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Combined BS-MD programs- Help

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by rajayya, Nov 13, 2005.

  1. rajayya

    rajayya Member
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    I would like to gather information for my daughter who is interested in pursuing the combined BS/MD program. I have seen some good websites. But I would like to get some feedback for some specific questions.

    1) We live in Florida. What are the colleges that will consider out-of-state students?
    2) Which schools have less stringet standards?
    3) What are the key prerequisites beside SAT/ACT/AP classes? Like what are the things that they look for?


    Please share your thoughts and opinions. Looking forward to a great board here.


    Thanks much
     
  2. MrBurns10

    MrBurns10 Excellent, Smithers
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    I think her best bet would be the 6-7 year program at University of Miami. I know Creighton also has a program that accepts quite a few out-of-state applicants and probably isn't as hard to get into as the Brown or the Rice-Baylor program. So, I would check those out first. Best of luck to her :)
     
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  3. Trunion

    Trunion Junior Member
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    :confused: University of Miami has both a six and seven year program. University of Florida has a 7 year program. The 6 year program at UM requires a 1400 or 32 and the seven year a 1270 or 28. These requirements are accompanied by the usual high grades, etc. Both of these programs are very competitive and require a strong commitment to study medicine. The 6 year is for incoming freshmen and the seven year is by invitation only for sophomores. So far this seems easy right!...well, this is because there are lots of students who can qualify academically. Maintaining excellent grades, meaningful extracuricullars and commitment is what separates certain students from the crowd. Don't confuse inflated high school grades where only a small percentage of students are high caliber with performance in college...whether you are at Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Univ of Florida or Univ of Miami, a A+ in orgo II or Biochemistry goes only to a very special few. These are the candidates for these programs. Also, assuming the student makes the academic cut, they still need to demonstrate their commitment and I'm afraid to say that your daughter does not fair very well at this time since you (mom) are the one inquiring about these BS/MD programs. Are you sure she wants this?
     
  4. ClearDay

    ClearDay Senior Member
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    I have to second this.
     
  5. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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    Is there any reason why she doesn't want to stay in FL? Not only Miami, but also USF and UF have honors programs where students can get early acceptance to med school and earn a combined BS/MD. I think that she *would* need to have excellent grades and test scores to be eligible for any of these programs, though.

    If she wants to apply OOS for a BS/MD, she should probably look at the private schools. Most other states' public med schools do not take many OOS residents, and some won't even let OOS students apply to their BS/MD programs. Private schools usually do not care about your state of residency. However, the private schools draw students nationwide, so they will probably be MORE competitive, not less, than the FL schools, and they will also be much more expensive. I really don't think it makes sense for her to apply OOS unless there's some school that she has her heart set on attending for whatever reason, or she needs to be in a certain city b/c her family is there, etc. All of the FL schools heavily prefer FL residents, so they will be the easiest for her to get into.

    If her academic record isn't strong enough for her to get into a combined program, I suggest that she try for a Bright Futures scholarship and stay in FL for undergrad (or go anywhere else OOS where she can go cheaply/on scholarship). Med school is tremendously expensive, so if she can come out of undergrad with no debt, she'll be in a much better position than those students who take out a lot of loans to pay for college and then borrow tons more to pay for med school. Assuming she can earn a strong college GPA (3.5 or better) and a decent MCAT score (30 is a good number to shoot for), she should be competitive as a straight MD applicant for any of the FL state schools after she finishes college. During college, she should also get experience with the health care profession by doing activities such as shadowing (watching) physicians, volunteering in health care settings (hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, etc.), teaching or mentoring children, etc.

    Finally, if she's serious about doing the combined degree, you should get a copy of the MSAR (Medical School Admissions Requirements). This will tell you which schools offer combined BS/MD programs, and who is eligible to apply for them. You can also look at the websites of individual schools for more info.

    G'luck.
     
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  6. Nikki2002

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    Take if from someone who knows.....stay away from the 6 year programs. Most 6 year programs turn into 7 year programs anyways. Go for the 7 year programs where the undergrad is at a good, private school....and I would recommend a BA/MD program. But your daughter must be ready push herself and work very hard. If she would like to take things at a slower pace and have time to explore other interests then maybe spending 4 years in undergrad at a school she loves would be her best bet. She would probably end up happier and more well-rounded.

    edit: in regards to what they look for in admissions, I went into a 6 yr. bs/md that I guess was "less" selective. They looked for high ACTs, top of your class, piles of extracurriculars, and I had to do 6 interviews.
     
