Ask the Program Coordinator!

Discussion in 'ERAS, SOAP, and NRMP Match' started by Frederica, Nov 12, 2014.

  1. PDTY

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    One back door would be to call or email the medical student coordinators for the hospital, not the program. Email is usually the best way to start
     
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  3. kgup5196

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    Thank you for that quick reply. That's a good idea. I'm trying not to bother PCs as "tis the season" and they are terribly busy. At the same time, I genuinely want to learn how to be better at my job and make the most of being close to so many centres.
     
  4. aProgDirector

    aProgDirector Pastafarians Unite!
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    I am getting the sense from your post that you have already graduated from med school. If so, you'll find it very difficult to get clinical experience. If you're not a medical student, the med student coordinator is not going to be able to help you. PD/PC's are also unlikely to be able to help -- you won't be able to be credentialed. Often, the best you can do is find a community doc who is willing to have you shadow. Getting an EMT license is another option (and then working as an EMT).
     
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  5. rokshana

    rokshana Member
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    no...that shows poor judgement on your part...would make me ask where else would you show poor judgement? or have you fixed that?

    if you don't have a way to show that the mistake you made that led you to fail a step, has been recitfied and won't happen again, then don't mention it...but you may want to work on a way to spin this if asked about this.
     
  6. Obee187

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    Hi everyone,
    This year USCIS suspended premium fee facility. If we match in a H1b sponsored programme, Would it be wise to opt J1 instead of H1?
     
  7. Random-IMG

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    I think I'll take J1 instead yeah :(
     
  8. Obee187

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    Can't programme expedite our petition?
     
  9. Random-IMG

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    This I don't know.

    Many hospitals are considered non-profit so I'll ask the coordinator in the program if I match to H1 program to ask their lawyer if it's possible to expedite the process for doctors since we start in July not October like most other H1b workers.

    Otherwise I don't think I'll risk applying to H1b and delaying the start of residency or the program cancelling me for delayed visa.

    J1s are usually issued in a week.

    J1 in a week vs H1b at least 2 months.

    I think the decision is easy for me.

    I can't handle more anxiety post match.

    I need to relax and have some fun before residency.
     
  10. Obee187

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    True that and thank you..
     
  11. Bancrofti

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    I still had an interview in early February, as did a few of the people I know going in to the same field.
     
  12. byaaaaaaah23

    byaaaaaaah23 SDN Gold Donor
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    So did I, just seems like there is no reason for that at all. Would be very easy for the NRMP to make programs move up their timelines.
     
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  13. studyaholic

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    Dear experienced members,

    Is there any correlation in turning in your ROL on the last day versus turning it in the first day it was available? I'm stressing out since I turned in my ROL on Feb 22.
    Perhaps I'm over analyzing the NRMP match algorithm. My apologies if this was already asked, as I cannot find it any of the forums.

    I wish everyone good luck on the match, and the coordinators/directors good luck for your incoming class :)
     
  14. byaaaaaaah23

    byaaaaaaah23 SDN Gold Donor
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    Correlation with what? Not matching? There's no difference, it will go down all the certified rank lists the same way regardless of when they were submitted.
     
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  15. gutonc

    gutonc No Meat, No Treat
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    You're not really overanalyzing it as much as completely not understanding the process.

    The algorithm gets run "once" after the ROL deadline. Not before.

    So as long as you got your ROL certified by the deadline, the algorithm considers you.
     
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  17. studyaholic

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    Thank you so much for the clarification. Basically, it's like our applications...they were all time stamped the same time regardless of what span you submitted your application prior to MyERAS Sep application submission start date.

    I think the saying is right...an empty mind is a devil's playground...I'm just making worse case scenarios in my mind. By the way, thank goodness this is anonymous! I sound ridiculous right now.
     
  18. mvenus929

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    What we're saying is that it doesn't matter... you are either certified or not when the deadline happens. You can't submit after the deadline, so it's pretty different from the applications.
     
