Any RN's that are now MD's?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by trauma_junky, Mar 15, 2004.

  1. trauma_junky

    trauma_junky 12 step pre-med rehab
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    I was just wanting to know. I am going to reapply this year and thought doing the paramedic to RN bridge would not only be a good career move but good for med school applications as well. Would like to hear it from some of you former RN's out there.
     
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  2. oudoc08

    oudoc08 Please pass the gas...
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    Just depends. Do you want to be a nurse or a doctor?
    From an EMS standpoint and from someone who started a paramedic to RN bridge for the sole reason that you're speaking of, I can tell you it absolutely stinks. Why? The autonomy you love is shot to pieces. You become a 3rd semester peon, one of "those ambulance guys". You will have to sit there during introductions and listen to 20 LPN's rave about how they've wanted to be nurses all their lives. Then when it gets to you, be ready for the blank stares and chirping crickets when you say, "umm. , I'm _______, and I'm getting my RN as a stepping stone to go to med school".
    I spent apx. 3-4 weeks in my first (3rd semester) semester of the nursing bridge, aced every test, and could have easily ridden it out. What changed my mind was my first clinical. It was in the OR, and the surgeon asked me if I had always wanted to be a nurse. I said no, actually that I wanted to go to med school and that this was what I had seen to be the fastest and easiest route (i.e. RN bridge, then BSN, then MD/DO), and that I didn't particularly care for nursing as I hadn't realized the seemingly subtle but actually noxiously overwhelming differences between nursing and medicine. He began speaking about the possible unspoken difficulties that I might encounter from an adcom as a RN trying to attend med school. Basically, that some old school doctors might not give highest preference to a nurse vs. someone w/ a more traditional background.
    Given this opinion, and the fact that I absolutely abhorred nursing school at that time, I went to my local 4 year university and got information for biology/chemistry degrees. I found out that I could complete that degree in the same amount of time as it would have taken to complete the BSN program. In addition, I would be taking courses more related to a science field (i.e. better prep for med school), as opposed to nursing classes. I went back to my nursing school that same day and dropped the program like a bad habit.
    I look back and thank God that I made that decision. 3 yrs. later, I now have a B.S. in organismic biology, and will be starting medical school this fall.
    BTW, no offense to nurses out there, but to each their own. Very few EMS people will well tolerate nursing school unless you plan to be a flight nurse for the rest of your life. If you are just looking for a logical next step to your medical school endeavor, do yourself a favor and do something else.
    If you've been working as a paramedic for awhile, you have PLENTY of clinical experience. Nursing isn't going to help contribute to the picture in any worthwhile way. Same goes for nurses who might want to go to paramedic school. Each field fufills its purpose of impressing upon the adcoms that you have medical experience, and cross-bridging isn't going to accomplish anything further.

    My $.02
     
  3. medic8m

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    My advice would be: only do nursing first if you wouldn't be able to get in any other way - or you dont mind nursing.

    Dispite what AdComs tell you, nursing does help. BUT, you can't tell them you "used it as a bridge to medicine". You have to explain in great detail why you want to change professions. I had zero research experience and decent grades and MCAT. However, some of the experiences I had in 4 years of nursing made for a great personal statement and more ECs than would fit on the page.

    You definately can use it to your advantage if you are careful. I didn't want to be a doctor during undergrad so that was my excuse.
     
  4. efex101

    efex101 attending
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    I do not get this assumption that the best route to go is from nursing to med school?
     
  5. paramed2premed

    paramed2premed Senior Member
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    You will go NUTS trying to outthink the adcomms about "what looks best." Forget it.

    My school is full of paramedics. The ad-comm thinks quite highly of them, evidently. We also have RNs, and we also have people who are practically just out of high school. Many people only have the required classes, and others have done research.

    Good luck.
     
  6. BiggMann79

    BiggMann79 Senior Member
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    Despite what they say Ad coms are way more concerned about GPA and MCAT scores than they are previous medical experience. Now having medical experience always helps but don't do it at the expense of taking hardcore science classes that will help you on what probably matters the most, the MCAT.

    I don't mean this as a knock on nursing classes, because their needs are different than someone hoping to get a PhD or MD, but they are NOT as intensive as the science classes for the people majoring in that area. The nursing school classes (or prerequisites) probably won't cover the medical school prerequisites anyway, so you will not be saving yourself any time. I don't know how it is as most places, but at my undergrad nursing majors only had to take 1 semester of general chemistry and didn't take any organic chemistry. Instead they had a one semester course entitled Introduction to Organic and Biochemistry, which I heard was a joke.

