody is put on the spot and nobody is, you know, really stressed financially because of these group gifts.

Lara:15:02 Yeah. And I’m making the assumption, tell me if I’m right or wrong here, but if they put out a money limit on the gift, which they often do, let’s say it’s $30, I’m guessing you should get something that’s about $30, not much under $30, but also not over $30. Is that correct?

Karen:15:20 Yes. Yes. You mean if they’re going to participate in a group gift or if they’re going to do a separate gift.

Lara:15:26 No, If they’re going to be in the group gift, then they need to stick to the group gift rules. It’s always awkward and sit with $100 gift that we put a limit of 30 bucks on it, right?

Karen:15:37 Yes. No, stick to the limit because then it becomes very out of balance and people feel awkward with that. I think sometimes, for instance, for wedding showers and baby showers and things like that, if somebody wants to give an enormously expensive gift, giving it at the shower isn’t the place to give it, give that privately. So the other gift givers at those parties or showers are not made to feel cheap if you will. I think that can be just as rude to overdo it and try to outshine everybody else as it is to underdo it. So stay within those limits.

Lara:16:19 That’s great advice. So in the hospital setting, we work with a lot of people from different, you know, religious or even nonreligious backgrounds. I myself, I celebrate Christmas so I would tend to say Merry Christmas to people, but others may not celebrate Christmas, so how do we navigate this in terms of wishing someone a happy holiday or in our gift giving.

Karen:16:44 I would say happy holidays. I send Christmas cards, but I also send happy holiday cards for those people. That number one, I’m not sure whether they participate in Christmas the same way my family does, but also business wise is a little more appropriate to give a happy holiday card when you know that some of those people are of other faiths that don’t celebrate Christmas like we do, so when in doubt do send a happy holiday card and there’s been a lot of complaining about, well it’s Christmas and we say Merry Christmas these days and I appreciate that, but to know that somebody else doesn’t celebrate Christmas like the Christian people do, I think that can be almost not insulting, but it can be a little insensitive to not send them a holiday card. You wouldn’t necessarily have to get Hanukkah specific if they celebrate Hanukkah or some of the other holidays, but if you know that, go ahead and send a Hanukkah card, but I’m not offended if I don’t get a Christmas card from somebody who doesn’t celebrate Christmas.

Lara:18:04 Hmm. That’s interesting. I, I kinda think I would feel way more awkward sending a Hanukkah card because I don’t celebrate Hanukkah.

Karen:18:12 Right, right. I don’t think that…I would probably feel the same way. I think Lara about that, I would just send a happy holiday and that takes in everything.

Lara:18:22 Yeah, and on the flip side, if someone wishes you a Merry Christmas and you’re like, for lack of a better word, just I dunno, a nonbeliever, indifferent, I feel like a lot of people my age and younger are pretty indifferent towards religion. What is the proper way to receive a greeting, you know, if you’re on the receiving end of a merry Christmas, you know what’s appropriate?

Karen:18:45 Happy holidays back? Or thank you. Hope you have good holidays. I think that’s just fine and I don’t think people should be tentative about sending, for instance, a holiday card or Christmas card with your family picture on it and things like that.

Lara:19:04 Okay. So if you’re. What what I’m getting from this conversation is if you’re aware of it, then you know you can choose this and a happy holiday card, but if you’re sending out Christmas cards to everyone else and you want to send them one, don’t be too trepidatious, just send it.

Karen:19:19 Right. I think it’s time that a lot of us stop being so sensitive about everything. It’s the fact that somebody remembered you with a card.

Lara:19:31 I heard a definition of etiquette once that I really liked, which was “etiquette is about helping others feel comfortable,” and so if you’re helping someone else feel comfortable, then you’re doing it right, so if someone wishes you a Merry Christmas, you don’t celebrate Merry Christmas, you still want them to feel comfortable. You’re supposed to think about their feelings, not yours.

Karen:19:52 That’s right. Yep. The underlying philosophy about all of the rules of propriety and civility and etiquette is consideration for other people.

Lara:20:05 What other types of etiquette advice outside of the holidays do you think physician and physician families should be aware of? If you could narrow it down to just a couple of things. I know this is kind of your area of expertise.

Karen:20:18 Well you talked about the Christmas party, for instance, or the Office Holiday Party, I think that it’s important for the physicians and their spouses if they are included, participate in those parties. Occasionally I hear about the office Christmas party and none of the doctors showed up. Well, I don’t think that really creates a real cohesive sense with the staff and especially if the doctors are hosting it, I think they should show up for at least part of the time and participate.

