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Caribbean/Puerto Rico Med Schools

vahe99

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    What do you guys think about SGU, Ross, and the three schools in PR? I am wondering if I should apply to them, especially since I don't have a very competative application. That's besides the point though, I just wanted to get some subjective feedback on those schools. Thanks!

    :cool:
     

    DrMidlife

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      Apples and oranges.

      The 3 schools in Puerto Rico are in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. They are licensed by LCME just like all the other US allopathic schools. You apply to them using AMCAS. You take USMLE boards and get US residencies. Like Hawaii, but in Spanish.

      "Caribbean" schools like Ross and SGU are NOT in the USA. School-specific arrangements aside, you get a foreign MD at Ross et al.

      See the Caribbean forum for more details on both the apples and the oranges.
       

      Perrotfish

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        These schools aren't equivalent. PR schools like Ponce are on a level with other US allopathic schools, except geared towards students whose primary language is Spanish. Carribian Schools are significantly easier to get into than US-allo or DO schools, so there is a good chance you could get in. Carribian schools have very low residency match rates, though, so unless you're a genius you might want to plan on family practice.

        Still, even Caribbian schools are competitive. Just how bad is your application?
         
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        vahe99

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          These schools aren't equivalent. PR schools like Ponce are on a level with other US allopathic schools, except geared towards students whose primary language is Spanish. Carribian Schools are significantly easier to get into than US-allo or DO schools, so there is a good chance you could get in. Carribian schools have very low residency match rates, though, so unless you're a genius you might want to plan on family practice.

          Still, even Caribbian schools are competitive. Just how bad is your application?
          my undergrad GPA is really low (2.9), my MCAT isn't great either 25N (highest verbal with an 11). my experience section is strong with a lot of research, a lot of clinical work (EMT/Phleb Tech) and a lot of leadership stuff, but it's not enough to outweigh my grades. I have a 3.8 in my M.P.H. program as of right now and I know I can handle the science workload (got a 3.9 my last quarter as an undergrad in three of the hardest upper-div bio classes). I basically messed around for four years and didn't study for the MCAT so I'm paying for it now (I had no work ethic; it took me four years to pick it up). So the PR schools require a strong grasp of Spanish?
           

          TheRealMD

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            After being corrected in another thread, do not group Puerto Rico schools with Carribean schools. They are not the same, as others have also said. Besides the big fact that PR schools are accredited in the US, they cater to applicants who actually have ties to PR, so don't think that you can apply there because their stats aren't as high has other schools. Also, near-fluency in Spanish is necessary since you'll be dealing with mostly Spanish speaking patients.

            Carribean schools are not accredited in the US. I don't want to give incorrect information but it may be much harder to get a US residency because they aren't accredited in the US (but that's just my speculation). Hopefully others will chime in with specifics.
             

            bwells46

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              After being corrected in another thread, do not group Puerto Rico schools with Carribean schools. They are not the same, as others have also said. Besides the big fact that PR schools are accredited in the US, they cater to applicants who actually have ties to PR, so don't think that you can apply there because their stats aren't as high has other schools. Also, near-fluency in Spanish is necessary since you'll be dealing with mostly Spanish speaking patients.

              Carribean schools are not accredited in the US. I don't want to give incorrect information but it may be much harder to get a US residency because they aren't accredited in the US (but that's just my speculation). Hopefully others will chime in with specifics.

              It's harder to get a reisdency but not impossible. ~99% of eligible graduates from SGU get US residencies. SGU even had a few people match into ortho last very - very impressive for any IMG.

              OP, check out http://www.sgu.edu/ERD/ResidPost.nsf/BYPGY?OpenView&RestrictToCategory=PGY1&Count=-1 for SGU's 2007 match list.
               

              vahe99

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                bwells46

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                  What do you guys think about SGU, Ross, and the three schools in PR? I am wondering if I should apply to them, especially since I don't have a very competative application. That's besides the point though, I just wanted to get some subjective feedback on those schools. Thanks!

                  :cool:

                  FYI - the averages at SGU are 3.4 GPA and 26 MCAT. SGU is typically considered to be the best of the Carribean schools based on USMLE pass rates and residency placement.

                  The academic attrition rate is ~3% so, considering the larger class size at SGU, it's competitive with the US med school academic attrition rate of 1.4%.
                   

                  bwells46

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                    as of right now, i am interested in possibly doing a gen-surg residency when the time comes. any idea on my odds?

