Gift Ideas for Veterinary Students

I am wondering what would be the perfect gift to get my cousin who is in her second to last year in Vet School. She hasn’t decided small or large animal yet, but last I heard she was leaning towards large. Seeing as you are a Vet, what would you have liked to receive as a present when you were in Vet School? Thanks JR, Massachusetts

Dear JR,

What a fun question! I spoke with my husband about this, since he’s also a veterinarian, and here’s the list we came up with together:

1. Money—I know this is not what you wanted to hear, but most vet students are coming out of school with more than $100,000 in debt and spend their entire careers working just to pay this off. Maybe a Visa gift card?

2. Food—We ate a lot of Ramen noodles in vet school, so your cousin would probably appreciate a gift card to the local grocery store. Better yet, purchase or make a gift basket full of goodies such as cheese, chocolate, crackers, chocolate, pasta, chocolate . . . you get my drift.

3. Gas—Another boring suggestion, but next year she’ll be involved in externships at other schools or private practices and will need to get around.

Okay, now for some more specific suggestions:

4. Books—veterinary textbooks are expensive, so I’m sure she would appreciate help purchasing reference materials that she can use now and once she graduates. I love my collection of Veterinary Clinics of North America published by Elsevier. They come in equine, small animal, exotic and food animal. A one-year subscription (you get three small hardback books) is $111 if she lets you use her student discount. Otherwise is $222

5. Clothing—Who says you can’t be fashionable while attending vet school? has the latest in scrubs, jackets and even footwear for the most discerning doctor-to-be.

6. Pet gifts—Finally, every vet student I know has a menagerie of dogs, cats, pocket pets (or in my case, horses). Why not ease the financial burden of caring for these creatures by giving her a gift certificate to her favorite pet store? Might I suggest SmartPak?

Have fun with these ideas and Happy Holidays!

Lydia Gray, DVM MA, is the Staff Veterinarian for SmartPak. Prior to joining SmartPak, Dr. Gray served as the first-ever Director of Owner Education for the American Association of Equine Practitioners. She has authored numerous articles in publications such as The Horse, Horse Illustrated, Western Horseman and a variety of veterinary journals and magazines. Dr. Gray is also a frequent speaker at horse expos, veterinary conventions and other events. After graduating with honors from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine and receiving her Master's Degree in Interpersonal and Organizational Communication, she practiced at the Tremont Veterinary Clinic for several years. Dr. Gray is active in the American Veterinary Medical Association and Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association. She enjoys training and showing her Trakehner, Newman, in both combined driving and dressage, and is a USDF “L” Program Graduate (with distinction). Find Dr. Gray on Google+

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