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  19. VCorp

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    What're the requirements for a J1 Visa? How can you choose to be either J1 or H1B?
     
  20. Martasvilla

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    Question regarding my Background check for State Board Licensure.

    I got a ticket 12 years ago. I'm not sure of the specific charge. However, I remember going to court, and getting a "Deferred adjudication." Before Submitting my ERAS application I called the county clerk and asked to see my record. Neither the County clerk, nor the Sherrif's office had any records of my ticket and reassured me that I have "nothing on my record." So, I left it off my ERAS.

    Do I need to include this ticket on my State Medical Board License application?
    @gutonc @aProgDirector @mcl
     
  21. ThoracicGuy

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    No.
     
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  22. killerleaf

    killerleaf beware, beyond there be dragons

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    Yes. If there is a trace, it will be found. Then you get into trouble for not disclosing.
     
  23. nidusiamnot

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    Here are my stats:
    • US-IMG who graduated in 2016
    • Step 1 242 taken 2nd yr
    • Step 2 CK 229 taken 4th yr
    • Step 2 CS pass on 2nd attempt taken after graduation
    • 3 US LORs
    • 3 months USCE
    My attempt on the CS has torpedoed my application. I'm currently studying for the Step 3 and working in IM research. I plan to apply to the upcoming match for the first time with IM as my sole focus. IM has been my passion from the very beginning. Students who have similar stats and years out of school are matching primarily to Family Medicine.

    My questions are:
    1. Am I correct to assume that there is no point in explaining why I failed CS in my PS? It was a fluke from my perspective but the damage is done.
    2. On the basis of my stats, can I expect any interviews from IM if I apply widely?
    3. Is it a bad idea to apply only to IM and not consider FM?
    4. Is there anything I can do between now and September to strengthen my application?
    Thank you for reading.

    @aProgDirector, @gutonc, @rokshana, @ThoracicGuy, @mcl
     
    #1121 nidusiamnot, Apr 29, 2017
    Last edited: May 15, 2017
  24. TheMikesLife

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    Hi! Thanks for doing this.

    Just out of curiosity, if I am an IMG, I went for a surgery clinical elective rotation in the USA (UC system) and I was struggling at first but worked very hard. I believe I earned the respect of the attending and the program director, I want to apply for residency next year, they know about this and got 4 letters of recommendations including letter from the program director herself.

    However, I want rank their Internal medicine program highly, and not the surgery program. IF the program director from the surgery elective "push" for me internally what are my chances of getting an interview/matched to their internal med program? does it significantly higher my chances? The staff, director gave some clues/hints that made me feel they will push for me internally.
     
  25. cacmsc

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    Hi,

    I matched into a good program to start in July despite having a low Step 1 score and fewer extracurricular achievements due to medical problems (which have since resolved).

    However, my fiance is unable to move near me for the forseeable future. I plan to complete PGY-1 and then move. I hope to go to a PGY-2 program in my specialty if I can find a spot, or transfer to a PGY-2 Psych spot.

    A few questions:
    1. Is it a bad idea to enter the match again? I'm willing to do PGY-1 over again if it gets me to the right geographic area.
    2. At what point should I tell my PD I am looking to go elsewhere? I want to make a good impression but I also want them to be able to fill my spot.
    3. When are contracts for PGY-2 usually signed?
    4. When should I start contacting the programs I'm applying to?
    5. Does my fiance working at a medical institution make a program any more likely to take me?


    Thanks!
     
  26. ThoracicGuy

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    What specialty are you matched in? As for your questions, you have to consider how competitive you are as an applicant. You talk as if you weren't highly competitive. I would worry that you would have a hard time making a switch to another program, particularly if you are limited by geography. How long is your training planned to be? What is keeping your fiance from being able to move?

    You are putting your career at risk for a move, though I understand why you would want to move closer. It may come down to having the fiance leave their job to be with you or sucking it up and spending 3+ years in a long distance relationship.
     