  7. DrBowtie

    DrBowtie Final Countdown
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    Health Care related volunteering like scutting around a hospital.
     
  8. badlydrawnvik

    badlydrawnvik Senior Member
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    I was in a 7-year program but just pulled out to pursue other med schools. When I was applying to them there was a book called "From High School to Med SChool" that had a lot of information. I don't know if the information is still up to date but here is a link:
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0738818615/104-7057289-2727905?v=glance
    In fact I think the authors did the same Lehigh/Drexel program that I was in.
    Good luck.
     
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  9. rajayya

    rajayya Member
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    My daughter is in the 8th grade. My wife is a pharmacist and my Dad is a surgeon. My daughter has a natural interest. We are not pushing her into anything. She paritcipated in the Duke TIP program. She took the ACT in 7th grade and score in the low 20s. No big deal. I would like to plan her future along with her. She need some directions.

    Meanhile, my wife did not attend the med school just for the MCAT alone. SHe hated the exam. That is the reason, we would rather see her pursue the med school with high SAT or ACT scores. I do not want her to suffer taking MCAT at a later date. Here are my observations about the differences of traditional MD vs. Combined BS/MD program:

    The combined BS/MD saves a year or two.
    There is a good chance that the the combined BS/MD porgram will bypass MCAT.
    The combined BS/MD is intense and meant for few.

    The reason, I asked about OOS was to expand the search and keep the options open.

    One other observation, I would like to share is, almost all foreign dentists are mandated to obtain a dgree from American Universities, however the foreign trained doctiors can come and take the board exams and start working. It does not make sense. Guess what, if you ever administer MCAT for any foreign doctor, no one will get more than 6 in verbal reasoning. They will flunk the exam. But the same guys pass the board exam after 2 or 3 attempts. Some pass in 1 attempt. In addition, most of the foreign doctors attend medical schools right after high school back home. They are still licensed doctors in USA. What does this tell? Create more 6-7 year programs everywhere. Get rid of dumb MCAT exam or make it more meaningful. It has no correlation on passing the USMLE exam. Also, create more opportunities for the natives, by opening more medical universities and relax some of the dumb standards. Apply same standards for all doctors, whether foreign or native. I like the foreign Dentist policy. I am just concerned about the differences here between one profession to other. Guess what is it all means, supply-demand. Let's create more supply locally. Let's loby for a change. 2 cents worth.
     
  10. rajayya

    rajayya Member
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  11. Flopotomist

    Flopotomist I love the Chicago USPS
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    please tell me I am not now competing with 8th graders.. good god!
     
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  12. airflare

    airflare Member
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    From what I hear, MCAT and SAT scores are strongly correlated.

    Also, the SAT has a verbal section and an essay section, so proficiency in English is required to do well.

    The MCAT may not be a perfect test, but it is supposedly a good predictor of performance in pre-clinical classes.

    Northwestern also has a 7-year program that accepts OOS students.
     
  13. airflare

    airflare Member
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    Geez, rajayya, join date Apr 2000? You've been browsing these forums since your daughter was in 3rd grade? Hardcore.
     
  14. allworknoplay

    allworknoplay New Member

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    I highly recommend taking a look at the Bacc/MD program at the University of Southern California (which I am in currently). It's an 8 year program with a required 3.3 gpa maintenance and 27 on the MCATs. It includes more guidance than any other BA/BS/MD program I know of, with help getting research and clinical rotations (I shadowed a plastic surgeon, others have shadowed neurosurgeons and more). And, you have the option of applying out while still keeping your spot.

    I chose this over the Northwestern HPME program, a 7 year program. Two reasons--USC offers merit scholarships, if your daughter is a national merit semifinalist she can get an automatic 1/2 tuition scholarship. She can also apply for one of the 100 full tuition scholarships given out each year. Plus, I think it's better to do a full 4 years of college, because honestly, there's so much you cannot do once you leave. Your daughter sounds like a bright, motivated girl, but there's more to college than sitting in pre-med classes. And with the safety net of Keck medical school she can still apply anywhere she wants, because she's had that 4 years of college.