    I really do not understand this "work your way up in health care" mentality that I see from time to time. If you want to be a doctor, go to medical school. If you want to be a nurse, go to nursing school. They are different and both very important, but not a stepping stone from one to the other.
     
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  7. oudoc08

    oudoc08 Please pass the gas...
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    Actually, GPA and MCAT are important, but the fact is there are TONS of qualified applicants if you just go off of GPA and MCAT.

    What adcoms are primarily concerned about is graduating you from their med school. It's all about the numbers. Thus, factors that have been statistically shown to correlate with med school performance are heavily weighed. The MCAT has been shown in many studies to correlate with performance on the Step 1 exam, and GPA has been shown to correlate with ability to handle a med school load.

    However, as I pointed out before, there are far too many academically qualified applicants per number of seats available.

    Hence, extracurriculars, LOR's, and yes, medical experience.

    Why medical experience? No one expects you to be a doctor before you go to medical school. What is important is that it is virtually guaranteed that if you still want to go into medicine after having had direct patient contact, that you won't get into third year, and decide you can't handle blood, vomit, sick people, etc. So in essence, medical experience is also a predictor of future performance at a clinical level. In addition, it shows dedication to the field of medicine, a strong work ethic, and relative maturity.

    The only person who would honestly believe that all medical school adcoms care about are numbers, sounds to me like someone who has no experience, and thinks his/her academic numbers alone should qualify them over someone that has extensive non-academic performance in addition.

    Get your head out of the sand. This kind of thinking is what causes people to have to reapply after getting a brutal wakeup call. Rejection letters are hard to swallow when you have a 4.0 and a 37 on the MCAT, and believe me there are plenty that make those numbers that get stacks of them, while the 3.8 and 32 MCAT with research, medical experience and quality LOR's gets in just about anywhere they want to go.
     
  8. BiggMann79

    BiggMann79 Senior Member
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    Wait a second, you are assuming way too much about me there. First of all I worked full time as a nurses aide on a medical-surgical unit on the night shift for 14 months before starting medical school. That job had more than it's share of vomit, blood, urine, and feces, cleaning up dead bodies, etc. It was a great experience and I'm not discounting getting medical experience at all. Now that I'm in medical school (not just accepted) and have had a chance to talk to classmates I'm suprised by the limited amount of medical experience that many of them have had. Some have had none at all, and many were just limited to shadowing a doctor for a while. These are not people that have 4.0's and 37's on the MCAT either. If you honestly think OU is going to be filled with people that got 32's also you are in for a real shock, my school has very similar MCAT stats to OU (I'm your neighbor to the East to be exact) and you might be shocked with some of the scores your classmates have. Now this is just my school and our stats are not Ivy League caliber but it's the people with 23's that get in with lots of experience, and those with 31's that get in with very little.

    Yet another example of MCAT scores being totally skewed from reality by SDN, and all the anal rententive types who love to post their scores and give the impression that somehow a 35 is the National average just because it seems to be the SDN average.
     
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  9. oudoc08

    oudoc08 Please pass the gas...
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    Sorry, I'm not trying to be a prick, I'm just trying to say that GPA and MCAT scores are fine, however they are not distinguishing of the individual. I.E. two people who scored a 30 on the MCAT are completely different individuals. One may be an anal retentive grade ***** who thinks he got screwed on the MCAT and generally hates people but thinks he might be able to slide a hot paying job in some residency where he can deal w/ people on an extremely limited basis. The other may be a goofy moron who can't hardly even spell his own name, but just happened to color in the bubbles in the right order and can't believe his luck for getting such a score. My point is, a test score is important for academic assessment, a very important factor in admissions. However, the fact that LOR's, EC's, experience, etc. etc. etc. are necessary to screen the applicant indicates an interest in more than purely academic achievement. In addition, a well-rounded application helps ensure that a great GPA wasn't due to an easy course load, or a MCAT score wasn't due to a test fluke (Good or bad). Sure there are people of different backgrounds in each med school class. All deserve to be there or they wouldn't be, but some worked harder than others. Those are usually the people who were interviewed and admitted early on. They are the "cream of the crop", the ones who have an extremely well-rounded application, great GPA and MCAT scores, and are often the ones who have their pick of where they want to go. In contrast stand those who apply late, regardless of their academic scores, have less than stellar EC's, LOR's or little experience, etc. Those people are usually the ones getting the letter (if they're lucky) very late in the game. What I'm trying to point out is that if you really want to be in medical school, you should do what it takes to get in early as to minimize your chances of not getting in. It takes much more than GPA and MCAT alone to clinch that. I highly doubt that the people in my class or yours who seem the "less than ideal candidate" were confident in their ability to be accepted without question. More than likely, the majority of them were sweating bullets around this time, and it is my goal to advise people of the best way to keep from being in that situation. Again, no offense. Sorry.
     
