don’t let the turkeys get you down

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A Note from Dr. Kathryn Dundas

I don’t remember where this saying originated from, other than that I had a notepad when I was in elementary school that my mom gave me (or maybe I took it off her desk 🤷🏼‍♀️🤔) that had this cartoon by Sandra Boynton on it: 

Even at 10 years old I took this to heart - and apparently, I needed to, otherwise why would I have snagged it off mom’s desk? 🤷🏼‍♀️

Which brings me to this. We are all currently surrounded by A LOT of turkeys. Some we didn’t realize were turkeys until COVID hit. That goes for us as healthcare workers, but includes everyone and anyone who interacts with others - humans can be turkeys.

So, what do I do to not let these turkeys get me down? Well, you might laugh - my tricks are not for everyone, but I actually found fun in finding my “tricks”.

Waking up early. During COVID I started waking up 30 minutes earlier, even though I was working longer and harder hours, to READ in solitude. And by read, I mean anything not related to work. I’ve found my love of books again, and look forward to having a moment of peace and quiet with my coffee. And no, I am not a morning person, so it was difficult to start. But once I got going, I was hooked.

My most recent trick is, wait for it…..

The rebounder. I take 5 minutes of my day to jump on the rebounder I keep under the stairs, and look like a complete goof ball doing it (and yes, in my scrubs!). I do scissor kicks, twists, jumping jacks, and sometimes the cat tries to join me! All in all, it’s 5 minutes of movement and hilarity, I always end up laughing at some point.

Working on brain games before bed. During COVID, learning about the neurotrophic effects of the virus, plus turning 50 and knowing the increased risk of females for Alzheimer’s, I decided that this was something I needed to do before bed. Some people will gasp that I take my phone to bed, and gasp that I have blue light going - however, I look at it as benefit vs harm. This helps me get my brain “off-line”. It enables my mind to hop off the hamster wheel (created by the turkeys of the day!) and get into the zone. I personally love the app PEAK, and will do the daily workout. It takes about 10 minutes, and sometimes if I need a little extra, I’ll play a solitaire game for speed (yes on my phone). I find that I fall asleep right away, as I’ve derailed any Turkey Effect, and that is worth it for me.

Art. I have an art practice that is my form of meditation. It allows me to reconnect with myself and slow down, my version of self-care and expression. It’s also a great way for me to process my days - it works like a meditation for me. If you aren’t artistic, maybe just have fun and see what you can do? So many things are offered virtually now for instruction. 

Walking. This is a big one for me now. Something low intensity. I’ve given up doing boxing or HITT workouts. Maybe one day I’ll return to it, but right now, my body needs gentleness. It doesn’t need me cranking it up - I’m already cranked. Low-intensity movement helps me to relieve stress from the day, connect with nature, and is made even better when it’s a “walk and talk” with a non-Turkey. I encourage you to take some time for something low intensity and add in a little walking, yoga, or meditation if for you hard intense exercise helps keep you sane!

For those of us in healthcare I focus on these things while working:

At the clinic: Showing appreciation and gratitude in any way I can. Sharing little things like bringing in coffee, sharing funny videos or GIFS (like the above Rebounder) to lighten the mood, or bringing a bit of hilarity into an environment that is so the opposite. Perhaps a video of me on my rebounder would be even better…

With patients: After difficult patients, it can be nice to have a team huddle to keep everyone on track and confirm that we do have value. We stand and we support each other, as those turkeys can be heavy after a while. We try to ensure we have each other's back and do a regroup when needed, a call out of either “What can I do to help you?” or “Hey, we have to turn our energy around” as it starts to get contagious. If we are able to help each other and pull each other up vs push each other down, that is something. Even more so, noticing when one of us is being pushed down and reaching to pull them up. If we don’t have the energy to as we’ve been doing it for far too long, that’s ok too - but voice it. Speak up so someone will hear you, and you may be surprised who will reach out and help pull you up. 

Remember, not everyone is a turkey.

We Got This,

Dr. Kathryn Dundas + The Formation Team

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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

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