                    It depends on your USMLE scores and how well you present yourself at residency interviews. Until you are a few years into medical school, I don't think anyone could do more than guess at your chances.

                    That being the case, I'll say you have a great chance :)
                     

                    vahe99

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                      FYI - the averages at SGU are 3.4 GPA and 26 MCAT. SGU is typically considered to be the best of the Carribean schools based on USMLE pass rates and residency placement.

                      The academic attrition rate is ~3% so, considering the larger class size at SGU, it's competitive with the US med school academic attrition rate of 1.4%.
                      jeebus.
                       

                      sendwich

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                        you won't qualify for the PR schools unless you're super fluent in spanish and/or a resident of PR (i think?). you can either do one of the following

                        1) take post bac classes on your own at a local college-->raise gpa as much as you can

                        2) do SMP-->kick butt-->kick butt again on MCAT (if haven't already done so)

                        3) go to the islands (carribean schools).

                        1) and 2) will take some time. but if you're fresh of out college, i'd go with that. if you're older, on the other hand, or don't want to spend the time to raise your grades (just want to start medschool and get it over with), head on over to the carribeans. 1) and 2) might be good ways to prep for medschool...make sure you can handle the classes. say you go with 3), and find out you're not quite ready to take on these sorts of classes...you're pretty much screwed. if you want to go the safe route, do what i did. i did 1) for a year, then did 2) at BU, which has helped me tremendously in getting me into a medschool. it all depends on how well you know yourself.
                         

                        Perrotfish

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                          From what I've heard on other threads, PR schools require your Spanish to be strong enough that if you're not fluent now, you could get there in under a year. With your stats you do have a shot at the Carribbean schools: you're around their mean for the MCAT and only slightly below their mean GPA. A degree from one of the 'top 4' Carribian schools (Ross, AUC, Saba, and St. Georges) guarentees you the right to practice family medcine in at least 46 states. 4 states have their own licencing procedures, and they each only accept one or two of the top 4 schools (I beleive there's one Caribbean school that counts in all states, but I"m not sure which one).

                          You can, upon graduating from a Caribbean school, compete for a residency like everyone else, it's just that you'd better be very high in your class standings, and do very well on the standardized tests, if you expect to land one. Also the other piece of good news is that for Caribbean schools you can apply for spring and summer terms, so you could start medical school as early as January. Also around 10-15% of a Caribbean school class generally transfers into US-aool after their first year, so if you're really capable of changing your study habits that's always an option

                          You also have the option of doing an SMP to get your credentials/MCATs up. Drexel's MSP program is supposedly really good if your MCATs are hurting. You have about a week left to apply, though, so you'd better get moving.

                          If you want US-allo or US-DO you need to get your GPA over a 3.0 or do a one of a short list of SMPs, and bring your MCATs way up either way.
                           

                          bwells46

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                            From what I've heard on other threads, PR schools require your Spanish to be strong enough that if you're not fluent now, you could get there in under a year. With your stats you do have a shot at the Carribbean schools: you're around their mean for the MCAT and only slightly below their mean GPA. A degree from one of the 'top 4' Carribian schools (Ross, AUC, Saba, and St. Georges) guarentees you the right to practice family medcine in at least 46 states. 4 states have their own licencing procedures, and they each only accept one or two of the top 4 schools (I beleive there's one Caribbean school that counts in all states, but I"m not sure which one).

                            You can, upon graduating from a Caribbean school, compete for a residency like everyone else, it's just that you'd better be very high in your class standings, and do very well on the standardized tests, if you expect to land one. Also the other piece of good news is that for Caribbean schools you can apply for spring and summer terms, so you could start medical school as early as January. Also around 10-15% of a Caribbean school class generally transfers into US-aool after their first year, so if you're really capable of changing your study habits that's always an option

                            You also have the option of doing an SMP to get your credentials/MCATs up. Drexel's MSP program is supposedly really good if your MCATs are hurting. You have about a week left to apply, though, so you'd better get moving.

                            If you want US-allo or US-DO you need to get your GPA over a 3.0 or do a one of a short list of SMPs, and bring your MCATs way up either way.

                            SGU graduates can get licensed in all 50 states. I think Ross graduates can as well but I'm not sure about California.
                             
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                            vahe99

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                              im seriously such an idiot...i messed around for 4 years for absolutely no reason...hindisight is 20/20 haha. so it sounds like my MPH gpa isn't going to count for much, if anything?
                               

