With the holiday season nearly upon us, it’s time to start thinking about the best gifts to buy for any medical student in your life. This article won’t talk about coffee mugs, socks, highlighters shaped like syringes, or even which lab coat is the best. Instead, you will see only what we think a medical student would genuinely find helpful.
Having spent more than 15 years studying science and medicine, and as the proud father of a pre-med student, I would like to think I have a good sense of what a medical student would like to receive. Therefore, we’ve divided this guide into different sections, from health and fitness to productivity, hardware, and at-home tests (for medical insights). All of these will be of great use to future doctors, and they will appreciate the thought behind the gift.
Health and Fitness Smartwatches/Fitness Trackers
Staying fit and healthy is essential for medical students with their demanding workload. And, of course, with their knowledge of the human body and the importance of taking care of it, they are usually more motivated than most to take good care of themselves. But it can be hard for them to find the time to dedicate to keeping track of their health goals. This is where health and fitness smartwatches and fitness trackers can be so useful for medical students.
Best Overall: Apple Watch 7
If you want to get the medical student in your life a health and fitness smartwatch that can do just about everything, then look no further than the Apple Watch 7. It comes in various colors, and the strap can be customized to suit all different tastes; it can receive phone calls, text messages, play podcasts, and much more.
It also has some in-depth health monitoring features that any medical student will highly value. These include step tracking, heart rate monitoring, blood oxygen monitoring, sleep tracking, and ECGs. The watch can also be synced to Apple Fitness, where you can access a wide range of fitness classes that you can do from the comfort of your home. Perfect for the busy medical student!
- WHY APPLE WATCH SERIES 7 — The most advanced Apple Watch features powerful health innovations like...
- EASILY CUSTOMIZABLE — Available in a range of sizes and materials, with dozens of bands to choose...
- INCREDIBLE DURABILITY — Built to be tough. It’s more crack resistant, it’s dust resistant, and...
- STAY CONNECTED — Send a text, make a call, listen to music and podcasts, use Siri, or call for...
- MOST ADVANCED HEALTH FEATURES — Keep an eye on your blood oxygen with a revolutionary sensor and...
Best Fitness and Health Band: Fitbit Charge 5
While the Apple Watch 7 is designed to be a powerful smartwatch with health and fitness tracking included, the Fitbit Charge 5 is designed with serious fitness in mind. Its face is smaller than the Apple Watch 7, which can be good if you prefer your smartwatch not to take up too much space on your wrist.
In addition, it has a battery life of six days which can make it much easier to keep track of your health throughout every day. With the Fitbit Charge 5, you can track your steps, heart rate, ECG, and EDA (measures the sweat on your skin to measure your stress response). It also has robust sleep tracking, which measures your breathing rate and your skin temperature variation, blood oxygen saturation, and heart rate variability (measures nervous system activity).
- Optimize your workout routine with a Daily Readiness Score that reveals if you’re ready to...
- Get a daily Stress Management Score showing your body’s response to stress and take steps to...
- Track your heart health with high & low heart rate notifications and a compatible ECG app (The...
- With the Health Metrics dashboard, track SpO2, heart rate variability, skin temperature variation...
- See your real-time pace & distance without your phone using built-in GPS during outdoor activity,...
Best For Android Users: Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
This smartwatch will only work with Android phones, and it is most compatible with Samsung phones (you can only access blood pressure monitoring and ECG with Samsung phones). The Galaxy Watch 4 offers the same fitness and health tracking that you would expect from any fitness watch, such as heart rate monitoring, GPS tracking for running, and sleep tracking.
However, one of the features that sets it apart from the crowd is that you can use it for body composition tracking, which will give you an idea of your body fat composition. This is a much more accurate way of measuring your fitness levels than other measures, and it can help you know whether or not you are meeting your health goals. Any medical student would love to have this piece of information in their health tracking toolkit.
- BODY COMPOSITION ANALYSIS: Galaxy Watch4 Classic is the first smartwatch to off body composition...
- BETTER SLEEP STARTS HERE: Wake up feeling refreshed and recharged with advanced sleep tracking; When...
- BE SMART ABOUT YOUR HEART: Take care of your heart with accurate ECG monitoring and keep an eye on...
- MAKE EVERY WORKOUT COUNT: Get the most out of every exercise session with advanced workout tracking...
- GO THE EXTRA MILE: Improve your runs with advanced running coaching technology; VO2 Max readings...
Metabolism and Nutrition
For medical students, taking care of their health isn’t just about their activity levels. It is also about how they are fueling their body and how their body is utilizing that fuel. Using the technology that is now available, they will appreciate gaining a true insight into how their body is working beneath the surface. And be able to make clearer choices for how to take care of it. Being a medical student is demanding, and ensuring that their body is fueled properly will help them better navigate their daily challenges.