Lara:20:54 Yeah, that’s, that’s good advice. I have been at a party where I feel like sometimes the physicians are asked to fit the bill and so they feel like they kind of did their job and they may not stay and eat.

Karen:21:05 Right. Yes, and again, I think it says to the staff, well, we don’t think you’re important enough for us to socialize with…I think it can set a very negative tone. One thing that I hear from medical staff when I’m doing training in the offices in the hospitals is some of the doctors don’t even know our names and I think that’s something that physicians should be attentive to. The people who are working with them and for them regularly, the physician should make it a point to know their names and maybe even a little bit about them.

So if you’ve got staff members that you might run into in the grocery store and you wouldn’t know their name, I don’t think that speaks well of the physician and him showing or her showing a sense of appreciation about the staff members. So I think that’s very important. And, and to say thank you to them occasionally. Thank you for the good work today or thank you for helping out in this tough situation. Uh, I think just the verbal thank you goes a long way along with acknowledging that the staff works hard for them and they do. They really set the tone often for the feel of the practice.

Lara:22:26 Yeah, I think that’s all great advice. And I know you were married to a physician for how many years did you say?

Karen:22:33 Thirty one. Thirty one years.

Lara:22:35 So since this is a marriage podcast, do you have any words of wisdom for medical marriages?

Karen:22:44 I think one of the biggest things that worked for us was a tremendous mutual respect and I as the spouse also recognized that I shared my husband with a lot of people and I always viewed that as something to be proud of because I thought he was a wonderful physician and I still hear things from people–I do training at a hospital where my husband was on staff and then in the hospital I worked in many years ago. So I think that’s important.

And then I as a spouse, because my husband, he traded call with the group, but he owned his own practice. I also participated in hosting the staff, taking them out to dinner and things like that because his staff worked for him for a very long time also. So they felt more like family to us, but they were smaller in size. Not quite like some of the big groups now have hundreds of employees and that’s a little harder. So I think mutual respect and try to understand, um, and work on times and places you can go to have a date and go out to lunch and find some quiet time just for yourselves I think also is very important.

Lara:24:06 No, I think that’s, that’s all really great advice. I appreciate it. If there was one more piece of etiquette, one more thing you didn’t say you wanted to say. Here’s your chance. Do you have any other things you want to tell us.

Karen:24:19 Well, I, I know I’ve talked about the thank you note, but, but the thank you notes are very important and I just heard from a woman yesterday that told me that when her husband died, the physician that cared for him wrote her a beautiful note, a sympathy note, and she said I will treasure that always. I think those notes and acknowledging things like that are very important to patients and their families. So a handwritten note, it’s never too late to send one and I think it really distinguishes you from the masses these days because everybody’s sending things electronically.

Lara:25:03 Yeah. I love that. If my audience wants to learn more about medical etiquette, where can they find out about your business?

Karen:25:10 My website is

Lara:25:19 Awesome. Alright. I’ll have a link to that in our show notes so people can find you easily and get more answers.

Karen: 25:25 Yes. Thank you for inviting me. I’ve enjoyed it very much.

Lara:25:29 Yeah. This has been so fun. Thanks Karen.

Karen:25:31 Thank you.

Closing:25:32 Thank you for joining us on this episode of the Married to Doctors Podcast. Our mission is to make successful homes happier. To learn more, or to share your story, visit our [email protected]


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You’re on the hunt for the perfect thank you gift for your doctor. Your doctor is amazing and has always been there for you, keeping your health in check and you informed. Maybe they’ve even saved your life, or the life of someone you love!

What in the world could you possibly get them to show your appreciation?

We have completed the search for you. Below you will find 21 of our favorite thank you gifts for doctors. These gift ideas are perfect for someone in one of the many different doctoral professions.

From keepsakes to plushies, there is a little something for everyone. Look through this list, and you just may find that one special gift the doctor in your life is sure to treasure forever.

21 Best Thank You Gifts for Doctors

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. Read our full disclosure here.

1. Walnut Wood Keepsake Box

This beautiful keepsake box, made from sturdy walnut wood, is one of our most popular gifts. It comes with engraving on the glass, as well as custom laser etching on the accompanying metal nameplate.

