Match Day Gift Guide For Medical Students

Flash forward to March 15, 2024, and your favorite medical student in your life has matched into a residency program! It may be the residency of their dreams, or it may have been their 10th choice on the rank list, but regardless, this is the culmination of at least a decade of dedicated education, trials and tribulations. Match Day is a B.F.D.

You want to get that person something they’ll love and actually use, but what is that, exactly? Medical students as a population are generally experts at delayed gratification and practicality.

Some ideas to get you started are shown below.

1. Diptyque candle. Lighting a candle on your desk immediately turns “studying” into “vibey studying.” Many med students are already familiar with this trick. Any candle makes a great gift, but for an occasion as special as Match Day, consider Diptyque, which does candles and scents exceptionally well. The burn time is phenomenal, and the throw is great. They come in a variety of sizes and price points. The Baies scent is one of the most popular, combining berry and floral notes.

2. It would be tough to go wrong with a weighted blanket. After Match Day, there are mere months until residency training, and one skill to start practicing right away is the art of relaxation and disconnecting from work. When you get home in the evening, it will be important to find a way to re-center and regain a sense of calm, even after the often hectic days that residents face. The weighted blanket can be very soothing for that, as part of your unwinding practice. There’s many out there on the market, but luna has a wonderful selection of colors (it doesn’t just come in “mental illness grey” like some other brands) and has a genuinely high-quality product. No guarantees about staying awake during use, though.

3. A champagne saber makes for a wonderful gift, and it’s a frankly epic way to congratulate someone on matching into residency. There’s no better way to show a young, budding surgeon that you trust their hand-eye coordination skills.

4. Seattle Chocolate Company makes a variety of gift boxes that are easy to ship for a sweet Match Day gift! For instance, the tasting experience box shown below has an edamame sea salt flavor, as well as Peruvian dark, Contamama single-varietal cacao, Boharat spice, and Cayenne Veracruz orange.

5. Finding the right bag for residency will be a different journey for everyone. As a surgical resident one of the best options that I found was this everyday bag from lululemon – it’s large enough to fit a pair of gym shoes if you try to work out after work, it’s stain resistant (critical because I brought it into the operating room every day), and you can wipe it down with a purple PDI sani-cloth without damaging it.

6. If your favorite medical student is a tea lover, I have just the thing for you. Tea Forte makes aesthetically charming, extremely high-quality tea and tea accessories. Their gift set boxes (which come with a porcelain cup and lid, matching tea tray, and ten teas) is a thoughtful gift that you won’t have to worry about getting used.

7. Being a resident means a lot of note taking on the go. Quality, fine-tip pen sets are super helpful for your favorite med student who has just matched. A few popular lines are linked below, including Le Pen (0.3 mm point) and the Staedtler triplus fineliner set in 0.3 mm.

8. Unboxme: This company allows you to customize a box for Match Day. They have a great selection of candles, teas, bath bombs, lotions, cozy socks, tumblers, and fancy candy. Their boxes for men have Vietnamese coffee, caramel popcorn, tumblers. One of the pre-made congratulatory boxes is shown below! Adorable.

9. Flowers! Shopping locally is always a plus. You can search for local florists by the MS’ zip code, and then pick your arrangement from the site (or sometimes, you have to call). Not only do you support local small businesses this way, but in my experience that typically gets a fresher and fuller bouquet than using a national shipping service name, for a better price.

10. Figs compression socks. It is my personal opinion that residents cannot have too many compression socks. FIGS has a variety of eye-popping patterns for their compression stockings, and they do gift cards as well. If you want to add one of their cozy fleeces to the compression sock set, all the nicer of a thoughtful gift they’ll be sure to use!


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