Best For Metabolism Analysis: Lumen
Lumen is pretty revolutionary. Many people have tracked their calories or their macros, but without understanding what our body is doing with the food that we put into it, all of us are going in blind. Lumen changes all of that. You blow into the device every morning, and its CO2 sensor and flow meter determine how much CO2 concentration you have in each breath.
This will show you what your body is currently using for energy (carbohydrates or fats). Carbohydrates are a high-energy fuel source that is readily available soon after you consume them, but if you want to lose weight having your body be in a state where it is burning fat as a fuel source instead is essential. You can use Lumen to improve your body’s metabolism flexibility and how it switches between carbohydrates and fats as a fuel source.
It can also provide detailed insights into how your metabolism is affected by your lifestyles, such as sleep, physical activity, and nutrition. Using this information, Lumen can provide personalized meal plans, and it can help you decide whether or not you need
Lumen by MetaFlow
Price when reviewed: Tracks start at $199.00
to fuel up before a workout.
Best For Staying Hydrated While Studying: HidrateSpark
We all know how important it is to stay hydrated. Still, so many of us forget to drink enough water, and the medical student in your life will probably have an even greater appreciation and motivation for staying hydrated than most. The HidrateSpark is a smart water bottle that is designed to help keep you hydrated.
It is linked to an app on your phone via Bluetooth and, in the app, you can personalize your lifestyle, personal data, and activity levels, and it will calculate just how much water you need each day. Then the water bottle will track how much water you have drunk and will light up to remind you that it’s time to take a drink. Any medical student will appreciate the simplicity of the HidrateSpark and how well it works in keeping them hydrated.
HidrateSpark Steel by Hidrate
Price when reviewed (21oz): $64.99
Once the medical student has taken care of their health and nutrition, it is time for them to focus on being as productive as possible. Their workload will be very high, and staying organized will be key to keeping on top of everything and not getting overwhelmed. Thankfully, there are lots of options out there for giving the medical student in your life the gift of productivity, for which they will undoubtedly be forever grateful.
Best For Note Takings: iPad Pro
Taking decent notes is an invaluable skill for any medical student to learn, but keeping notes on pen and paper doesn’t just take up a lot of room. It also increases the risk of them getting lost. The iPad Pro, on the other hand, is lightweight and easy to carry in any bag. Unfortunately, the notetaking app already installed on the iPad Pro is quite basic. Still, the real power of using this device for notetaking is the huge range of notetaking apps to suit any notetaking style and preference.
Most of these apps will offer cloud storage, which means that the notes will be available from any device just by logging into the account on the web. Many allow users to add photos, videos, audio recordings, and even web page clips to their notes. So if they have a certain part of a lecture that will help them understand the information, for example, they can add it right into the notes. These notetaking enhancements will be so helpful when it comes to revision time. With many of them, you can also annotate PDF files and collaborate with others.
- Apple M1 chip for next-level performance
- Stunning 11-inch Liquid Retina display with ProMotion, True Tone, and P3 wide color
- TrueDepth camera system featuring Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage
- 12MP Wide camera, 10MP Ultra Wide camera, and LiDAR Scanner for immersive AR
- Stay connected with ultrafast Wi-Fi
Best Apple Computer: MacBook Air
The MacBook Air is perfect for medical students. It is super thin and lightweight, so it can be carried around all day and has impressive battery life, but it also has the power of the MacBook. It can also be synced with the iPhone and iPad, so any productivity activities, such as notetaking, photos, and videos were taken on any of these devices, can be synced to the MacBook.
The MacBook won’t just be a device for taking notes on. However, it will also be a way for the medical student in your life to keep in touch with friends and family via video calls and messages, watch TV, listen to music, edit their photos, and much more. When you gift someone a MacBook, you give them a device that they will use every day of their lives.
- Stunning 13.3-Inch Retina Display with True Tone
- Touch ID
- Dual-core 8th-Generation Intel Core i5 Processor
- Intel UHD Graphics 617
- Fast SSD Storage
Best PC Tablet: Microsoft Surface 8
If the medical student in your life values portability and practicality, then the Microsoft Surface 8 is a great option. They won’t need a separate laptop and tablet because this device is both. It has a kickstand at the back, which can be set to any angle, so you can have the screen in a laptop position or have it flat to the table and anywhere in between.
And you can use the keyboard for writing or switch to the included pen to take handwritten notes directly onto the screen. It is also super lightweight, coming in at just 891 grams, and it has all-day battery life. So when you think about day-to-day life, you can see how this laptop/tablet will fit in perfectly.
- The power of a laptop with the flexibility of a tablet, and every angle in between, with 13”...
- Windows 11 brings your closer to what you love. Family, friends, obsessions, music, creations —...
- The first Surface Pro built on the Intel Evo platform. Do it all with the Intel Evo platform —...
