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Medical School Graduation Gift for Son?

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  • #16
    What makes something desirable or special? Whether in watches or food or diamond rings or cars or houses?
    I have a Rolex that was purchased by my parents as a graduation gift and I passed it down to my son at his graduation-it’s a family heirloom
    (whatever that means)
    shucks, we will all be dead someday and the earth with be consumed by the sun, so why does anything matter?

    I think a graduation gift is an item that celebrates a significant occasion and is something the receiver wouldn’t or couldn’t purchase for themselves

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    • #17
      I don't think you need to do anything to be honest. Forgiving the loans would be amazing, along with dinner post graduation. Trip if you really want to do something though.

      I got a printer from my parents 😆 I knew they couldn't really afford anything much more than that so it's what I asked for.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by bovie View Post
        Loan forgiveness will obviously be the best for him long-term, which it sounds like you can + want to swing.
        ...
        Not sure what his tastes are, but a nice watch would be an excellent tangible, mark-the-occasion gift if that’s his style.
        Originally posted by CordMcNally View Post
        I think you have been more than generous and are letting him start off in great shape. ...
        I agree that just a fully clean slate financially and some wisdom on how to budget and invest is better than two thirds of MD grads get. I would honestly consider that his inheritance also... no reason to feel you need to leave him much/any after giving him such a head start financially - esp if you have other mouths to feed. Totally serious.

        I always think a $500-1000 luxury gift for occasions like graduation is quite appropriate and lasts much longer than a trip (which, when you get real, is a present for the parents as much as the kid). Perhaps a voucher for...
        a nice pair of Allen Edmonds or
        a Movado watch or
        a Harvey briefcase/laptop bag or
        a Coach wallet or
        a quality Brooks Brothers overcoat or
        etc would be something durable and trusty that he can take to work often and which will last quite awhile... potentially a lifetime if well cared for. It will bring many more smiles over the years than any week vacation. Just think along the lines of something 'mad money' and awesome but not ostentatious that they wouldn't buy for them self at that stage in life... "a taste of what's to come." It obviously depends on his taste and his specialty (whether he will mostly wear biz or scrubs), so a voucher or arrangement that the shop will send you the bill after he selects is often the way to go. We do this (among main attendings) for a the outgoing fellows, and it is always well received.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by bovie View Post
          In terms of something to “celebrate,” the trip idea sounds great and serves as a good way to unwind a bit and mark the transition to residency.
          The reason to do the trip together now is before long he will be busy with residency, fellowship, looking for jobs, house, marriage, kids and life will consume him.

          Make some memories before it is too late.

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          • #20
            I second the trip option. When my oldest graduated we went to Amsterdam and then Paris. Many great adventures on the way. Bank the time

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            • #21
              My father gave me $2000 to spend in Europe. I finished med school but did an elective in Scotland sponsored by a club connected to the med school. They paid for the airline ticket. I was gone for 2 months and came home with change. I traveled a good bit with a Britrail and Eurail pass.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Hatton View Post
                My father gave me $2000 to spend in Europe. I finished med school but did an elective in Scotland sponsored by a club connected to the med school. They paid for the airline ticket. I was gone for 2 months and came home with change. I traveled a good bit with a Britrail and Eurail pass.
                Edinburgh, Aberdeen or Glasgow?

                Glasgow is now the "in" city to live but in the 80's it was a dump. I love Edinburgh.

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                • #23
                  I think it totally depends on your child. What one child will appreciate, another won't.

                  I can say that the nice watches or other material things others have mentioned wouldn't have really meant much to me.

                  My mom had discussed buying me a new car, but instead decided to pay off one of my student loans of a similar amount that she was looking to spend. That was HUGE to knock a big chunk of debt off for me (although I still had plenty left).

                  I'm more of a fan of experiences, so a trip would be my second preferred option (if I didn't have the debt at the time).

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Kamban View Post

                    Edinburgh, Aberdeen or Glasgow?