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  27. badorthopun

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    I am looking for some advice. I have searched but I cant seem to find any answers.

    I am an unmatched US MD student (applied to ortho) who is trying to decide if I should extend graduation for next year. I plan on doing research and getting my MPH this year. I have the option to extend graduation but my school has a rule that does not allow me to apply for the same specialty if I extend graduation.

    My question is, do program directors filter out students who have previously graduated? I know I wont be able to do aways but I need to know if its going to be a waste of time to reapply as a graduate.

    Please help
     
  28. bearded frog

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    How could they possibly stop you from applying to the same specialty again?
     
  29. badorthopun

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    Thats what they say. They say its hard to tell the LCME why they delayed a students graduation without significantly changing his "educational value." Their reasoning would be that I would be getting experience in another specialty. I haven't asked what the consequences are if I go against them and apply anyway but this committee is known to be petty. I'd be afraid of being expelled. Yes that doesn't make sense to expel someone who's gone through the curriculum but I could see them doing it.
     
  30. aProgDirector

    aProgDirector Pastafarians Unite!
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    The answer is "maybe".

    In general, when you search on SDN about this question (graduating vs delaying graduation), the hive mind will tell you that you should delay graduation and apply as a senior, usually because the match numbers are better for seniors compared with prior grads. But that's missing the point -- the match numbers for seniors is better because it includes all of the people who are both competitive and less competitive for their specialties. Once you don't match the first year, it's clear that you fall in the less-competitive group, and hence you chances of matching are going to be lower whether you graduate or not.

    That said, extending graduation does give you several potential advantages. Primarily, you can still do clinical rotations and get additional experience and letters. Since applications are due in September, you really don't get that much extra time, although many med students have minimal rotations after April but if you can get rotations in April / May / June as a 4th year, it's not clear how much value a rotation in July or August will do you. But should you end up in SOAP again, it's possible that clinical experience over the year might help you land a spot.

    The second advantage is your school's advising office. Once you graduate, they may or may not help you any longer. Whether they actually help in the first place is an open question.

    The third advantage is the "clinical gap skill drop off" issue. Programs may worry that if you graduate in June and then do no clinical work for a year (working only on your MPH), that you're going to be really rusty to start and that may drop you on their lists.

    The fourth possible advantage is filters / screening. Some programs, especially those that are very competitive, may simply screen out anyone whom has graduated in a previous year. They get so many applications, they assume anyone who already graduated failed to match, hence they are less competitive, hence they just pass. But other programs will certainly look, esp because there are many reasons that someone might take a gap year that would build their application further.

    The real question is: how are you going to address whatever issue prevented you from matching this year? An MPH might help, but might not, depending upon what the rest of your application looks like. Don't forget that when you apply in Sept, you'll have just started with your MPH, hence you;ll likely have little to show. Just being enrolled in an MPH program might not impress people -- you might need to wait until the year after, once you've gotten something done. But if you make yourself too "ortho-focused" (assuming from username), you might find getting into other fields challenging. Apply to my IM program saying "I've changed my mind and want Cards / GI / etc" without any rotations, or a letter from your ortho mentor saying that (because they will only write that if you are truly giving up on ortho) and your app goes directly into my trash -- I have no interest being someone's backup.
     
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  31. cacmsc

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    Thanks for responding, ThoracicGuy.

    I matched to a strong university Pediatrics program, probably one of the better ones in the southeast.

    Coming from a top 10 medical school, I was repeatedly dismissed when I expressed my concerns to advisors. They told me that I would easily get my top match, and so I was falsely reassured. I have a 208 step 1 and 230 step 2, will finish step 3 by September and am studying a lot so I'll hopefully do okay. Just published a first author paper last month, tons of clinical experience, and (I think) decent LORs.