You may choose to keep the Staff of Hermes as shown, or allow us to engrave any logo or image of your choosing. We are also able to fully personalize the nameplate with your doctor’s name, office or hospital, or whatever else you would like us to add.

2. Specialty Coffee Maker

This Ninja coffee maker may be the perfect gift for your physician if they also happen to be an avid coffee drinker.

Whether your doc prefers to start their day with an iced coffee or a cappuccino, this lovely machine makes them all. It brews everything from single serve up to a full 10-cup pot, allowing your doc to share the caffeine with the whole office if they’d like.

For the sought-after texture of a high-quality coffee, this particular Ninja has a fold-away frother that turns any added milk into creamy froth.

3. Personalized Pen Set

For any professional, a personalized pen set is always a nice gift to receive. For the doctor with a sense of humor, this pen set adds just a touch of humor with the lines, “Trust me… I’m a doctor.”

The set comes with three writing utensils: roller ball pen, ballpoint pen, and mechanical pencil. The wood keepsake box allows for up to five lines of engraved personalization, and also features the traditional Caduceus symbol.

Show a valued MD your appreciation with this popular keepsake gift for doctors!

4. Framed Serenity Prayer

The Serenity Prayer is a classic prayer spoken not only in places of worship, but in schools, at sporting events, at addiction meetings, and in hospitals all over the world. It was first written by theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, and ever since then has become one of the world’s most well-known prayers for peace and guidance.

The Doctor’s Serenity Prayer is from Peter Townsend’s Irish Collection and is available in four different sizes. You may personalize it with your doctor’s name upon request. It arrives set into a dark walnut frame.

5. Custom Engraved Tumbler

These custom engraved tumblers are another thoughtful gift idea from our own collection at Northwest Gifts. Say thank you to your doctor with one of these personalized Polar Camel tumblers, which can also be customized for those of any medical profession.

Our tumblers come in an array of sizes and colors, including in black, gray, pink and teal. They are vacuum-sealed to keep drinks steaming hot or chilled for hours.

6. Novelty Coffee Mug

When good health is on the line, any caring doctor wants their patients to follow their orders to a T. But with easy access to search engines comes the ability to self-diagnose and self-treat… not always good ideas!

This cute novelty mug serves as the perfectly humorous thank-you gift for doctors. Show your respect for not only their dedication to your health, but also to their hard-earned knowledge of medicine.

Every doctor needs one of these mugs!

7. Custom Engraved Bird Feeder

Bring a smile to the face of any doctor with our custom engraved bird feeder. Whether the doctor in your life is retiring, or you just to show them your appreciation for years of quality care, consider this high-quality piece.

We are able to laser engrave any name, design or logo of your choosing onto this bird feeder. It is made of sturdy cedar wood and the panels are acrylic, allowing it to withstand the outdoor elements for years.

8. Anatomy Coasters

Any doctor would love to have this quality set of anatomy coasters to decorate either their office or their home. This detailed coaster set features sketches of a skull, brain, heart, and rib cage. The sketches are hand printed on tumbled marble.

You have the option of selecting individual coasters, or ordering them as a set. Additionally, you can order the coasters with or without a holder.

9. Gray’s Anatomy Leatherbound Book

Henry Gray’s classic textbook “Gray’s Anatomy” has been staple reading material for doctors since its original publication in 1858.

Say thanks to your doctor by gifting them this keepsake leather bound edition. They can enjoy reading it, or may choose to display it in their office or home library.

10. Hippocratic Oath Scarf

When someone completes their years of studies and becomes a physician, they take the Hippocratic Oath. When swearing by the Oath, they vow to help and not to harm their patients.

You know that your doctor takes her oath seriously. Why not show her your appreciation for all she does with this unique Hippocratic Oath scarf? It features the text of the oath’s English translation and is printed on a beige viscose fabric.

11. Personalized Pediatrician Cartoon Print

Pediatricians have a special place in our hearts, for they care for the most precious people in our lives.

Your child’s pediatrician has cared for them since the day you brought them home from the hospital. This adorable cartoon print comes matted and is completely customizable to your doctor.

You can also order it as a magnet or keychain. You get to choose the cartoon doctor’s gender, hair color, and skin tone. Add text to customize their name and place of work. A delightful and affordable doctor thank-you gift!

12. Eye Chart Tie

Optometrists and ophthalmologists don’t get near the recognition they deserve! But their work is just as important as the work of other physicians. They know that our eyesight is a precious gift that should be properly cared for.