    If she's good enough to get into a combined program (they are very competitive) she should be able to handle the MCATs. I've heard that the boards make the MCATs look like a walk in the park. If her peers have had experience with difficult entrance exams and she hasn't, it'll hurt her confidence the first time she takes a board.

    Finally--the purpose of the MCAT is to show that you have the mettle to go to medical school, in terms of intelligence and critical-thinking. The verbal portion is not to see whether you can speak english, but to see if you can handle abstract thinking and reasoning. Foreign doctors have already made it through medical school and their verbal scores are poor simply because they don't know English, but their ability to think critically has already been established through years of training.

    Out of curiosity--how many foreign doctors has the MCAT been administered to?
     
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  15. WholeLottaGame7

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    I would suggest that before your daughter does an BS/MD program, she make absolutely sure that that is what she wants to do. Plenty of volunteering, doctor shadowing, etc etc.

    Also, people frequently change their minds in college. I've had countless ex-premed classmates fall by the wayside because of orgo, or cell bio, or biochem. I'm sure that as a parent you want to minimize the opportunities for failure or distraction, but trust me, if your daughter wants it enough, she will make it happen.

    Plus, I know that the MCAT is intimidating and no one wants to take it, but if you're afraid of being scared off from medical school by the MCAT, then maybe that's a sign? Even if you skip the MCAT, there's always Step 1 and Step 2 waiting. You can't run forever...
     
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  16. rajayya

    rajayya Member
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    If a foreign doctor can come to USA w/o taking MCAT still pass the board exam and able to get a residency and still be a great doctor, what does this translate to? Like I said before MCAT is not the ideal way to judge a student. In India for example, no one takes MCAT type exams. They go to high school with some vision to become a doctor in 10th grade. Then they take the subject exam in Physics, Chemistry, Biology and depending on the scores they get admitted to med programs directly. Does this make them a less of a doctor? Not at all. I was just trying to point out that we could find alternate solution to admission process and make it less tedious. The discrepancy is in the admission standards of various countries. But when they arrive in USA, everything assimilates!!! Amazing!!!
     
  17. WholeLottaGame7

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    Trust me, no one likes jumping through hoops, but the medical school admissions process (in this country, anyway) is all about jumping through hoops, and that's not going to change. So when in Rome...
     
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  18. DrBowtie

    DrBowtie Final Countdown
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    Tedious? By the time your daughter will be applying the MCAT will be like 2 hours long.
     
  19. doublepeak

    doublepeak Senior Member
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    University of Miami requires that the people in both the 6 year and 7 year programs take the MCAT and score above average (I forget the number). I would assume most schools are the same.
     
  20. medgator

    medgator Senior Member
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    Rajayya,

    I would definitely do a search of this forum as a previous thread was started on this topic not too long ago. I was accepted to the Junior Honors program at UF and the Medical Scholars program at UM and would be happy to answer any particular questions you may have about those programs. Just to let you know, Miami has disbanded their 6 year program and now requires all students to complete it in a minimum of 7 years (IMO for the better).

    I would agree with the above posters re: what these programs are looking for. The people generally accepted for these programs have a strong commitment to medicine and are heavily scrutinized during the interview process regarding their reasons for pursing medical education. To get to the interviews, one needs a stellar high school record (for programs straight out of high school) or an equivalent performance the first two years of college (for programs that accept students after partially completing college).

    This is a lot different from many other countries (India included) where an objective exam becomes the final decision-maker on whether someone is able to matriculate into an MD school. I personally find the multi-faceted admissions process in the US to be a strength.
     
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  21. Chinorean

    Chinorean Senior Member
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    Funny quote I heard once, supposed to be a true story:

    Student: Why is o-chem so hard?
    Professor: Because it saves lives.
    Student: How does it do that?
    Professor: It keeps stupid people like you out of med school.

    0_o I would have loved to have been there when he said that. On a side note, I really sucked at o-chem.
     
  22. r1oid

    r1oid Junior Member
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    Just my 2 cents

    College is an amazing time for growth and learning, the the stress of being a pre-med and that with maintaining the grades to stay in a combined Bs-MD program should be weighed. When I was in high school I looked into such programs and spoke to people in them and a consensus seemed to be that they were constantly stressed out under the hammer of the heavy schedule and need to keep minimum gpas with their loads.