                    Glasgow is now the "in" city to live but in the 80's it was a dump. I love Edinburgh.
                    Elective in Edinburgh. I have been to Aberdeen and Glasgow. Yes I love Edinburgh because it has managed maintain some medieval structures.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Hatton View Post

                      Elective in Edinburgh. I have been to Aberdeen and Glasgow. Yes I love Edinburgh because it has managed maintain some medieval structures.
                      Had an opportunity to work a large mfg plant startup in Glasgow. One of the most unique experiences was attending a Celtics vs Rangers futbol game. The deep religious based hooligan stories are such a shock. The crowd separation with fences is absolutely necessary. Bought a large Rangers flag and a Celtic jersey. My hosts had me stuff everything under my shirt. Showing team colors is evidently a good way to get attacked on your way out. Typically 10 against 5.. Being local, I was informed it was mostly friendly beatdowns. Stuff like the pubs. “Let’s have a go.”
                      Something like that.
                      At one meeting, everyone got up and walked to the windows. I asked what was going on. Take a look. The sun is shining. Don’t want to miss it.
                      Glasgow is different. Some folks speak a hard to understand version of the English language..
                      Visit if you can. But don’t wear colors to the pitch.

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                      • #26
                        I feel like a half loan forgiveness is kind of an odd gift. I’d go all or nothing.

                        Honestly, money isn’t the gift here. I’d give him something he’ll have and appreciate in 20 years. And that depends on knowing him. It could be anything and depends on him. Do you have any things you’ve talked about as being associated with being an adult? Would he appreciate a guitar, or tie, or motorcycle, or whatever? It would need to be something that has a long shelf life - not a computer, or something else that ages poorly. A big trip would be awesome. Especially if you made a big deal out of it. Fly first class. To somewhere super nice. Maybe buy him or her a tailored suit or dress for it. Include a concert or ballgame in the trip - somewhere you can share a beer.

                        Good luck. And congrats on launching one!

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                        • #27
                          When I graduated from undergrad, I got an amazing Littmann Stethoscope (Cardiology model... still have it!) and for medical school I got diamond earrings (wear them every day!). I would recommend the equivalent for a man, is that the watch? Not sure... What else is he into? Can you think of a "high end" product that he could use forever?

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by VentAlarm View Post
                            I feel like a half loan forgiveness is kind of an odd gift. I’d go all or nothing.
                            Half loan forgiveness is an odd graduation gift. And, despite the immense size of the gift, it is likely to be underappreciated, since your child has yet to experience the pain of taking a significant portion of their resident salary to pay back the loan. I would favor an experiential gift. All med students take an extended vacation with friends/classmates, or at least they should, since it is the last time that they can take such an extended amount of time off. I would recommend money for the graduation trip, while also expecting loan payback. After half the loan is paid off, then you can forgive the remainder. That will be truly appreciated.

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                            • #29
                              “I got a printer from my parents 😆 I knew they couldn't really afford anything much more than that so it's what I asked for.”
                              I mused on the loan forgiveness. This made me go back, the thought behind the gift is what will be special to your son. Keepsake? Trip? Experience? The value is in the thought behind the gift. You originally posted he was expected to begin repayment during residency. Seems like this has front and center, not for the amount but for the loan. That loan might influence his thinking about fellowships etc. It seems you are committed to launching his career, whatever that maybe. The important point is framing the “forgiveness”, not the amount.
                              A ten year payment schedule, not one payment due until he starts as an attending. Parents loan Forgiveness Program. A minimum of half. Print up a contract and frame two copies.
                              I doubt any other residents qualify for that program. I would still do the dinner and family trip. Family vacations get complicated, let alone holidays. Needs to be thought behind the gift for it to be special. Only one MS graduation.

                              I made her graduation dinner special for family. Invitations and RSVP, but I made it “mandatory” for the 10 aunts and uncles. Their families were optional. That meant phone calls and round trip airfare and hotel for a few. Suit and tie with assigned seating. and the menu and bar planning..
                              The only family gathering that has ever had the whole clan in one place. That was probably more Dad than the daughter. She had the head table though.
                              Make the gift meaningful for you and your son. You should be proud.

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                              • #30
                                Lots of suggestions for a nice watch. Would love to hear from fatlittlepig who if I recall correctly preferred a look-a-like Rolex.

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