  10. BiggMann79

    BiggMann79 Senior Member
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    I'm really agreeing with you and I'm sorry that it sounded like I'm not. I shouldn't have put that people with 23's had lots of experience and those with the 32's had less. I would fall into the latter category and probably had more experience in the hospital than most.

    My experience with medical school admissions is really quite limited so I shouldn't talk for every school. I applied to quite a few schools but only interviewed at my State school (I decided that is where I wanted to go, so I stopped sending in secondaries), and got in there. Here at the University of Arkansas medical school are average MCAT scores are not comparable to Harvard, so actually having a high MCAT score DOES set you apart from the rest of the applicants because there are not a lot of 36+ scores (or 30+ scores) coming from Arkansas residents, and those with the 36's usually end up going to other schools anyway. Whereas at someplace like Harvard the 36's are quite common and they DON'T set you apart.

    I'm one of those applicants that was betting on their extracurriculars and personal experience to help me get accepted more than my numbers (even though my MCAT was several points above my State schools average). So I'm definately not the type of guy who is hooked on numbers.

    All I was really trying to say was try to become a complete applicant, but don't hurt your chances of getting a good MCAT score (via being a nursing major vs. biochemistry for example) for the sake of having an activity on your record (nursing) that the admissions committee may not even look on in a positive light.
     
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  11. oudoc08

    oudoc08 Please pass the gas...
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    Ok, well we went from being unclear on earlier posts, to almost sounding completely in sync. I am actually very similar to you in terms of stats and situation, with the exception of having around 7 yrs of prior field experience as a paramedic, and hoping that I can encourage others to become the best applicant they can in order to make it all happen.
    Good luck to you in your endeavors.
     
  12. trauma_junky

    trauma_junky 12 step pre-med rehab
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    I have my BS in Biomedical Science from Texas A&M and my masters in Biology from UT San Antonio. I'm just looking for a way to earn more dough and stay "dedicated" to medicine. I thought RN would do it. But I understand the whole fear of loss of autonomy. "Hmm, i need to RSI this patient, Wait! I'm a nurse, I can't do that!" Lets drag him to the street so I can tube him and then bring him back in the door. That would kill me. I think I'll just focus on MCAT.

    Thanks for all the feedback! :D
     
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  13. medic8m

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    If you are ACLS certified, in California anyway, you can run a code without an MD present. If you work at a teaching institution you wont get this opportunity because there is ALWAYS a doc present. I worked at a private hospital for 3 years. I have defibrillated patients, give Emerg. meds, etc. without an MD. Although qualified to intubate, it is a little more difficult because usually a RT or MD arrives by that point. There are obvious limits to the autonomy of a nurse - Im going to medical school for this reason. But if you like to be involved in healthcare it isn't bad. If you play your cards right you can pull in close to six figures too. Critical care nursing and ER would be the obvious choices for excitement.

    Again, not recommended to use to get into medical school. There are much more direct routes.
     
  14. thackl

    thackl 1K Member
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    It IS about the numbers. I was an engineer with no med expirience and all anyone seemed to care about was my GPA and MCAT. I start this fall.
     
  15. trauma_junky

    trauma_junky 12 step pre-med rehab
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    Congrats Thackl, but I think it such BS that I could of focused solely on Grades and done much better and had a stupid community health degree with a much higher GPA, gone to some looser school like SFA, and pulled a 4.0 and I would be in med school righ now (I think, you never know) instead I challenged my self. I regularly school the FP residents at the local hospital when we bring in patients. And all I am is a paramedic with a masters that can't get a sigle G0D Damn school to look at me seriously. WTF! My numbers arn't that bad either, not great. I have a 3.91 grad school gpa, which I did at the advice of an ADCOM to prove I could suceed in a graduate environment due to my poor undergrad performance.

    I have no hair left from pulling it all out these days!
     