                              Perrotfish

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                                Yes your MPH will count, everything counts. Honestly it might be enough to get you into the Carribian or an SMP, if you want to try. If you applying to US-allo, be aware that they automati, cally screen out people with U-grad GPAs of less than 3.0, so take a semester of art history or something to get that up. A few other questions

                                1) Are you taking the MCAT again? Are you using a review course? Which?

                                2) Are you trying to start Medical school in Fall 2008?

                                3) When does your MPH program end? Do you have the time/money to do an SMP this year?

                                4) Are you really willing to go the Caribbean for this? How much do you care about a US vs. foreign degree? How much about MD vs. DO?
                                 

                                Law2Doc

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                                  im seriously such an idiot...i messed around for 4 years for absolutely no reason...hindisight is 20/20 haha. so it sounds like my MPH gpa isn't going to count for much, if anything?

                                  An MPH isn't going to bail out a low GPA and low MCAT. Your options are probably either to find one of the less scrupulous caribbean schools which will take anyone with a pulse and a credit card, or do some postbac grade rehabilitation and an MCAT retake. Since DO lets you replace retaken courses, this would be the fastest route for you to bring up the GPA, if osteopathy is of interest. For US allo we are probably talking about multiple years of postbac/SMP type work and then a good showing on the MCAT to have a good shot. But this is not a race and if it's something you want, it can be done.
                                   

                                  Perrotfish

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                                    Your options are probably either to find one of the less scrupulous caribbean schools which will take anyone with a pulse and a credit card

                                    This is unfair. The least competitive carribian school is Saba, and their averages are a 3.1 and a 26 MCAT. Lest we forget, those are both above the average for American Premedical students

                                    For US allo we are probably talking about multiple years of postbac/SMP type work and then a good showing on the MCAT to have a good shot.

                                    This is pessimistic. If he could get his application for Rosalind Franklin's program in by Friday, a program which he is competitive for, since they take most of the graduates from their SMP into their next years medical class he could be starting at a US-allo by fall 2008. I agree about the MCAT, though
                                     

                                    vahe99

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                                      Yes your MPH will count, everything counts. Honestly it might be enough to get you into the Carribian or an SMP, if you want to try. If you applying to US-allo, be aware that they automati, cally screen out people with U-grad GPAs of less than 3.0, so take a semester of art history or something to get that up. A few other questions

                                      1) Are you taking the MCAT again? Are you using a review course? Which?
                                      2) Are you trying to start Medical school in Fall 2008?
                                      3) When does your MPH program end? Do you have the time/money to do an SMP this year?
                                      4) Are you really willing to go the Caribbean for this? How much do you care about a US vs. foreign degree? How much about MD vs. DO?
                                      1. I will never take tha MCAT again. I am really bad at physics and I know my score won't improve.
                                      2. I want to start Med School Fall 08, yes.
                                      3. MPH ends May 08. I don't have the time to do anything but the MPH.
                                      4. I am willing to go to the Caribbean, but I want to make sure I will be getting into a good residency. Also, I will not even consider a DO (no offense to anyone).

                                      On a side note, for my MPH, I had to take an undergrad Biostat class at the grad school and got an A in that. Will that count towards my undergrad GPA even though I have it listed as my graduate studies?

                                      edit: ALL US med schools automatically screen out below a 3.0?! I guess those secondaries I got last year were a hoax. :(
                                       

                                      Perrotfish

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                                        1. I will never take tha MCAT again. I am really bad at physics and I know my score won't improve.
                                        Then you will never get in. If you expect to get into medical school you can't be this defeatist about the MCAT. Suck it up and find the money for a good review course. I recommend The Princeton Review. I think you still have time to start the course for the August MCAT. If you're willing to go the Carribbian then finish your MPH, do TPR from May-August, take the August MCAT, then apply to the Carribbean. You're score is about what I was getting on practice tests before I did the review course. I ended up almost ten points higher than I started.

                                        4. I am willing to go to the Caribbean, but I want to make sure I will be getting into a good residency. Also, I will not even consider a DO (no offense to anyone).

                                        This makes no sense to me. Are you aware that a Carribian degree is much less compeditive/respected than and American DO degree? You have a much better chance of an American residency as well, as well as the option of military scholarships if you're interested.

                                        ALL US med schools automatically screen out below a 3.0?! I guess those secondaries I got last year were a hoax.