    I think that such programs are almost dirty tricks in that if you are smart enough and dedicated enough to stay in such a program you will get into a med school (perhaps even a "better" one) even if you weren't in such a program. The dangers remain the same in both paths in that if you have some issues and do poorly in some classes you hurt your chances outside or put yourself on the edge of being booted from the program. In the end the school gets a qualified student reguardless of the pains they had to go through.

    True enough that the MCAT is hell, but the boards are definatly a different world of pain. If you can't handle preping and doing the MCAT then step 1 will be a very very bad way to get an experience at an all day standardized test. Also if you even want to consider going to different school (for whatever reason, rank/location/personal) you have to take the test anyways.

    And in the end I think as quality of life goes taking 4 years will give your the daughter the opportunity to explore her developing interests, and if medicine is her true desire she will get there.
     
  23. Freakedout

    Freakedout Senior Member
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    I hope you do realize that in INDIA, the board exams they take to place into an engineering seat or medicine seat is just as bad as the MCAT if not worse, on top of that the competition is much worse... you have 150,000 people fight for a small number of seats. over here you might have 50,000 students fighting for 16,000 seats.

    Also I would like to say, that your daughter is still in 8th grade for gods sakes, and probably just started 8th grade a few months ago. If she is really as smart as you say she is then let her develop as a person and let her figure it out on her own... instead of you spoon feeding her... jeez when I was in 8th grade my biggest concern was finishing hw so I could play nitendo... :laugh: .
     
  24. Pretty POHA

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    These follow along my thoughts, too. I think it's great that as a parent, you're supporting and encouraging her to succeed-- but how can an 8th grader really KNOW what they want to do with the rest of their life? I get a whooooole lotta red flags going off about this child perhaps being pushed into a very difficult career goal. Pre-med is a lot of work, as is medical school, and I'm guessing that a person has to be extremely dedicated to accomplish this. If this isn't 100% her choice, then you're setting her up for failure. So please, for her sake, gather information, but don't make this decision for her. She's still got a lot of life to live--i.e. puberty, her first kiss, her friendships she'll make in high school, her first job, her first car, graduating from high school, and more! Let her be a kid while she has the chance!!!
    (I know there are a lot of assumptions I've made-- I just saw the red flags and had to respond!)
    Anyway, good luck to her in her growing up, and I'm sure you're very proud of your super-intelligent daughter. And rightfully so!
     
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  25. odrade1

    odrade1 UASOM alum
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    OP,

    My school doesn't have a 6 or 7 year program (at least not officially). My partner completed undergrad in ~3 years and went straight into dental school. Your daughter sounds quite intelligent, and may likely be able to get some of her undergrad cousework completed prior to matriculating at an undergraduate program. If she is as smart as you indicate, she should be able to wrap up her undergrad stuff quickly.
    Another option available at my school is something called Early Medical school acceptance program. A certain number of high schoolers are recruited to enter the program each year. Participants are conditionally accepted to medical school when they join the program (as entering freshmen). Participants enter the university, are groomed by faculty, participate in special seminars & research programs, then go through a review to make sure that they met the requirments that were agreed to when they applied. If the requirements are met, then their conditional admission becomes official, and they enter the next class at the medical school. It used to be that participants didn't have to take the MCAT, though I think they do make them take the MCAT now, though it is less stressful for the participants since they are only trying to get a certain minimum score (as opposed to getting the highest score possible so that they can be competitive applicants).
    If your daughter is very bright & motivated, she may even be able to matriculate in an undergrad program a year early. Doing that & finishing undergrad quickly should put her on track for completing her MD at a young age. We have a few matriculants at UASOM each year that are in the age range of 19-20.