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  16. efex101

    efex101 attending
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    If you have not been getting any love from medical schools, you need to get or better yet let someone else take an objective look at your whole application and see if there are any holes that may explain your lack of success..
     
  17. 12R34Y

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    trauma junkie,

    This is not meant to disrespect you, but making statements like "i school FP residents all the time" is not going to fly in medschool.

    Paramedics seem to have this "para-God" thing going before medschool. They seem to think that since they can manage "critical" situations like code-blues, trauma packaging, etc...that they are pseudo-docs.

    I used to think so......I was a medic for 7 years prior to getting into medschool. trust me. you will realize just how ******ed you are after you start REALLY learning medicine.

    I used to give epi for anaphylaxis and blah blah blah, but I had no idea how it prevents mast cell degranulation by increasing cAMP blah blah.........

    Those FP residents you "school" would school you in virtually EVERYTHING other than code blues and extrication and maybe AMI's.

    Would you know what antibiotic to give to someone with an abscess or sinus infection. what drugs have good penetration into the CNS or synovial fluid etc......What about ventilator management and peak, trough levels on antibiotics or pregnancy or HTN managment long term or the best statin for someone's cholesterol or (you get my point).

    paramedics are technicians (great at what they do), but nonethless they are protocol-driven, cook-book medicine. We learn how to give anti-arrhythmics to certain rhythms, but don't know the pharmacodynamics, kinetcis, Vd of the drug etc......

    Most of the EM docs job is NOT running code blues and tubing people (something medics are good at). it is about prescribing the right drug (medics know nothing of this), managing patients AFTER the code is over and you have a pulse.........acid-base status, central lines, sepsis protocols etc.....

    Bottom line you can't even pretend to know more than any resident. you know a few things about pre-hospital medicine REALLY REALLY Well.

    Having said all of that i wouldn't trade my EMS experience for anything and I think it is a great assett. I'm sure it will pay off for you.

    Just stay humble. You will feel very stupid many times during medical school when you realize you knew very little about what you thought you were a master of.

    good luck!
     
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  18. trauma_junky

    trauma_junky 12 step pre-med rehab
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    12434Y, No offense, but I have basically had all the basic sciences of medschool thourgh my masters program, it is what it was designed for. Kind of like the SMP at Georgetown. I do uinderstand A LOT of things, and I will be the first to step up and admitt when I don't. This is why I am perplexed. Of course our FP program is pretty sad, so I guess it's not saying much. So eventhough I can answer most of your qestions (mostly because I'm a total geek and read stuff like harrisons for fun) I understand how arrogant that sounded and it was not my intention. The service I work for is way out on the fringe when it comes to EMS and we are not protocol driven, but given tons of lattitued to work with in some boundries set by our medical director. I mean, we carry retavase and integrellin, just for an example, we also have a whole arsenal of drugs for paralytic induction or sedation or blah blah blah, and I understand the complete mechanism of each and every one, even of a glucosteriod binding to it's intracelluar regulatory element, interacting with the RNA promoter, transcribing early gene products of c-jun and c-raf, and they continue to their regulatory elements, blah blah blah mast cell and vascular stablilization, Na+ ecretion, deviations to its respective neuroendocrine axis, pyramidal cell deceleration in the hippocampus, blah blah blah. But I can understand that I should not be saying crap like that in here.

    efex101, I have. I've had the deans of admissions look at my application and I've done what they want. When I go back to them, their response is, someone on the commission must not of thought the same way I did. I'm waitlisted currently.

    I hoping to have better luck next year since I've completed my masters, published, and a who's who amoung graduate students (which I never knew existed untill recently, hopefully it will help.)
     
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  19. 12R34Y

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    glad you didn't take offense traumajunky!

    you can understand where i am coming from as MOST paramedics (obviously you aren't the typical breed) tend to think they know more than they do and it takes going to medical school to realize how much you never knew.

    I had no idea how glucocorticoids worked etc...when I was a medic. I was good, but not that good.

    I'm guessing if you polled medics in this country at a typical service and asked them ANYTHING about any mechanism of drug they would mostly be clueless (as I once was).

    keep up the good work and i'm sure you get into school!

    later
     
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  20. oudoc08

    oudoc08 Please pass the gas...
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    Hello,
    Let me try to bring the last two posters towards the middle.
    I too am a paramedic x 7yrs for a cutting edge service. We offer thrombolytic therapy, RSI, etc, and are given fairly wide latitude for deviation outside of protocol based on individual knowledge.
    ParaGOD's are usually newbies, as a doctorGOD's.