                                        Not all, just alot. Also several schools send secondaries to absolutely everyone who've taken the required courses.
                                         

                                        vahe99

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                                          Then you will never get in. If you expect to get into medical school you can't be this defeatist about the MCAT. Suck it up and find the money for a good review course. I recommend The Princeton Review. I think you still have time to start the course for the August MCAT. If you're willing to go the Carribbian then finish your MPH, do TPR from May-August, take the August MCAT, then apply to the Carribbean. You're score is about what I was getting on practice tests before I did the review course. I ended up almost ten points higher than I started.

                                          This makes no sense to me. Are you aware that a Carribian degree is much less compeditive/respected than and American DO degree? You have a much better chance of an American residency as well, as well as the option of military scholarships if you're interested.

                                          Not all, just alot. Also several schools send secondaries to absolutely everyone who've taken the required courses.

                                          From what I've heard/read, DO's don't get into gen surg residencies (at least not at a high rate). Will TPR help me that much if I don't know the material?
                                           

                                          Perrotfish

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                                            From what I've heard/read, DO's don't get into gen surg residencies (at least not at a high rate). Will TPR help me that much if I don't know the material?

                                            DOs have a lower rate than allo grads, but Carribbean schools have an even lower rate than DOs. Read through the DO board if you get a chance. Yes TPR will help, I got a 12 on Bio even though I'd only taken the basic 2 bio courses 4 years earlier. There are also some big fans of Kaplan, though, so read up on both before dropping a lot of money on a 3 month course. Either way, plan on not doing much else if you take the course, you're looking at 40 hours a week of work.
                                             

                                            vahe99

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                                              DOs have a lower rate than allo grads, but Carribbean schools have an even lower rate than DOs. Read through the DO board if you get a chance. Yes TPR will help, I got a 12 on Bio even though I'd only taken the basic 2 bio courses 4 years earlier. There are also some big fans of Kaplan, though, so read up on both before dropping a lot of money on a 3 month course. Either way, plan on not doing much else if you take the course, you're looking at 40 hours a week of work.
                                              problem is, i'm working with NCI/CSI at USC this summer. also, i took the kaplan course before i took the mcat, but that was back when i had zero work ethic/time management.
                                               
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                                              LaCasta

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                                                Doesn't a good residency depend on your UMSLE score? So if you do really well on them from a caribbean school, then it shouldn't be difficult right? Or is that assuming you went to a U.S. school
                                                 

                                                smq123

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                                                  Doesn't a good residency depend on your UMSLE score? So if you do really well on them from a caribbean school, then it shouldn't be difficult right? Or is that assuming you went to a U.S. school

                                                  Generally only if you go to a US school. If you go to a Caribbean school, it's DEFINITELY an uphill battle, and you'd have to do really, really well on your USMLE 1 AND 2.

                                                  That being said, it's not impossible. One of the doctors at my school got his MD from a Caribbean school, but did his residency at Cornell, I think, and then did a fellowship at Harvard. He's in neuro. It's not something that I would bank on, but it's not absolutely impossible. (Note: This may change as med schools keep admitting more students each year.)

                                                  I have no clue. If I went to a car. school, I would do my best to transfer out though.

                                                  Transferring is going to be really, really tough. It's nearly impossible to transfer from one US allopathic school to another US allopathic school. Transferring from a Caribbean school is going to be very hard.

                                                  I don't understand your reluctance to take the MCAT again. How do you know that your physics score won't improve? Have you taken a practice test recently? You said that the last time you took the MCAT was when you weren't working that hard, too. How do you know things haven't changed?

                                                  And how old are those MCAT scores anyway? You might need to retake it regardless.
                                                   

                                                  Perrotfish

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                                                    problem is, i'm working with NCI/CSI at USC this summer. also, i took the kaplan course before i took the mcat, but that was back when i had zero work ethic/time management
                                                    Decide if this is worth it. Also decide fast, because you have like a week to sign up for even the latest TPR courses.
                                                     

                                                    vahe99

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                                                      Generally only if you go to a US school. If you go to a Caribbean school, it's DEFINITELY an uphill battle, and you'd have to do really, really well on your USMLE 1 AND 2.

                                                      That being said, it's not impossible. One of the doctors at my school got his MD from a Caribbean school, but did his residency at Cornell, I think, and then did a fellowship at Harvard. He's in neuro. It's not something that I would bank on, but it's not absolutely impossible. (Note: This may change as med schools keep admitting more students each year.)



