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Harvard or Hopkins?

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I'm a bit of a newbie, but you guys seem to have some interesting opinions (most of the time anyway):D

I've narrowed down my list of acceptances to Harvard and Hopkins. I liked both schools, though after interviewing I was drawn more to Hopkins curriculum.

So please, let me know what you think! What would you choose and why?

I'm currently interested in going into academic medicine, leaning towards oncology. Translational research, something like that (I'm MD only, not MD/PhD).

Anyway, I'd love to hear people's opinions.

Thanks!:D
 

Anka

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Which Harvard program (HST, New Pathways, or both)? I'm actually considering some similar options. So, to add another question to the threat -- how hands on does everyone feel Penn vs. Harvard vs. Hopkins is?

Anka
 

bongsen

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Harvard gives you much more opportunities, if you want the connections. It's strong in everything, so if you ever develop an interest in public health (great school of public health), business (great business school), law (enough said), or just classes here and there to supplement your "MD+" degree, Harvard is the place to be. Plus, the city is so much nicer!
 
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New Pathways....forgot to mention that.


I got admitted to Hopkins really early on and always thought I'd end up there (cancelled a ton of interviews). But, the Harvard acceptance kind of threw me for a loop.
 

ice_23

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You all are in quite the enviable position; congrats! :)

-Ice
 
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Yeah, I suppose there are worse decisions one could make in their life;)

I applied to both of these schools thinking they'd laugh at me and send me on my way.


Got lucky I guess!
 

quideam

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I would say Harvard - would you really rather live in Baltimore than BOSTON?!?! Plust, there's Mass General!
 

Andrew_Doan

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Originally posted by bongsen
Harvard gives you much more opportunities, if you want the connections. It's strong in everything, so if you ever develop an interest in public health (great school of public health), business (great business school), law (enough said), or just classes here and there to supplement your "MD+" degree, Harvard is the place to be. Plus, the city is so much nicer!

And Hopkins doesn't give you good options or good connections? Hogwash. BTW, Hopkins has the number #1 MPH program. ;)

How many students take extra classes during medical school? I can probably count them on one hand.

You can't go wrong with either Harvard or Hopkins. Both are obviously strong programs! :D
 
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If I did take time off, it would probably be to do cancer research not do an MPH or anything like that.

Since my current lab collaborates with people at Hopkins, I know more about what goes on there.

Anyone know how receptive Dana Farber is to med students?
 

DrJ2B

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First of all, congratulations on your acceptances. I interviewed at Hopkins and I have to say that it is phenomenal. Baltimore may not be the premiere city for a medical school, but the hospital and people are phenomenal. The clinical experience there is unparalleled. The students I met (1st, 2nd, and 4th years) were absolutely phenomenal. You could tell that Hopkins wants to turn out physicians adept not only in medical knowledge and skills, but also doctors who are compassionate and human. If I had your option, I would choose Hopkins hands down. :clap: :clap:
 

gujuDoc

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To the original poster of this topic:


If you have a choice, which you do, I would go with Harvard for a numerous amount of reasons over Hopkins. The main reason, however, that I would go there is that the people I have heard are serious and competitive, but not to the point that the people won't cooperate with you.


From a student survey site from the AMSA webpage and from numerous other sources, I have heard that students at Harvard cooperate with each other to help one another out more so than they do at Hopkins. In addition, I also heard that the atmosphere at Hopkins is too serious at times and that the area where the school is, is not the greatest.

Whereas, Harvard is in a much better area and atmosphere and from what I understand, people are very happy there.


