Written by Alyssa Walker

Have a special healthcare professional in your life and need to find the perfect gift? Buying holiday gifts for that special healthcare someone in your life doesn't have to be difficult.

Here's the key: you need to select things that will make them laugh. Why? Their chosen professions are difficult, fraught with agony and emotion, and often involve giving people bad news. GIve them things to read and watch that tell them the truth about what they're about to do, but also leave them with a smile on their faces.

Check out this gift guide of the best books and DVDs for all the aspiring doctors and nurses in your life.


This Is Going To Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor - Adam Kay

From British-trained physician Adam Kay comes this by turns powerful and hilarious first-hand account of life as a junior doctor. From 2004 to 2010, Kay served as a junior doctor until a devastating event when working as an obstetrician, described in the book, caused him to change his path. (He is now a comedy writer -- and you can tell by reading the book!)

This Is Going To Hurt: Diaries of a Junior Doctor is funny, moving and a great tribute to the doctors and nurses who work in the much loved yet troubled NHS (National Health Service). 

Kill as Few Patients as Possible - Oscar London

Brighten your favorite aspiring healthcare provider's life with this volume of 57 essays that are funny, witty, and wise. Brace yourself for timeless anecdotes of the medical profession on the front lines. It reminds you that what you're doing is not only noble, but something that requires you to remember not to take yourself too seriously. 

Intensive Care: The Story of a Nurse -  Echo Heron

Echo Heron's ten years in emergency rooms and intensive care units gives her more than enough license to write this beautiful volume. Originally published in the 1980s, the book still has relevance for those training for nursing today -- especially those who plan to work in emergency room s and other intensive situations. 

The English Patient - Michael Ondaatje

This gorgeous, 1992 Booker Prize-winning novel traces four lives in an Italian villa at the end of WWII. There's Hana, the nurse; Caravaggio, the thief;  Kip, the solider; and the English patient -- a nameless burned man whom they care for.

Rich and evocative, The English Patient was released as a movie in 1996. Buy the book and watch both together!


House M.D.

Unequivocally one of the best series on the medical profession, House should be every healthcare student's staple. 

The premise? An antisocial renegade doctor specializes in diagnostic medicine and solves cryptic cases with his brain, his team, and his wits.

Six Feet Under

Here's a fun, lighthearted series...kidding. Six Feet Under is a dark comedy that examines a dysfunctional California family that runs a funeral home.

Its value to those in the healthcare profession? Doctors and nurses see and manage death all the time. Get comfortable with the idea -- and lose yourself in this twisted drama.


This classic 1970 comedy and drama set in a Korean War field hospital details the life and times of young doctors at war. It's funny, sad, inspiring -- and a must-watch. 

The medicine? Laughter.

There you have it!



Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.
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