                                                      Transferring is going to be really, really tough. It's nearly impossible to transfer from one US allopathic school to another US allopathic school. Transferring from a Caribbean school is going to be very hard.

                                                      I don't understand your reluctance to take the MCAT again. How do you know that your physics score won't improve? Have you taken a practice test recently? You said that the last time you took the MCAT was when you weren't working that hard, too. How do you know things haven't changed?

                                                      And how old are those MCAT scores anyway? You might need to retake it regardless.

                                                      Transferring is prob going to be VERY hard haha, I have no misconceptions about that. I think my MCATs will not be valid for next June's apps cycle (not 100% sure). So in that thinking, I'll just wait and take the MCAT next August since I have zero time for a prep course right now. :(
                                                       

                                                      vahe99

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                                                        This is pessimistic. If he could get his application for Rosalind Franklin's program in by Friday, a program which he is competitive for, since they take most of the graduates from their SMP into their next years medical class he could be starting at a US-allo by fall 2008. I agree about the MCAT, though

                                                        I can't find any info on the RF SMP program. Can someone hook me up with a link please?
                                                         

                                                        Perrotfish

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                                                          First here is RF
                                                          http://www.rosalindfranklin.edu/admissions/chp/bms.cfm

                                                          This is just one example of an SMP, though. For example with your MCATs you might be more interested in Drexel's MSP program, here:

                                                          http://www.drexelmed.edu/PostBaccPr...ePreparatoryMSPProgram/tabid/669/Default.aspx

                                                          At Drexel you're time for the entire year long program is split between reviewing the basic sciences and studying for the MCATs. Most students report huge improvements in their scores. Unfortunately, however, only the very best students in the program go dirrectly to medical school without going through Drexel's IMS program the year after the MSP. However if you're willing to go DO or Carribbean you could just take your new and improved scores and apply to those schools. They'd probably take you with good MCATs considering your MPH grades.

                                                          There's several more as well. Look on the Postbach programs threads to learn more. Almost all of them that haven't passed their deadline have a deadline of this Friday, however, so you're in for a busy weekend if you want to apply.
                                                           

                                                          LaCasta

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                                                            It's not something that I would bank on, but it's not absolutely impossible. (Note: This may change as med schools keep admitting more students each year.)

                                                            Thanks smq,

                                                            Do you mean it will change as become even more difficult to find a residency form a carib. school when med schools in the u.s. accept more students as there will be more competition for residency spots? Or will it be easier as more residency spots will be created

                                                            Either way I am excited about more u.s. med school slots opening up :D More chances for me in a year and a half :D
                                                             

                                                            vahe99

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                                                              First here is RF
                                                              http://www.rosalindfranklin.edu/admissions/chp/bms.cfm

                                                              This is just one example of an SMP, though. For example with your MCATs you might be more interested in Drexel's MSP program, here:

                                                              http://www.drexelmed.edu/PostBaccPr...ePreparatoryMSPProgram/tabid/669/Default.aspx

                                                              At Drexel you're time for the entire year long program is split between reviewing the basic sciences and studying for the MCATs. Most students report huge improvements in their scores. Unfortunately, however, only the very best students in the program go dirrectly to medical school without going through Drexel's IMS program the year after the MSP. However if you're willing to go DO or Carribbean you could just take your new and improved scores and apply to those schools. They'd probably take you with good MCATs considering your MPH grades.

                                                              There's several more as well. Look on the Postbach programs threads to learn more. Almost all of them that haven't passed their deadline have a deadline of this Friday, however, so you're in for a busy weekend if you want to apply.
                                                              thanks!
                                                               

                                                              smq123

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                                                                Thanks smq,

                                                                Do you mean it will change as become even more difficult to find a residency form a carib. school when med schools in the u.s. accept more students as there will be more competition for residency spots? Or will it be easier as more residency spots will be created

                                                                Either way I am excited about more u.s. med school slots opening up :D More chances for me in a year and a half :D

                                                                As the US med schools accept more students, it will be harder for Caribbean grads to find residency spots. I don't think that more residency spots are being created. (I could be wrong, but I don't think that that's happening.)

                                                                Good luck when you apply!
                                                                 

                                                                dogter

                                                                swing on the spiral
                                                                10+ Year Member
                                                                Jun 9, 2007
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                                                                  Yeah, you are right. Many people I know went there and got residencies but they just ended up doing family practice. I also hear that the quality of teaching was mediocre and some of the prof's had really bad english or accents that were tough to understand. You dont want to deal with that!
                                                                   
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