    Some things to consider:
    1) Actually going through a regular undergrad program will give your daughter more options for her future (in terms of getting into prestigious schools), and it doesn't necessarily take more time to become an MD, if she agressively finishes her requirements.
    2) My partner may have gotten through with his degree a little faster, but he was pretty miserable & burned-out and felt that he had made a mistake by not taking more time as an undergrad.
    3) Part of being a good physician is being able to understand (to varying degrees of success) the point of view of your patient. This ability is developed by life experience, and by having quality interactions with many kinds of people. We need fewer physicians with bad social/psychological skills, not more. How sad that you are planning a course of action for her life that will quite likely reduce her ability to develop in these ways. Your daughter's future patients will benefit from her emotional and psychological maturity and sensitivity. If she is like most people (even most smart people), this will require time (and freedom from studying/resume building every spare minute).
    4) As others have already said to you: Avoiding standardized tests, or stressful test taking environments is NOT a good way to get ready for medical education in the US. Test taking skills are a significant part of success in higher education. So what if the test is unfair or doesn't reflect someone's abilities. THE USMLE and the MCAT and the GRE all still exist, and some sort of standardized, high-stakes testing will likely always exist; we each have to encounter these tests & succeed on them to meet our goals.
    5) My (current) job involves hiring smart students to help professors teach their students. Usually we work with pre-meds (a consequence of the courses & professors that we support). A major problem we have been seeing develop in the last few years is students who are unequipped to make decisions on their own. I get phone calls from parents, calling on behalf of their student children (who are 18-20); these parents do everything for their children, including thinking for them, and deciding which classes the child will take. I recently met with a panel of sophomores & juniors who will be applying to medical school in next two years. Half of them couldn't decide their way out of a paper bag, and relied too heavily on others to guide them to the "right" decisions for them. I do not think that those students will succeed as applicants, and if they get in, they will struggle trying to learn how to be autonomous. Doctors must be competent (and confident) in their decsion making abilities: their decisions affect themselves, their teams, and their patients & the patients families. Academic guidance for young students is important, and should be a part of the role of a parent (and the pre-health advisors at her school). It is admirable that you care so much for your daugher and are so thoughtful about her future. Good parents are surprisingly rare in this world. However, many parents are too involved, and this often ends up producing an impotent adult student. Your level of involvement in her academic life is probably appropriate at this stage (she is in 8th grade, after all). As your daughter continues to mature, please don't turn her into a puppet of your own desires & decisions. Hopefully, soon it will be she who is making posts to pre-professional forums, and not her benefactors. When I meet adult students that show signs of such parental control (or when their parent calls me), a red flag pops up in my mind, and I have to doubt whether that student is where he/she needs to be as a young adult. This trait (confidence in self-determination) is not a problem for all careers, though it is critical to the proper success and functioning of a healthcare professional.

    Good luck to you and your family. You should be tremendously proud to have such a talented daughter. It sounds like she will have the support that she needs to succeed in whatever she puts her mind to.

    Cheers,
    odrade1
     
  26. badlydrawnvik

    badlydrawnvik Senior Member
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    I completely agree, the MCAT really wasn't THAT bad. I mean if you're premed odds are you have the stuff to cut it and you will work hard enough to do your best. Also, I agree with the fact that kids who enter accelerated programs (and I speak from my own experience having been in one and having friends in them) are usually pretty smart and would do better for themselves in the long run if they just applied in college regularly. It is also not hard to complete college in three years anyway if you still want to accelerate your studies. While I left the program, I am still graduating in three years without a problem because of a huge amount of AP credit. One good thing about the seven year program however, was the backup, in case you really did not hack it on the MCATs. I think most schools do actually have MCAT requirements for matriculating into the med school after college, so your daughter will likely have to take the MCAT anyway. Also, studying for the MCAT almost gives you a taste for what work may be like in med school (or so I think), so it was a somewhat valuable experience. I feel like I have earned med school more by applying out of college with the rest of the applicant pool instead of going straight out of high school as well.
     
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  27. LOL :laugh:
     


  28. From what I understand, the MCAT is designed to foremost test your ability to think critically during a time pressured situation, and of course your knowledge. But if you can't prove that you have what it takes to do well on an exam, how could you make it in a really pressured situation in med school.. residency..etc?

    BS/MD may save a year or two, but wouldn't those years be well spent developing interpersonal skills/finding life experiences that are crucial in becoming a better physician down the line?

    You say that some foreign doctors attend med school right after high school back home, but a good number of foreign doctors still have a difficult time passing the USMLE. I really do think it is a long and arduous path for a reason. Rather than making a decision with your daughter, or giving her "direction" as you say, why don't you link her to this board so she can talk to some real premeds who've done the combined programs herself?

    I wish her the best of luck and hope she doesn't forget to enjoy her childhood while still pursuing her goals. :)

    PS. Check out the MSAR - it has a whole section devouted to combined/special med prgms.
     
  29. 45408

    45408 aw buddy
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    UWisc doesn't require the MCAT in their "honors scholars" program.
     
  30. medgator

    medgator Senior Member
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    Neither does Florida
     
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  31. allworknoplay

    allworknoplay New Member

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    It's an in-state program.
     
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