a response to our progress note

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A few weeks ago, we shared an article written by formation community member, Dr. Sara R. Ahronheim. She shared her experience as a physician, the mental health struggles that come along with it and she encourages readers to not let medicine crush them during the difficult times.

After we shared Dr. Ahronheim’s story, we received feedback from a few of our community members who were strongly impacted by her story and shared their struggles working in medicine. We’d like to take this opportunity to share a story we received with the rest of our community, so we can begin to break the stigma for health care workers to seek support when they need it.

“Well, thank you Kathryn. I was just holding myself together, not well mind you, and then I read this. It is so beautifully written and exquisitely painful. As I sit wracked with anxiety, frustration, anger and sadness after just another normal week, I am reduced to tears. It’s been a while since I cried but now it’s impossible to stop. When people ask you how you are you say, “oh fine thanks” not even remotely connected to that answer. We lie to our patients, family, friends and strangers.. “Oh fine thanks”. What would our lives be if we told the truth? We would fall apart, drop the facade, get help, change the broken system? We’ll never know because our cries for help get trampled on.

Medicine is not a job or career or even a “calling”. It was when we so eagerly put our lives aside to get into medical school then the destruction of our being started with the first statement of indoctrination, “You are the best of the best to be in this position”, then you are systematically destroyed through years of training. After years of working and gaining experience and being confident in your clinical skills, you are hit with the feeling of what was it all for. The mental health challenges that most of us face, especially after a protracted pandemic, with the physical and financial hardships that have hit us all only laid bare the problems in our system. I feel the enormity of that on my shoulders every minute of every day and it’s crushing me.

I’m off today so I can let go for a minute, cry uncontrollably about nothing in particular and feel the sweet release of some of the pain. Thank you for that.”

The thoughts shared above remind us that we need to start talking to each other, it’s the only way we can support one another and shift the culture of medicine. It’s time we stood together to break the stigma.

We are stronger together, we got this.

- the formation team

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progress notes

Pulse, Barbie & In Charge - A Perfect Match 💓

Pulse, Barbie & In Charge - A Perfect Match 💓


Barbie has proven to be THE biggest debut ever for a film directed by a woman after earning a reported $162 million during its opening weekend! Wow.

I had been waiting and waiting to see this movie with my three teenage girls! Of course we dressed up, just like the rest of the moviegoers, fully embracing and creating an immersive experience earlier this week. And it did NOT disappoint. If you haven’t gone, go.

Even if you don’t like pink!

I wore my new formation scrubs in Pulse Pink - which ironically are being released now, at the same time as Barbie!

Here I am with my girls going into the movie:

Pink is a colour that many people have struggled with for a long time. When I was little, it was known that “pink is for girls, blue is for boys” - so I avoided pink, even though I kind of liked the colour. I was known as a ‘Tom Boy’, so I was not about to be pigeon-holed as another girl-who-likes-pink!

Now, I actually love the colour pink and what it means to me and those around me. To me, pink represents unconditional love, which is something that those in health care understand deeply.

It’s unapologetic, it doesn’t waver, and it boldly stands for what and whom we believe in.

Pulse Pink is here to embody that.

Pink now also represents strength, which has been a slow shift over the years. In a way, this also reflects some progress for women as well, as pink is traditionally “girly”.

For those who aren’t aware, I’m a physician, but also an artist. I try to sew in my studio as often as I can. I created this “mini” quilt for a call for entries. (I normally create 8 ft x 8 ft abstract modern quilt pieces). It still speaks to me, and how the world perceives women.

My quilt was chosen to be featured in the publication, here was my artist’s statement:

In Charge Quilt
Which do you want to be seen as?
In Charge, or, you Charge In.
There is a subtle difference, I feel, especially for women, which is why I chose these colours.
Pink for the traditional female, and orange is often seen as a colour of stepping into and owning our vulnerabilities and in doing so healing.

Times have certainly changed since my training days when I’d be one of three women at a cardiovascular surgery conference of hundreds.

I left “Charge” unquilted as it is imperfect. I feel we are all trying to figure this out - maybe you already have - but for myself, every day I am striving to be #incharge 💗

As you step into your Pulse Pink scrubs, remember that you are not just wearing a colour; you are embodying the spirit of empowerment, love, and authenticity. And, you are In Charge.

When Greta Gerwig was asked by People Magazine how she dealt with right-wing conservatives who expressed their disapproval for the film by declaring it “woke” and threatening to burn their Barbies, she said, “Certainly, there’s a lot of passion. My hope for the movie is that it’s an invitation for everybody to be part of the party and let go of the things that aren’t necessarily serving us as either women or men. I hope that in all of that passion, if they see it or engage with it, it can give them some of the relief that it gave other people.”

Pulse Pink is a limited edition colour - when the fabric is gone, we are not restocking. We have left some fabric out of production so you can still get a Bespoke form. We are gender inclusive, honour all forms, and 1% of proceeds support healthcare workers' mental health. You can find your form in our new fitting room on the site, and as always, reach out to me if you need any help or have questions at hello@myformation.ca.

I’d also love to hear what you thought of the movie and see photos of you in Pulse!

We Got This,

Dr. Kathryn Dundas M.D., C.C.F.P.

'tis the season for giving

'tis the season for giving

This holiday season, help give a healthcare worker the gift of formation scrubs! 🎁

We believe in the power of collective action, which is why we created the Pay It Forward program.  

The program allows individuals, businesses, or organizations to give the gift of the scrubs, without needing to purchase a pair. Through community donations, this program facilitates the purchase of a pair of scrubs for a health care worker through anonymous donations. 

Just like finding out at the drive-through window that the kind soul ahead of you has bought your meal, a health care worker will be surprised at the checkout on our website with a message that lets them know someone has already paid for their set of scrubs.

Our hope is that this kind gesture by community members and customers will bring a smile and moment of joy to our health care workers who have been working tirelessly on the frontlines. 

Recognizing your commitment to supporting formation’s community of health care workers, and all that they do to keep us safe and healthy, is important to us. Without the generous contribution from sponsors like you, our Pay It Forward program would not be possible.

Have a healthy and happy holiday!

We got this,

- the formation team