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Thread: Giving holiday gifts to doctors - etiquette question.

  1. #1
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    Default Giving holiday gifts to doctors - etiquette question.

    I have been living in the US for 11 years and don't know about this:

    Is it acceptable/advisable/common to send holiday gift to your doctor?

    One doctor has been treating my mother and has really been outstanding. I am thinking of sending him a nice gift basket to thank him for all that he's done for her. But I cannot find any info online whether this is something people do.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    I had a doctor in my immediate family -- gifts are not expected or necessary, and, while they are appreciated, in some ways they create an awkward situation.

    Instead send a heartfelt handwritten note or card expressing your gratitude & good wishes for the holidays.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 View Post
    I had a doctor in my immediate family -- gifts are not expected or necessary, and, while they are appreciated, in some ways they create an awkward situation.

    Instead send a heartfelt handwritten note or card expressing your gratitude & good wishes for the holidays.
    Thanks for your advice. I am curious, why does it create an awkward situation in your opinion? Is that because the doctor may feel obligated to treat that patient any better? Obviously, I would not want to do it if it's not common (that would look awkward). But it almost seems natural if someone treats you and especailly saves your life, you want to send that person a holiday gift.

  4. #4
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Professional distance is something that comes into play ...

    I doubt that a gift would cause a doctor to give better treatment (if one finds that to be so, then perhaps one should change doctors -- personally I wouldn't want one who is so whimsical).

    As I said before it seems that the heartfelt expression of gratitude sans gift is adequate thanks.

    But then I'm a WASP, so that simply could be the cultural background from which me & mine sprang forth ...

  5. #5

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    There's always the nice Christmas hamper. Just make sure it's genuinely nice stuff, not dreck dressed as fancy goods. That way it's for his/her family, not just him/her. You cans end it with a Christmas card and a note conveying your gratitude.

    My grandparents had a family doctor who always refused to be paid for house calls (!!!), but that was a special situation.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 View Post
    I had a doctor in my immediate family -- gifts are not expected or necessary, and, while they are appreciated, in some ways they create an awkward situation.

    Instead send a heartfelt handwritten note or card expressing your gratitude & good wishes for the holidays.
    In my opinion, a handwritten note or card would be more awkward than a simple gift basket. It would depend on the doctor, really.

  7. #7
    http://tinyurl.com/2ag28z Front_Porch's Avatar
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    Default Gifts to doctors . . .

    I sent my shrink a fruit basket when he had surgery ... but then, I was raised in the South!

  8. #8

    Default Seems Nice

    I would go for it.... at worst he/she will think 'how generous' (who acctually dislikes getting presents?)

    If the doctor has gone out of thier way to help, then I think it is nice thing to do. Perhaps a hamper is a little over the top....

    .....But a good vintage bottle of wine or a Bottle of Scotch would usually be well received.

    I do not think there is anything wrong with showing gratitude to people, when it is deserved.

    I give the milkman, the postman and the binman presents.......I don't visit the doctor that often but if he looked after me then sure he would get one too.

  9. #9

    Lightbulb The best gift of all

    Give a donation to one of your doctor's favorite charities in his name.

    Mail your doctor a holiday card with a note about the charity donation -- just in case the charity forgets to send him a gift donation card.

    Be sure you get the exact name of the charity. Sometimes two or three charities have names that are extremely similar.

    I have to give doctors gifts every year, and they seem to like this best.

    For what it's worth, this is one of the easiest gifts to give -- it takes practically no time or work.

  10. #10

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    My father is a chiropractor, practicing in Florida for almost 30 years. Every holiday season several patients bring gifts, such as a box of Harry & David pears, a tin of cookies, or (if you know that your doctor does indeed drink, and what he likes) a nice bottle of wine. He never expects the gifts, but is certainly always glad when his patients think of him like that. Even if you don't send a gift, a card is always a nice gesture, I know my father personally handwrites holiday cards to hundreds upon hundreds of his patients; returning the gesture goes a long way.

  11. #11
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    Depending on how big the office is, I vote for a fruit basket, or perhaps a potted flowering plant. That way it deflects the gift as being personal, yet you can still convey your gratitude.

  12. #12
    European Import KenNYC's Avatar
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    I think it sounds like a good idea, but yeah be smart about what you pick, and do write a card that clearly states its because you appreciate his work doing so and so, to avoid any form of confusion.

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