This cute Snellen eye chart tie makes for a thoughtful thank you gift for your eye doctor. He or she can wear it to jazz up any workday outfit. It is made of 100% microfiber polyester and is standard adult length.

7. Personalized Desk clock

Every good doctor needs to arrive to appointments on time, or risk losing their patients!

To help your doc stay on schedule, gift them this beautiful desk clock. It’s made of genuine marble and features a quartz timepiece. It can be customized with any two lines of your choosing.

This marble clock is a thoughtful gift for the doctor in your life, whether they are just starting their practice or retiring.

14. Stethoscope Brooch

When you think of doctors and the critical work they do, what do you picture? Most likely you see a man or woman in a white coat wearing a stethoscope around their neck!

Stethoscopes have long been the symbol for medical care, and now your doctor can wear it with pride right on their lapel.

This stunning brooch is crafted from 14K gold and plated with quality sterling silver. It measures a dainty 3cm. Another one of our favorite thank you gifts for doctors!!

15. Dermatologist’s Plush

Who doesn’t love a super-soft, huggable plush? Your dermatologist is sure to love this one, which is designed to look like a layer of skin with a single hair popping out the top. (Okay-that may not sound cute, but just take a look at that adorable picture above!)

This smiling “skin” plush is made of 100% polyester and comes with a cute educational booklet.

Other types of plushes that will work for other medical specialties:

16. Floral Brain Print

If your doctor is one for vintage style, check out this handmade work of art. A colorful floral design surrounds this detailed sketch of a brain, which sits on a background of classical dictionary paper. Choose from several different sizes.

This makes for a thoughtful gift for your doctor whether he or she is a neurologist, neurosurgeon, psychologist, or psychiatrist.

17. Wall-Mounted Bottle Opener Doctor Thank You Gift

Let’s say you just found out that your favorite doctor is retiring! You want to get them a custom retirement gift that they’ll enjoy for years to come, but what could that gift be?

Well, have a look at this stunning bottle opener. We construct this beautiful retirement gift from rugged walnut and maple wood, ensuring that it will last for years. We also provide custom laser engraving that includes your doctor’s name, a medical symbol, and any other text you like.

The bottle opener itself is cast iron, and comes with a screw for the optional wall mount. Other personalized designs are available here, including one specifically for retirement.

18. OBGYN Tote Bag

A good OBGYN is hard to find! You know for sure that you have found the best one when he or she safely delivers your precious bundle of joy into the world. Show your doc your great appreciation with this adorable “baby catcher” tote bag.

This thoughtful tote is made from durable cotton canvas, and printed with sister easyweed vinyl to last through years of use.

19. Personalized Vintage Veterinarian Plaque (Other Professions Available)

We can’t forget to say thank-you to all the wonderful veterinarians out there! This beautiful vintage-style veterinarian’s plaque will get the job done. It is hand-distressed to antique-style perfection, and comes with an (optional) hanging name board which can be customized with up to two lines.

This stunning medical sign is crafted right here in the USA and available at Northwest Gifts. It includes a beautiful relief carved centerpiece featuring the Rod of Asclepius.

We have a variety of other medical professions available as well, including:

20. Engraved Pen Stand

Things Remembered brings us this stunning spinning cube pen stand. The quality stand will make an elegant addition to any doctor’s desk. It includes a metal nameplate on the front, which can be engraved with the name of your physician.

It comes with a spinning clock, a pen, and a place for business cards. On the opposite side of the clock is a place to put a personal photo, making this gift extra special.

21. Personalized Shadowbox

When words fail, this beautiful shadowbox will serve as a lasting thank you to the doctor in your life whom you are especially grateful for. You are able to customize the text however you like. It will arrive in a pretty tulipwood frame and will also feature the universal symbol of the stethoscope, held carefully within a little glass bottle.

This little shadowbox is only 15 centimeters in height, making it easy to add it to any office wall or shelf.

More Thank You Gifts for Doctors

These are all wonderful, high-quality thank you gifts for doctors to show them your great appreciation. But for more ideas, just think outside the box! Items such as gift cards, edible creations, wine and snack trays that the whole office will enjoy would also surely be a welcome surprise.

DIY gifts are also a good idea. Put together a gift basket for your doctor, create a candy jar full of their favorite snacks, or put your own artistic skills to use with a beautiful drawing or painting.