- The best pen experience on Pro with rechargeable Surface Slim Pen 2 and Surface Pro 8, for the...
- Type in comfort. Sleek and compact, Surface Signature Keyboard performs like a traditional...
Best For Learning Anatomy: Occulus Quest 2
The Occulus Quest 2 is the leading virtual reality headset. It can be used to play games, keep fit, and have fun. But for medical students, it can also be used to aid in their learning. For example, the app 3D Organon VR Anatomy is used by hundreds of learning universities and hospitals worldwide to help students visualize human anatomy uniquely and memorably. It uses 3D models of humans showing their skeletal system, muscles, vessels, nerves, and organs which are open to being explored as if they were right in front of you.
- Buy Meta Quest 2. Get Beat Saber. For a limited time, get the hit VR rhythm game included when you...
- Experience total immersion with 3D positional audio, hand tracking and haptic feedback, working...
- Explore an expanding universe of over 350 titles across gaming, fitness, social/multiplayer and...
- Travel universes in blockbuster fantasies, scare yourself witless in horror adventures or...
- Come together in incredible social spaces and multiplayer arenas as you take in live events with...
Many medical students will need their own stethoscope when they begin their studies (although some schools will provide ones to borrow). Getting the right stethoscope is essential for practical reasons. It needs to be able to work perfectly so that it can be used for its intended purpose. Beyond that, the stethoscope has a symbolic meaning for medical students. It marks them embarking on their journey to become doctors, and the day they receive their first stethoscope will be truly meaningful to them.
Best Digital Stethoscope: 3M Littman Core Digital Stethoscope
Littman has been a well-respected name in the stethoscope field for a very long time. In collaboration with Eko, its latest offering combines the aesthetics and build quality of a classic Littman stethoscope with modern medical tech. This digital stethoscope can be connected to any Bluetooth-enabled device where you can make recordings, use the FDA-approved automated murmur detection, and even live stream in a HIPAA-compliant way for telemedicine purposes.
When using the 3M-Littman Core in the standard way, you will have the option of taking advantage of the digital features by enabling amplification and noise cancellation, which can be invaluable in noisy environments. However, these features can be turned off, and you can go back to analog listening with the flick of a switch.
- Connects to Eko software to visualize and share heart sound waveforms (smart device not included)
- Up to 40x amplification (at peak frequency, vs. analog mode)
- Active noise cancellation reduces unwanted background sounds
- Toggle between analog and amplified listening modes
- Soft-sealing ear tips provide an excellent acoustic seal and comfortable fit; Tunable, dual-sided...
Best For Transforming Any Stethoscope Into a Digitial One: Eko Core Attachment
Suppose the medical student in your life already owns an analog stethoscope, and you think they would appreciate the advantages and features that come along with a digital stethoscope. In that case, the Eko Core Attachment can be a great gift. It transforms any stethoscope into a digital one to use all of the features you would expect with a digital stethoscope, including amplification and noise cancellation, wireless listening, and syncing with Eko software to make recordings, etc.
Eko Core Digital Attachment by EKO
Price when reviewed: $199
At-Home Tests To Learn From
Allowing medical students to have first-hand experience of the topics they are learning about can help them have the clearest understanding possible. And, since they are learning about medicine and the human body, sometimes finding out about their health can be one of those hands-on experiences. For example, at-home genetic testing has become incredibly popular in recent years. It won’t just give medical students an insight into their family history but, for many of the tests, it can also help them understand their genetic predisposition to certain disorders.
Best For Understanding Genomics: 23andMe
23andMe is one of the most popular at-home genetic testing products on the market right now. Taking a 23andMe test allows you to understand your genetic heritage, and it can also help you connect with your extended family tree via their ancestry database. It can also take you through some interesting facts about your genetic traits and what they mean.
Beyond that, depending on the plan you choose, 23andMe can also give you an insight into your genetic predisposition to specific disorders, tell you whether you are a carrier for specific genes, and give you some insight into how your genes affect your wellness.
- IMPORTANT: There is a lot to consider with genetic testing. Please review important information...
- WHAT YOU GET: At-home DNA test kit. Access to Health + Ancestry Service that can help give you a...
- HEALTH FEATURES: Our personalized health reports use science-backed data to show how your DNA can...
- SIMPLE & EASY: Genetic testing in 3 simple steps. No blood, no needles. Our home-based saliva...
- PRIVATE AND PROTECTED: Know that you are in control of your DNA. Discovery should never come at the...
Best For Whole-Genome Sequencing: Nebula Genomics
Nebula Genomics provides the most comprehensive DNA home testing, and it allows you to decode 100% of your DNA. This provides the most accurate DNA test out of any of the home-testing options. The results from this test are so accurate that they can be sent directly to physicians and genetic counselors. It will also allow any medical student to dive into their DNA and what it means. With Nebula Genomics, you can access Big Data which will be an invaluable tool for them to understand exactly what their results mean.
