150 future doctors “made Big Talk,” for Harvard Medical School’s 2020 new student orientation. Last year, students participated in the Big Talk activity in person. However this year, programming was virtual. Students were first played the “Big Talk Before I die…” video. They were then split into breakout groups of 7-8 individuals, where they discussed the following Big Talk questions:
- What would you try if you could not fail?
- If you could travel back in time to a specific moment, when would it be and why?
- What is your proudest moment?
- How do you recharge?
- What is something you are not doing enough of?
- If you had 24 hours to live, what would you do?
- What have you started but never finished, why?
- What can you do today that you couldn’t do a year ago?
- What is something you have been curious about lately?
One student commented, “Big Talk helped a LOT to break down potential barriers and make us all feel a lot more comfortable. The breakout group strategy was helpful in that it gave each of us a lot of choice about what we wanted to share with the group and how vulnerable we wanted to be, which worked out beautifully as people really started to open up over the course of the discussion, providing a great foundation for subsequent reflective sessions in our first week.”