Anyhow, good luck with your decision. If JHU is what you think is right for you because of your collaborations go for it. However, I think the Harvard New Pathway program happens to be a lot more attractive.
 

crazy250

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congrats! if i were ever lucky to get into both of these schools, i would definitely choose harvard just because of its name and its higher ranking. i know i'm shallow and probably going to get flamed for it, but the "prestige" factor plays a huge chunk in my decision.
 

cornelius

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hopkins! sure boston rocks, but.... #1 school of public health, #1 hospital, #3 for cancer, proximity to NIH - for both budding researchers and clinicians, the opportunities are great

a huge thing to consider though, besides location and your impression of the people, is whether you learn better by PBL or a more traditional curriculum. there are pros and cons to both, and it's ultimately a totally personal preference... you really can't go wrong, both schools produce great doctors, it's just a matter of which way of getting there is better for you. that said, i'm still a fan of hopkins!


plus, i hear harvard kids are ugly :laugh:
 
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fullefect1

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getianshi, you are my hero. Would it be possible to post your Stats? Or did you post them on mdapplicants.com?
 

fuzzylogic

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harvard's affiliations are always receptive to students who are interested in research. i know a handful of pi's at both farber and children's who are willing to take students to do some research. if you don't want to take anytime off, you can always look into the hhmi medical student fellowship.

good luck
 

cornelius

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re: above posters

yeah, hopkins can be pretty intense sometimes, but for all the crazy people there's an equal/greater number of people who are totally chillax. people work really hard here, but that's what all med schools are like. there's definitely a lot of playing too, and working together.

i'd definitely encourage you to come to revisit weekend at the end of april, you can talk to more students here and get a better feel of what it's like. good luck with your decision!
 
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Well, you want my stats so here you go:

University of Arizona

Double major Biochem and Molecular/cellular biology

east asian studies minor (how I got my 24 units of humanities to meet Hopkins' requirements)

4.0

37O

Tons of research, 3 conferences, 1 first author pub.

about 300 hours clinical experience (tons of departments at a local hospital, part of a internship thing, plus voluteering on my own)

Took two years off in the middle of school, learned Mandarin overseas.

Lots of various other ECs, mostly volunteering in Mexico.

Hope that helps out those of you who might be interested. Let me know if you have any more specific questions.
 

Elizabeth1028

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Congrats, getianshi, on getting into such wonderful schools. :clap:

My personal opinion is that you can't go wrong either way. Both med schools have amazing reputations and will open tons of doors for you in terms of research, residencies, and future career goals. Both have amazing schools of public health, as well as a wealth of other opportunities available to students. Both schools are affiliated with amazing hospitals and both are located in cities where you'll be able to see a diverse and interesting patient population. Yes, Boston is probably a better city than Baltimore in terms of "fun," but Baltimore is way more affordable.

Either place you choose, you'll probably be happy. Don't pick a place because of rank - the difference between #1 and #2 is very small, and you never know, the rankings can change. Both schools have enormous prestige associated with them. If you have a gut feeling about one school over another, go with it. You're probably drawn to a place where you see yourself happier.

Anyways, this is just my 2 cents. I can't say my opinion is completely unbiased, because I interviewed at Hopkins (and loved it) and I didn't apply to Harvard. Whichever you choose, best of luck with everything. I'm sure you'll succeed. :)
 

OldLady

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great point about living expenses...Boston (& Cambridge, Somerville, etc) can be pretty pricey. I lived there for 5 years. Lots of old buildings, expensive parking, etc. Crime (homicide?) is higher in Baltimore, but I would imagine the patient population at JHU is comparable to Harvard's hospitals, if not more diverse. You can't go wrong....flip a coin or go with your gut and don't listen to any of us!
 

clowne

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As others have said, you obviously can't go wrong with either school. If you need a tiebreaker, maybe you should see if Squat n Squeeze goes to either school and choose the same one. He's such a smart guy that whichever school he chooses has to be the best. Just kidding. Congratulations on all of your accomplishments.
 

jlee9531

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hopkins...cause their carnivals sound fun!

oh yeah and plus they are a badas.s med school no doubt.
 

ice_23

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I would choose Harvard because of the history and because you can beat SnS down....:laugh:

-Ice
 

Andrew_Doan

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Originally posted by gujuDoc
To the original poster of this topic:


If you have a choice, which you do, I would go with Harvard for a numerous amount of reasons over Hopkins. The main reason, however, that I would go there is that the people I have heard are serious and competitive, but not to the point that the people won't cooperate with you.


From a student survey site from the AMSA webpage and from numerous other sources, I have heard that students at Harvard cooperate with each other to help one another out more so than they do at Hopkins. In addition, I also heard that the atmosphere at Hopkins is too serious at times and that the area where the school is, is not the greatest.