Medical students will appreciate that they will receive regular reports and articles whenever new ones are published that are relevant to their DNA results through the Nebula Research Library.
Deep by Nebula Genomics
Price when reviewed: $299.00
Best For Understanding Nutrigenomics: Genopalate
We spoke earlier about the importance of understanding the body’s nutrition. The Genopalate genetic testing takes that idea one step further while also granting some fascinating practical insight into how genes affect both the body and behavior, making it the perfect gift for the medical student in your life.
This DNA test will give you an understanding of your completely personalized macro and micronutrient needs as well as food sensitivities and how substances are metabolized in your body. It will also help you understand how your DNA might affect your eating behavior, for example, late-night snacking or emotional eating.
And it can show you your taste profile which can help to explain why you might like or dislike certain foods. It can also help you optimize your meal times to be sure that your body uses its fuel as efficiently as possible.
Essential Nutrition DNA Test Kit by Genopolate
Price when reviewed: $149.95
Best For Self-Testing: Everlywell
Everlywell testing is all about taking charge of your health. And medical students will appreciate finding out more about their body and how it functions about what they are learning in class. Rather than DNA testing, the testing from EverlyWell is all about understanding your body’s functioning, and you can order a wide range of tests, including:
- food sensitivity
- women’s and men’s health
- vitamin D, B vitamins, folic acid, and inflammation testing
- metabolism test
- peri- and post-menopause test
- STI tests
- Lyme disease
- indoor and outdoor allergies
- and many more
- HELPFUL TEST - The test measures IgG antibody reactivity to 96 different foods from a small blood...
- GUIDANCE FOR AN ELIMINATION DIET - This test is a great place to start if you are looking to...
- EASY-TO-UNDERSTAND RESULTS - Gain meaningful insights about your health and wellness with...
- CERTIFIED LABS - Each partner lab we choose to work with is CLIA-certified (Clinical Laboratory...
- PHYSICIAN-REVIEWED - Everlywell test orders and results are reviewed and approved by an independent...
Medical Gadgets to Learn From
Medical technology has come a long way in recent years, and there is now a wide range of gadgets that anyone can use at home to understand how their body is functioning. These can be an excellent gifts for a medical student because they provide practical and hands-on experience of testing these health functions and seeing how they affect how their own body works.
Best Mobile ECG: KardiaMobile
KardiaMobile allows anyone to test their heart health anywhere and anytime. It is small enough to fit in your pocket and provides FDA-approved ECG testing to detect arterial fibrillation, bradycardia, and tachycardia. The results can be analyzed on your smartphone and shared from there with health professionals if needed.
The ECG testing itself is easy and is achieved simply by placing two fingers on the sensors. Any medical student will appreciate the detailed insight into their heart health that KardiaMobile provides.
- INCLUDES DEVICE AND 6 MONTHS OF KARDIACARE HEART HEALTH MEMBERSHIP. Get the world's only six-lead...
- SIX LEADS, SIX DETECTIONS. Six-lead EKGs give you a more detailed view of your heart and more data...
- ACCURATE AND DETAILED EKG RESULTS. KardiaMobile 6L records a medical-grade EKG and provides...
- GET A CARDIOLOGIST'S OPINION FROM HOME. Have your EKG analyzed by a board-certified cardiologist in...
- KardiaMobile is COMPATIBLE WITH MOST POPULAR PHONES and TABLETS. To use your Kardia device, you must...
Best for Blood Oxygen Monitoring: Wellue O2 Ring
The Wellue O2 Ring is worn overnight and tracks oxygen saturation, heart rate, and body movements every four seconds. It is FDA-registered, and it will vibrate if abnormal O2 levels or heartbeats are detected. It also provides detailed health reports based on the data it collects, which can be read on the accompanying smartphone app.
So if the medical student in your life is worried about snoring or sleep apnea or wants to pore over the data it collects about them while they sleep, the Wellue O2 Ring will make the perfect gift.
- RELIABLE AND ACCURATE: Continuously track Oxygen Level, Pulse rate and Perfusion index in every...
- FREE APP: Data can be transferred to smart phone for more detailed information. It supports to share...
- EASY TO MANAGE: O2ring stores four sets of 10-hour data. It supports synchronizing the data to the...
- INTELLIGTNT AND RECHARGABLE: Long battery life. It can be used for 16 hours after fully charged.
- Intelligent Alarm: If your oxygen level is lower, or heart rate is lower / higher than the threshold...
The Bottom Line
You don’t have to buy cliche gifts for the medical student in your life. By using a different approach, there are all sorts of exciting and valuable gifts that they will appreciate and use for years to come. These can be gifts that they will use in their studies or gifts that will help them get practical experience and insights into the areas they are studying, and they will all show the thought and care that you have put into them.