Even just writing your doctor a simple thank you note would brighten their day, and serve to remind them that what they do makes a big difference.

If you would like to browse through even more unique and quality gift ideas, take a look at our website, Northwest Gifts! We have many more customizable ideas for you to peruse.

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Did you know that when you send a gift from GiftTree, we print your gift message on cardstock and directly attach it to the gift? Most companies print your message on the packing slip, putting it outside the box where it gets lost or missed. Thank You Gifts are probably the most popular theme at GiftTree. In hearing from thousands of happy customers over the years, one of the most popular reasons for sending a thank you gift is for receiving exceptional medical care. And why not? Doctors go above and beyond every day. They listen carefully to their patients, they take the time to explain process and next steps. Every day, Doctors put their own needs aside to care for those around them. National Thank Your Doctor Day is Saturday March 30th! Do you have an awesome doctor? If so, here are some perfect gifts and flowers to thank your Doctor.


Fresh Flowers to Thank Your Doctor

Stunning Beauty Bouquet

Oceanside Garden

Smile For Me

Deliver fresh flowers to the Doctor’s office or staff lounge at your local hospital! Hand-delivered by expert florists, these bouquets are sure to brighten up everyone’s day and send your gratitude.


Fruit Baskets for National Doctor’s Day

Sensational Fruit Celebration

Fresh Fruit & Chocolate

Taste of Extravagance

A fruit basket is the perfect gift, when you think about it! It’s healthy but there’s also a little bit of indulgence, by way of cookies or chocolate, candy or nuts. What a treat!


Gourmet & Wine Gifts for Doctor’s Day

Personalized Slate with Artisan Cheeses

A Thousand Thanks

Napa Valley Wine Tasting Hamper


Don’t forget National Doctor’s Day on March 30th! Order a gift for your family Doctor of physician today.

The issue of accepting extravagant gifts from patients is tricky for physicians. Check out these ideas for thoughtful and appropriate doctor gifts to.

Gift for Doctor/office staff?

Straight Dope Message Board > Main > In My Humble Opinion (IMHO) > Doctors : What would you appreciate?


View Full Version : Doctors : What would you appreciate?


05-28-2003, 12:47 AM

I want to thank my doctor. I have profusely thanked him, verbally, but would like to do more.

I initially had the idea of sending a basket full of goodies (chocolate, etc) to his office. Then I thought about doing that once a year, as an ongoing appreciation of what he has done for me. My husband thinks this sounds 'stalkerish', so I'm rethinking that one. I know little about him, so wouldn't have a clue whether a fruit basket, chocolates, flowers, golf balls, etc would be most appreciated.

So I turn to you, doctors of the SD. How would you like to be thanked, if you'd gone above and beyond for a patient ? What have you received in the past, and how did it make you feel ? What would be the best way to show my appreciation and extreme gratefulness ?


05-28-2003, 01:23 AM

How about giving your doctor a gift basket from somewhere like David Jones...they have wine packs, coffee/tea and chocolate baskets and gourmet food hampers.
Even though it's not expected, I really appreciate it when someone is thoughtful and buys a gift to say thank you. The few times I've received a thank you gift, I've been given chocolates, bottles of red wine, a basket with tea and jams and a hamper with Australian olive oils and sauces.

Catfood Purrito

05-28-2003, 03:22 AM

I used to be a secretary for several different doctors, and I know other secretaries, and it's not at all unusual for them to receive gifts from patients. Most of them had patients who would send them something every Christmas, it's definitely not creepy. Stuff like chocolates, flowers, wine, fruit baskets, lots of baked goods. The doctor a friend of mine works for has a patient who sends her (as well as the doctor) very expensive gifts every Christmas. Last year she received a very beautiful bracelet. I think that's a little weird, though.

A gift certificate and thank you card may be the way to go if you don't know anything about the doctor's likes and dislikes. If it's a nonprofit facility, you could consider a donation too.


05-28-2003, 06:09 AM

If you want to send something every year, it's not creepy. My parents are doctors and they do get things at Christmas from patients they treated a long time ago. As long as you keep it simple - the ideas in the OP are fine (apart from the golf balls!) - anything will be appreciated.

One point - I don't know if it's the case with all doctors, but when my parents are given something like a fruit basket or a big box of chocolates, they tend to share them out with all the other staff, such as the nurses and the technicians, who rarely if ever receive gifts of their own.

Whatever you do, you're doing a good thing.