This is an urban legend too, and mainly from students who don't get in! ;)


JHU undergrad is competitive, but medical school is relaxed.

This is copied from my previous post:
http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?s=&threadid=48058

I may be biased, but Hopkins is an outstanding place to study and learn. The atmosphere is NOT competitive.

Our motto was that "B=MD" because we knew that being from Hopkins would help in matching at good places for residencies. For example, in 1997, there were 11 Hopkins graduates applying for neurosurgery positions. There's around 150 +/- a few spots in the US for neurosurgery. Even with this level of competitiveness, all 11 students matched. Not all 11 students were in the top 10 percent of their class either.

We all knew that we'll end up at good training programs in the end. There was no need for competition.
 
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doepug

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Congrats!

With these choices, you can't go wrong.

Hopkins is fabulous. I'd choose it again in a second. Lots of us found ourselves in your position four years ago -- feel free to PM me with any questions you have.

Cheers,

doepug
MS IV, Johns Hopkins
 

periodic

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A) "Gestalt" feeling - where did you feel more comfortable and excited? Encompasses location, your experience with students and faculty, facilities, etc.

B) Curriculum

C) Any special interests you have that may be better served at one school vs the other.

Congrats!
 

viking1224

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Wow, getianshi, congrats! :clap: I visited both places, so here's my 2 cents:

My initial impression of Hopkins was more positive, only because the admissions office seemed to care more. Both schools have incredible research, clinical training, money for international programs, reputation, residency placements etc. etc. The students at both schools are brilliant, accomplished, and friendly. I would say that your career prospects will be identical at both places (which is to say...phenomenal). As far as I can tell, you only have three things to consider:

1) Money - If one of them gives you a significantly superior financial aid package, I'd say it's a no brainer.

2) Curriculum - I think NP would be quite different from Hopkins in the first two years. Personally, I'm a little nervous about PBL (so I'm not sure if I'll choose Stanford or Harvard NP). Maybe you can get a better idea about PBL on revisit weekend next month. There is also grading to consider (if this is something you care about). Personally, I LOVE real Pass/Fail. Harvard has it, and Hopkins doesn't.

3) Location - Again, this is very much a personal issue. I grew up an hour away from Boston, and I find it to be a decent, but not spectacular, city. Baltimore isn't as nice, but it's definitely better than I expected. What do you like to do for fun? I spend every free moment outside cycling, hiking, skiing, etc., so Harvard's proximity to the White Mountains is hard to beat. Plus, you can go for a jog right from Harvard's campus, which is possible, but not nearly as pleasant, from Hopkins. On the other hand, DC is a short trip from Hopkins, and I really love DC.

I guess it comes down to where you would rather live (unless you have strong feelings one way or the other on PBL). For me, location is hugely important, but for others it's a non-issue. If I get off the Hopkins waitlist, it will be a tough choice (I'd probably go with Harvard just for the mountains and proximity to my family). But, like I said, I might not go to either if Stanford comes through with some financial aid (you can't beat northern CA for outdoor fun). One last thing, I beg you not to make your decision based on the fact that Harvard is "#1" and Hopkins "#2". What the heck's the difference? Good luck, what a tough decision!

:cool:
 
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Yeah, money might be a big factor in deciding where I want to go. As far as I can tell, everyone is split about 50/50 as to where to go.

I've heard Harvard only gives out money based on need but Hopkins has more money to throw around however they want.


Anybody know anything about that?
 

summervacation

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Hi gts,

Yes, I have heard that Hopkins gives out better financial aid than Harvard. Hopkins avg. debt post-graduation is $70,000 vs. Harvard's $90,000.

I'm actually in a similar boat, currently deciding between Harvard HST and Hopkins. For me it's going to come down to how I feel about which school is the better fit over second look weekend and the $$$.

Good luck and congrats!
sv
 

Andrew_Doan

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Originally posted by summervacation
Hi gts,

Yes, I have heard that Hopkins gives out better financial aid than Harvard. Hopkins avg. debt post-graduation is $70,000 vs. Harvard's $90,000.