    He is in year 2 of 4 of residency, and my institution does not have the fellowship he wants to pursue afterwards. Since he plans to work full time and I am not sure if I want to work after we have kids, his career is much more important to us. I'm at the point where I don't want to spend another 3 years apart, so if I can't transfer I'll probably quit after a year regardless. Then I'll practice somewhere undersireable with a general medical license, or go into medical consulting or science writing.
     
  32. AdmiralChz

    AdmiralChz ASA Member

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    I'm just going to address this here, because your story is a little complex:

    These metrics are not great. That's barely a passing score on Step 1 and below-average on Step 2. I also banked on the reputation of my school when I first applied for a subspecialty, and I similarly got pretty bad advice when it came to my changes in the field. To be honest, though, my numbers were a lot stronger than yours and I SOAP'ed into Anesthesiology where I am quite happy now (and this was a very, VERY lucky SOAP). The biggest complaint with my medical school is the lack of support/advice I got through the process.

    Yes you went to a great school, but your scores are very low and are difficult to look past. Publishing is helpful, of course, but then you throw in the kicker with the couples match in a certain location and it makes it tough. I'm not sure going through the match again will help, honestly at this point you are better just securing a spot and completing a residency... even if it's some distance from your fiancee.

    Sorry if this is a little confusing, there are like 3 postings since your original so I got a little mixed up.
     
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  33. ThoracicGuy

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    You state that you'll practice somewhere undesirable, but what if your then husband gets a job where they aren't looking for someone who didn't complete residency? Nevermind that I really worry about the care that those patients that are seen by an incompletely trained physician. You just don't know what you don't know and your patients will bear the results of that. As for medical consulting, more and more jobs are looking for only board eligible or certified physicians even in nonclinical roles. Your numbers aren't good overall for many top programs and being able to transfer could be difficult.

    You're in a tough situation. Being actually married can improve your chances of a transfer, though. We all know about the people that are engaged for years, but never end up being married. It shows a commitment and can be a realistic reason for a transfer. In the end you have to consider if the 3 years is worth it to you or not. Only you can answer that question. If you quit, your chances of ever going back to residency is very low, so keep that in mind.
     
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  34. cacmsc

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    I appreciate your advice. I worry, too, about the quality of care I could provide without fully training. An earlier wedding date is definitely something we're considering... Lots to consider in the next few months, so thanks everyone for your insights
     
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  35. freerson

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    I want to know what program directors look for to offer interviews? Is there any red flag that strike out the applicant? Thank You.
     
  36. gutonc

    gutonc No Meat, No Treat
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    If you could be more vague in your question, we might be able to answer.
     
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  37. DrfluffyMD

    DrfluffyMD Banned
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    Also, which top 10 school? If you go to Harvard or Columbia your chance in consulting/business is better than say, wash U or UCSF.
     
  38. JKWINNER

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    Do applicants who went to top tier med schools have an edge over applicants from unranked med schools when it comes down to top IM residency programs? I am hoping to match back into Cali and attend a top academic IM program such as UCLA. But I'm not sure whether attending an unranked med school would hurt me in the application process. Thank you!
     
  39. fasteddie911

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    All else being equal, a top tier med school will typically get the edge over a lower tier med school, but nothing is ever equal. I would just focus on crushing USMLE's, honoring all rotations and getting AOA and do some extra-curriculars. When it comes time to apply, do so broadly and see where you end up. There are certainly just as good or even better programs outside the west coast that someone from an average med school could have a better shot at. However, at a place like UCLA, someone from an average med with a strong app can certainly have a good chance.
     
  40. nidusiamnot

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    bump :)
     
  41. mcl

    mcl

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    Make it long enough for the reader to get a sense of who you are and compelling enough to engender a desire to meet you. There is no perfect length.
     
  42. aProgDirector

    aProgDirector Pastafarians Unite!
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    I have never read a personal statement where, after reaching the end, I've thought "boy, I wish this was longer"
     
  43. AdmiralChz

    AdmiralChz ASA Member

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    Eh, I'll take a crack. Again not a program coordinator but was a recruitment chief last year.