    However, the BASIC requirement of the paramedic is no more than paramedic school teaches, which most assuredly does not offer anywhere close to the theoretical physiologic basis behind advanced therapies.

    As was said, paramedics are technicians. Doctors are not.

    Paramedics who have had advanced education, whether through a biology degree as I have had where I took classes such as biochem, cell bio, genetics, etc., or through a masters degree program such as the previous poster, are more likely to use theory when treating patients and making treatment decisions.

    However, paramedics who have taken the minimal education required to attain licensure are not required to be highly educated in theory, thus emphasizing the need for medical direction / protocols, etc.

    I would be the first to admit, that although I could teach some FP guys a few "tricks", they could teach me a vast amount more.

    The term "technician" is used to describe someone who looks at the information available, analyze it, and then perform a prescribed treatment given the extent of their training.

    A doctor is trained to PRESCRIBE the treatment based upon their much more advanced knowledge and much wider breadth of clinical exposure, obviously a much more intellectually demanding task.

    In short, for both doctors and paramedics, the wisdom of the individual and respect for others education is usually inversely proportional to the length of time in practice following their education.

    Humbleness and humility is a function of experience.
     
  21. BiggMann79

    BiggMann79 Senior Member
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    trauma_junky,

    Since you've posted more of your story on this thread I think your real question comes to the surface. That question being "why can't I get admitted to medical school?"

    First of all it sounds like you have more than enough medical experience, and looking to get a nursing degree would just totally be the wrong move. It sounds like your grades in the graduate school program were excellent and it sounds like you know your basic sciences better than a LOT of medical students. So the problem probably lies elsewhere.

    The number one thing is the MCAT score. If this is your weak area (and I'm not saying it is) then I would do whatever it took to bring it up. It sometimes raises a red flag if someone has an excellent GPA but not so good of a MCAT score. It's not just a function of the difficulty of your institution. Some people are just great at taking tests when they know EXACTLY the material being covered (memorize and regurgitate) but then do poorly if they have to integrate material from a large pool of knowledge. It also raises red flags about the applicants ability to pass the USMLE. My medical school is known for it's slightly less than average MCAT scores and every year there are those with great medical school GPA's that don't pass the Step 1.

    The admissions committee might just be having a hard time looking past your undergraduate GPA, and I know you will probably be offended by this (which is not my intention) but the committee might not take your degree as seriously as some others. I sympathize because I'm sure the fact that I had an Exercise Science degree didn't help me in the admissions process. It's tough because there is nothing you can do about the past, but it might be a reason.

    Did you get many interviews? It is always possible that you came across with an attitude that didn't really reflect who you are. It happened on this thread and certainly could have happened in the interview.

    Finally I would look over your personal statement and see if there are some changes that you should make.

    Good luck and I hope that you get off the waitlist (there is still plenty of time). I'm sure you will do fine in medical school also. Just don't assume you already know the material. I have some paramedics in my class that are really struggling and I think it's for this reason.
     
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  22. 12R34Y

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    thanks for bringing me back to middle? oudoc08............

    your vast wisdom as a paramedic and pre-M1 is overwhelming me.

    what would trauma junky and myself have done without your intervention?

    seriously.........i think everything was okay with how it was left, but I appreciate your viewpoint..................and understand you still have an abundance to learn. (as do we all).

    later
     
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  23. trauma_junky

    trauma_junky 12 step pre-med rehab
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    I appreciate the feedback guys. Let me reitterate, I do not claim to know as much as an MD, and my internet personality, due to the animosity the internet offers, is much different than my pesona in person. My interview skills could use some work, but the MCAT is where I really need to focus. I really appreciate all the feedbcak because getting info out of adcoms in TX is like getting cleared by the CIA. Everyone gets a generic broad brush painted letter when you inquire about where your app needs improvement.

    You guys have been great and I've got more postive feed back than ever in the pre-allo fourm. :thumbup:

    Gig'em
     
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  24. thackl

    thackl 1K Member
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    Pull a 4.0 at some crappy school and have a 30+ MCAT and you're in. I don't know much about S.F.Austin, but there were lots of candidates at my Tech interview from little schools I had never heard of.
     
  25. uclacrewdude

    uclacrewdude the uclacrewdude abides
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    oudoc08, can you make your signature bigger please? i cant read it.
     
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