I'm actually in a similar boat, currently deciding between Harvard HST and Hopkins. For me it's going to come down to how I feel about which school is the better fit over second look weekend and the $$$.

Good luck and congrats!
sv

This is correct. The average debt of the Hopkins medical grad in 2001 was about $70K-$80K.
 

thewebthsp

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come on -- I went to JHU for undergrad, and I had a lot of fun...

please no undergrad bashing, eh? hehe
 

bigbaubdi

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Originally posted by summervacation
Yes, I have heard that Hopkins gives out better financial aid than Harvard. Hopkins avg. debt post-graduation is $70,000 vs. Harvard's $90,000.

According to the 2004 USNWR, Hopkins avg. post grad debt is 70K while Harvard's is 80K.

I think Harvard might be a better place if you are interested in health policy or law. Other than that, they both produce some of the best physicians in the world.

Congrats to those who have this choice to make!
 

doepug

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Originally posted by bigbaubdi
I think Harvard might be a better place if you are interested in health policy or law. Other than that, they both produce some of the best physicians in the world.

Not true! We have plenty of public service-oriented people at Hopkins.

Two of my (former?) classmates took a leave of absence for law school in September, and another is getting an MPP at Harvard's Kennedy school.

Lots of people spend a summer in DC -- after all, it's just a short ride away. I have classmates who did internships with Ted Kennedy, John Edwards, and Orrin Hatch.

My class also has an unusually large number of MPHs (~20-25). One guy is actually pursuing a PhD in music at Harvard. Cool, eh?

Both schools will open doors in policy arenas -- y'all really can't go wrong.

Cheers,
doepug
 

BonBon Doux

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Well, if I were lucky enough to be in your position, I would definitely pick Harvard without hesitation, but it's up to you...a very personal decision.

Congrats though....you rock

BonBon
 
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bigbaubdi

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Originally posted by doepug
My class also has an unusually large number of MPHs (~20-25). One guy is actually pursuing a PhD in music at Harvard. Cool, eh?

Pretty neat stuff!

How about studying at Peabody? Does JHU have any partnerships w/ UMD law school?
 

supereagles

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Originally posted by getianshi
Well, you want my stats so here you go:

University of Arizona

Double major Biochem and Molecular/cellular biology

east asian studies minor (how I got my 24 units of humanities to meet Hopkins' requirements)

4.0

37O

Tons of research, 3 conferences, 1 first author pub.

about 300 hours clinical experience (tons of departments at a local hospital, part of a internship thing, plus voluteering on my own)

Took two years off in the middle of school, learned Mandarin overseas.

Lots of various other ECs, mostly volunteering in Mexico.

Hope that helps out those of you who might be interested. Let me know if you have any more specific questions.

Wow, nice job. I guess I shouldn't feel so bad that i got rejected but on the other hand, I did not apply to JHU:D
 

exmike

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Originally posted by bigbaubdi
Pretty neat stuff!

How about studying at Peabody? Does JHU have any partnerships w/ UMD law school?

Even better, hopkins has a partnership with Georgetown. They offer the Joint JD/MPH. I'm sure there are ways to work it into your MD if you want.

I, too went to JHU undergrad so I'm biased. I'd pick Hopkins. BTW, tuition considerations aside, it is dirt cheap to live nicely in Baltimore, even in a posh apartment complex.
 

doepug

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Originally posted by bigbaubdi
How about studying at Peabody? Does JHU have any partnerships w/ UMD law school?

Lots of people take music lessons and/or classes at Peabody, since they're free. This is especially popular during first year, when everyone has afternoons off all year.

As far as I know, there's no affiliation with Maryland's law school...

--doepug
 

LunaMoth

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To the OP:

First of all, congrats on your acceptances! Clearly, you can't go too wrong with this decision :clap:

As a first year NP student, I think that Harvard's greatest strength is definitely my classmates. There are just scores of fantastic people with cool experiences and interests (everything from our class president - a former naval officer, to Rhodes Scholars, to people who have spent years volunteering in 3rd world nations). Better yet, as a whole, everyone is really humble and approachable.