05-28-2003, 06:21 AM

I saw this Web site in "Discover" magazine -- They sell various textiles printed with blown-up pictures of disease-carrying organisms. And what doctor could resist a tie with Ebola on it? Or boxer shorts with gonorrhea on them?


05-28-2003, 11:37 AM

Can you do counted cross-stitch? If you can, why not make him something cool to put in his office?

I say this b/c gifts that are made always mean more. Plus this is a doctor we're talking about here ... and yes, I know that not ALL doctors are rich, but chances are this guy isn't lacking anything. Plus most of them are extremely busy and probably wouldn't have the chance to enjoy any cool book you gave them. (From my experiences in working with both, doctors and lawyers tend to not read for pleasure anyway because they have to read SO MUCH in their work.)

At any rate, give him something that will LAST. Something he can look at from time to time and go, "Oh, Goo gave me that, what a great patient." Flowers and chocolate are great but they're quickly gone.

This is not stalkerish at all. I think it's a great idea. I'd do the same if I had a doctor that I had to go see a lot.


05-28-2003, 11:40 AM

One of my mother's patients gave her a whole salmon and 50 frozen crab claws.

You might want to try something else.

My dad would like it if you would help pay off Brother, MD's student loans...

Seriously, sending gifts is not stalkerish at all, unless the gifts themselves are freaky. I think it speaks volumes about you and your doctor. Since you don't know much about your doc, gift baskets are always nice and something that the office will likely share in. You could call up his secretary and ask for suggestions. If he has a favorite cause, you could donate money in his name, or renew a magazine subscription. Generalising here, but since you doc is a dude, I wouldn't send flowers.

Re: SnoopyFan's comment -- my brother's a doc and I'm a lawyer (yes, geek family alert) and we both read like crazy for fun. As you can probably guess, we have poor eyesight.


05-28-2003, 06:03 PM

Speaking on behalf of my doctor father:
He was really upset last night, and just lately in general, because hardly anyone appreciates the ER docs. Sure, some people say nice stuff, but mostly, he gets way more complaints. People try to sue over everything they can. Basically what you want to do here is make the doctor feel appreciated. First of all, if he has a boss, and the boss is within hearing distance, definately tell the doctor how wonderful he is. In fact, do so even if the boss isn't around. Also, make sure that with whatever you send the doctor, write a nice, handwritten note just telling him how appreciative you are of what he did. It's the little things that make them smile and feel good.


05-28-2003, 08:35 PM

The ER docs certainly get a few complainers, but I've been lucky enough to receive more praise than brickbats. I really appreciate the handwritten notes and cards. Don't spend a lot of money on the gift, don't give cheap white wine and if you give food, give something the doctor can share with others since chocolates make us fat.

Qadgop the Mercotan

05-28-2003, 09:38 PM

Originally posted by Dr_Paprika
give something the doctor can share with others since chocolates make us fat.
Chocolate doesn't make me fat! I'm already fat!

Cards are nice. Candy, which we can share with our staff, is too. No flowers, please. Too many people with allergies around. Keep it simple, and inexpensive.

Just plain old thanks works wonders, too. Especially if you also tell our corporate/civil masters how great we are!


05-28-2003, 10:06 PM

Things my parents got from patients:


05-28-2003, 10:11 PM

Bugger, mouse slipped, sorry. Various things my parents got from patients as thank yous over the past few years in a rural practice:

- Baked Goods
- Bottle of wine
- Bloody good bottle of wiskey
- Smoked trout
- Crayfish
- Big bag of (normal) mushrooms
- Chestnuts
- A carved wooden bowl
- Oysters
- Snapper

Trust me, like everone else, doctors (and their families!) like freebies.


05-28-2003, 10:19 PM

My dad is a family practitioner and one of the gifts I'll always remember getting from a patient was a little handmade wooden bench (the patient was a carpenter) with three teddy bears sitting on it. The patient's wife knitted little Chicago Bears sweater and hats for the bears.

They're still sitting by our fireplace over a decade later. :)


05-28-2003, 10:29 PM

Originally posted by Snooooopy
I saw this Web site in "Discover" magazine -- They sell various textiles printed with blown-up pictures of disease-carrying organisms. And what doctor could resist a tie with Ebola on it? Or boxer shorts with gonorrhea on them?

Infinitely preferably to the boxer shorts with gonorrhea IN them.

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thank you gift for doctors office

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