    1&2) To be completely honest, MSPEs tend to be very, very generic and you are very right in that they typically edit out the negative and focus on the positive. We look through them very briefly (you'd be surprised at how long they are, usually > 10 pages including all the graphs and what not - that's hard to review with > 1000 applicants), but honestly the rest of the application (scores, letters, grades) are more important and individualized. If they've changed it, good.
    3) Thankfully true P/F is very rare (for now). We haven't run into it much at my program, but many have P/F for years 1,2 and 4. We typically gloss over years 1 and 2 anyways, 3 is where the meat is. But, hypothetically, if it was all really P/F (and no high pass or high honors) then USMLEs and letters take higher importance.
    4) We've changed a lot over the past couple of years, we have a new PD who brought some new ideas in. We have much more resident and new/young faculty participation now. The best thing they've done, in my opinion, is "blind" those interviewing (both residents and faculty) to scores and statistics of applicants - the only thing we see are basic information about the individual, their personal statement and LORs. It really helps us concentrate on the applicant rather than numbers.
    5) We interview over 200 people for our residency over many different interview days so we don't all sit down and do the final ranking. For our program, we sit down at the end of each day and assign scores to each applicant and give our feedback. Sometimes there is lots of agreement and sometimes total opposite impressions. *Caveat: NEVER tell an interviewer you are applying to X program as a backup in case you don't match in Y specialty or Z city, an applicant told me that (and no one else) once which landed them off the rank list*
    - In our programs the PD with the assistant PDs sit down and make the rank list, which takes about 3-4 hours.
    6) I'm not a PD, but applicants need to remember that PDs have full clinical obligations to deal with. Many are division chiefs, vice-chairs or hold other leadership roles within the department that require attention. All (by definition) are active clinicians and do not have all day and night to sit and brood over applications. Oh, don't forget that most have family and home lives as well.
    - So basically, they might get a half day a week off from clinical responsibilities to interact with applicants and say hello, maybe reduced schedule during peak interview season (but possibly not!).

    Hope this helps.
     
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  44. nidusiamnot

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    Is it still possible to match IM in 2018 with an attempt on CS(as an IMG)? What are some factors that can improve my chances?
     
  45. gutonc

    gutonc No Meat, No Treat
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    1. Yes.
    2. Not being a psychopath. (Nothing else in your app is likely change-able at this point.)
     
  46. nidusiamnot

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    Thank you.
     
  47. rokshana

    rokshana Member
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    yes there is...one page...no longer...no one will read a PS longer than 1 page.
     
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  48. stop2stop

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    Hey all,

    I know this has been addressed before briefly, but any updated recommendations on how to fill out the ERAS experiences section? Is prose, bullets, or a mixture preferred? I've been told that the ERAS system can be difficult if trying to use bullets, but I'm worried about writing too much for each experience otherwise. Thanks for any help!
     
  49. mcl

    mcl

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    I pulled 10 random ERAS pdf files from last year to see what applicants did: Most went with prose descriptions under "experience" and running lists separated by commas in sections like "hobbies and interests." A few separated items with double hard returns. A few used bullets (which appear as dashes on the ERAS application pdf). Of course, it's impossible for me to know whether they used a bullet or a dash when they wrote it originally.

    Honestly, I think the fact that I couldn't remember shows how little the format actually matters.
     
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  50. Nutella-addict

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    Thanks for this tread
     
    #1148 Nutella-addict, Aug 28, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2017
  51. rrxr

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    Where do people put awards they've won during medical school but not from the medical school? Does that go in "medical school awards" or "other awards"? I wasn't sure if "medical school awards" meant "during medical school", or "from the medical school".
     
    okokok likes this.
  52. mcl

    mcl

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    Honestly, either place is fine. We'll figure it out.
     
    rrxr likes this.

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