Personally, I'm a big fan of the tutorial system, which fosters good relationships with fellow students. As a physician in the future, you'll always be working as part of a team, and that's something that you get a taste of right away. Plus, I find that I have far better retention when learning something as part of a case, rather than just trying to memorize it from the book. The P/F grading scheme is great. As we all say, P = MD, so although people do work hard, I've never had a negative sense of competitiveness.

A few notes about Boston; if you'd like the advantages of living in a city, without the feeling of being overwhelmed, Boston is definitely the place for you. There are tons of good restaurants around, some cool indie movie theaters, and of course, anything ranging from dive bars, to chichi clubs. Boston is not particularly cheap in terms of living expenses, but it's definitely better than NYC. Also, it really is incredibly charming, with a slightly european feel. If you're not interested in living in Vandy, lots of my classmates live off campus, in areas ranging from Brookline, to Cambridge. I love my neighborhood (Beacon Hill)! Not having applied to JHU, I can't really compare Harvard to the situation in Baltimore.

As for research, Harvard has tons of funding. All you need to do is take the initiative, and meet with doctors that you want to work with. I'm currently setting up my summer plans for clinical research with a physician at MGH. We have a great program (Pasteur) that automatically funds anyone interested in clinical research for the summers, as well as for 10 hours a week during the school year.

If you have any questions in particular, definitely feel free to PM me. I'd be more than happy to discuss any questions that you have.

Again, my sincerest congrats!

-L
 

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Originally posted by BlueJayBill
If anyone is considering HST -- do it. Hands down the most rigorous, complete, and prestigous program in the country. There track recrod in the short time of its existence is unreal, and the amount of tuition support they get is a huge plus. They basically get a year's worth of tuition paid for for their thesis time.

Uhh, no. MD/PhD is more impressive than HST alone.

MD/PhD + HST is the ultimate combo.
 

CrazyCarl

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Originally posted by BlueJayBill
and what's amazing is that every other school in the university is hands down the best (law, business, policy) in their field and so close by.

I believe Yale Law is more highly regarded academically, and their admissions are certainly more selective.
 

TheFlash

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Originally posted by CrazyCarl
I believe Yale Law is more highly regarded academically, and their admissions are certainly more selective.

Ditto for Wharton.
 

exmike

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Ah, yes, the towering reputation of the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. I'm always curious why they get a 4.9 reputation ranking in USNews. Can you think of another public health school that would rank Hopkins a 4 instead of a 5 for public health? It's probably the bitter dean at Harvard Public Health trying to hold them down. :laugh: :laugh:
 

bigbaubdi

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You mean the Bloomberg School of Public Health? :)
 

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Personally, I believe that Harvard has a bigger name due to the ridiculous amount of money they get for search. However, I think that Hopkins is a better place to learn medicine. It's hospital is the #1 hospital, and clinical experience is what matters in the long run. So if I had to decide, it would be HOPKINS.
 

pathdr2b

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Hopkins Med, Harvard residency;)
 

linuxizer

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Originally posted by pathdr2b
Hopkins Med, Harvard residency;)

I just went to a speech by an MD/MBA who was Harvard Med, Hopkins residency, Penn business. Can't beat that.
 

lotanna

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based on friends i've at both places, I'd say Hopkins. My friends there are alot more happier and seem to love being in medicine, the schl allows them to explore many options. One took a yr off to do a fellowship with a top notch HIV expert, another took a yr off to get an MPH. My friend at Harvard on the other hand seems so out of it, its like the prog took out all the oxygen from her :( ok maybe i'm biased, but i say Hopkins :D
 
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Thanks to you and everyone who responded to this thread! I've got a lot of responses and a lot to think about!

Based on talking to people, I am still leaning towards Hopkins. I'm doing financial stuff for both schools, but I was told Hopkins will probably offer me more money based on my situation anyway, but we'll see how it comes out.

I'm planning to take a year off as well to do some research, probably continuing in oncology since that's what I've been doing and loving for the last 3 years.

Now I just have the problem of hoping my gf/finacee can get accepted to Hopkins next year;)

I know a lot of people must hate me because I was the first one to post up a "Harvard vs. X" thread, but thanks again to everyone who responded!
 
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