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some thoughts to share for our first progress note

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Strong.

What do you see? What do you feel?

Sit with it for a minute. Or two.

I was recently presented the image above during a website build-out meeting.

When I first saw the image I thought:

“Wow. Love that.”

But then immediately I was unsettled.

It didn’t feel right. 

Something was building in me.

“The world needs us to be strong.”

That was it. That day, I was tired.

Tired of being strong—being strong for people who didn’t seem to care. The patient I saw who had just returned from Mexico, but didn’t mention that on their COVID screening form because the airport screening said they were fine. Mexico. Because that was essential?

Meanwhile I can’t remember the last time I saw my 89 year old mother who lives only ten minutes away.

Here I am—here WE are—putting our lives on pause while some days it feels as though a lot of the world is having a party. One that I’m not invited to until someone contracts COVID and needs our help.

That was a bad day. Some days are like that and I find that I beat myself up because as a physician I’m supposed to be non-judgemental, care for everyone, no questions asked. But—and it’s a big but—it feels like a slap in the face when you go onto Facebook and see photos of “friends” breaking COVID public health recommendations. I am rarely on social media now except for my doctor groups, where thankfully I’ve found community and strength because as a community of health care workers, we get it.

A lifelong friend texted me in November: “You really think COVID is that bad?”

Yes, yes I do. Another friend bites the dust... This has also been a casualty of COVID—my friendship list is dwindling.

Fast forward to the first ever Canadian Women’s Physician Day hosted by the Canadian Women in Medicine organization.

An amazing virtual event with tributes to our women public health colleagues. We had lots of tears. But we came together as a community. Together, we are strong. And yes we need to be strong for each other.

The next day I felt renewed.

I looked at the above picture again and I said, “Yes.” Yes we do and yes we can, together.

So I now see this as my barometer. How am I feeling today? Was there an overriding feeling of entitlement from others today, or people showing support?

I have some amazing patients—one even had coffee delivered to all staff during the height of the early pandemic days. I’ve had people drop notes of cheering us on, thanking us. This is important as we know the negative reviews and critical patients seem to be the squeakiest. 

We are changing that with formation. For me, and I hope for you too, formation is a beacon of hope. We are building this community to help support each other because We Got This. 

Like a rock formation, we are stronger together.
 

- Kathryn
  Founder & CEO
  formation

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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 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