Postcards to Doctors will work a lot like Postcards to Voters. The Postcards to Voters campaign leveraged handwritten postcards to individuals in order to encourage them to vote. #MEAction’s Postcards to Doctors will use the same model in order to solicit clinicians in your state to take the Unrest medical education course (CME) for US healthcare providers and attend in-person medical education events.
Studies show that handwritten notes and letters have a far greater impact than emails or printed documents. In medicine, this personalization is more important than ever, showing that we are more than just a set of symptoms — and standing out from the dozens of emails clinicians receive about CME every year. Like the Postcards to Voters program and other letter-writing campaigns, this grassroots effort makes personal the patient-doctor relationship in order to cut through gatekeeping and miscommunication. Let’s pitch in to help resolve the clinical crisis in ME!
Start by filling out this form so we know how many postcards and doctors’ addresses to send to you or your charity group. Postcards are in packets of five and have been beautifully designed by artists with ME. Here are the postcards designed for this initiative by and for people with ME:
Alternately, you can also download a template for a postcard that you design yourself by clicking here!
When you fill out your Google Form to request your postcards, you will also receive the addresses of doctors’ offices in your home state. Clinicians receiving messages from their friends and neighbors are more likely to be responsive, so being local matters! We have also put in work to ensure that we are reaching out to underserved communities by including zip codes from rural, diverse, and veteran populations.
Since the current CME is only available in the U.S., we are only providing addresses for doctors in the U.S. at this time.
Encourage your friends and family to get involved! Consider hosting a Postcards to Doctors writing party (see Working America’s how-to) or save an extra postcard for a friend or relative to fill in.
Please note that we have updated the required language of the postcard! Our experience is that many clinicians in the US do not recognize ME on its own and are more likely to recognize and respond to the name “chronic fatigue syndrome”. If you are uncomfortable using that name, feel free to continue replicating the language using “myalgic encephalomyelitis” on its own. Education is the goal of the Postcards project, and if clinicians don’t recognize the disease as something their own patients experience, we have failed out of the gate. Thank you for considering this!
Language for the postcards should be replicated exactly, and should read as follows:
Dear Dr. ____,
Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/cfs) is a common, debilitating disease you need to know about! Most doctors are still not getting the diagnosis right. Our CME has practical advice you can use to diagnose and treat people like me! Check out the Unrest CME at unrest.film/cme.
Language for allies:
Dear Dr. ____,
Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/cfs) is a common, debilitating disease you need to know about! Most doctors are still not getting the diagnosis right. Our CME has practical advice you can use to diagnose and treat people like my (friend/daughter/etc)! Check out the Unrest CME at unrest.film/cme.
If there is a local event coming up, such as a showing of Unrest or an ME conference, this is the place to mention it to your local docs! Remember to include the location, date, and time if you do. You may also choose to include something personal. Additions likely to elicit engagement are positive and proactive:
You can really help people like me!
You can be part of the solution that brings better care to people with ME right where you live.
You can increase the number of ME-literate clinicians today!
Always keep the final goal in sight: to show clinicians that it is easy and useful to complete CME for ME.
You can take it at your own pace and send your postcards when you’re ready! We hope to see a groundswell of interest in Unrest CME and in ME as a result.
Please note that some doctors do relocate! It is always an option to double-check that the doctor you are contacting has not moved to a new space. This can be done simply by typing his or her name into Google search.
Do a social media post where you show the world your postcards, and inspire others to do the same! Use the hashtag #PostcardsToDoctors, and add #pwME or #MillionsMissing.
The suggested donation for a pack of five postcards is $1, $5, or $10 per pack. However, we want to ensure Postcards to Doctors is as accessible an initiative as possible! You can receive postcards without making a donation, but donations will help keep the initiative going strong!
Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for answers!