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Need advice: What DO school is it easy to specialize?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by popcorn11, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. popcorn11

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    Hey guys,

    Just wanted some advice from anybody who knew what DO schools are recommended to look at if I wanted to specialize in a field such as dermatology?

    Thanks, any advice will be must appreciated.:)
     
  2. RySerr21

    RySerr21 i aint kinda hot Im sauna
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    Its all about what you do at the school you go to. There isnt one DO school (or MD school for that matter) that is going to better prepare you to match in to Derm.
     
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  3. TeamZissou

    TeamZissou jaferd
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    I fully agree with Ryserr, it is true that it is mainly dependent on YOU and your board scores and other things on your CV. So just realize you could attend a DO school that churns out 90% of primary care physicians each year but you can be in that 20% that specializes.

    Now that being said I'll indulge you a bit. If you go to http://opportunities.osteopathic.org/ and search for Dermatology residencies you may notice that there is are multiple programs in florida as well as other areas of the country. So with that in mind it may help to attend LECOM or Nova or some other school that has one of the programs close to home.

    Now PLEASE take this with a grain of salt. These programs take students from ALL DO schools and to attend a school simply because it has the residency program you want at this point is probably NOT the best criteria to make your decision on.

    Also DO students are not confined to DO residencies. For example last year a girl from CCOM matched into Medical College of Wisconsin's Dermatology program. Now realize that this is VERY VERY unusual but it is possible.

    So best of luck with all your future endeavors!:thumbup:
     
  4. JaggerPlate

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    Oh man ... this is too juicy. So perfect, that I'll actually just be nice. As others have said, it isn't the school ... it's the student that matches (for DO and MD). One of the funniest misconceptions is that the MD will get you something great without you being great. There is absolutely no way you can go to an MD school, be average and match derm because you're an MD ... you know what I mean. With that said, the older, established schools usually have match lists you can't argue with: PCOM, CCOM, KCUMB, DMU, etc.

    A few notes about dermatology:
    -It's as competitive as it gets right now because of the lifestyle opportunities it presents (ie: 9-5 practice making 400k a year and no call)
    -for AOA residencies (most DO derms go through AOA (DO) not ACGME (MD) residencies because of the extreme competition), are PGY-2, non-linked match. Which means that you complete a rotating internship then apply for derm during your PGY-1.
    -go to the site listed above http://opportunities.osteopathic.org to check out the derm residencies. A few in FL, one in CA, others in Midwest ... some unfunded, others well known, etc.
    -Also keep in mind that you will probably change your mind about what you want to do while in medical school, but it is in no way impossible to become a derm as a DO. Remember, it's veryyy competitive on both sides, here is one last thing that the derm residency at pacific long beach hospital says about it's selection process:

    Desired Qualifications for Consideration:

    1. Top 15% of Medical School Class
    2. GPA > 85% or 3.5
    3. Board Scores > 85%
    4. Dermatology related research and/or publications
    5. Special talents: leadership, speaking, writing, art, music, etc...
    6. Letters of Recommendations from rotations with Osteopathic Dermatologists
    7. Attendance at AOCD meetings
    8. Student Membership in AOCD

    Good luck with everything!!
     
  5. engineeredout

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    I get lifestyle/pay = good but is that really why so many premeds seem to go OMFG I NEED DERM OR BEING DOC SUX0RS!?
     
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  6. Altruist

    Altruist Hoodledooer
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    Yes. And the fact that you can turn away folks who don't have insurance (because acne isn't going to kill them) insulates you from the sad reality that our health care system is going to hell.

    One of my college roommates had been an EMT with me through college, and was totally set on EM or Anesthesia before med school. 3rd year rolls around, and I talked him for the first time in a long time.
    Me: "What are you looking at for residency?"
    Him: "Derm."
    Me: "..."
    Him: "What?"
    Me: "What happened to you? You always said you wanted to help people."
    Him: "Yeah, well, I've really had to work hard, and I think I deserve a good lifestyle at the end."

    Amazing how attitudes change in med school.
     
  7. spicedmanna

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    Any school where you can accel academically, i.e., be at the top of your class, do very well on the boards (USMLE and COMLEX), do well on your 3rd year rotations, have the freedom to do some electives/audition rotations at the programs you want to match (may have some school-dependency, since not all school programs have their rotations set up in the same way), and have the opportunity to distinguish yourself in other ways, as well, such as through research, publications, fellowships, etc.

    A lot of people come in thinking they want to match into one of these types of specialties. :rolleyes: Guess what? Most won't be able to and some won't want to. This isn't really dependent on your choice of school per se. It is more dependent on your performance while in school. Derm is a tough one to match. You have to be pretty solid candidate.

    Yeah, chill out a bit. First gain admissions into medical school. It's okay to have some idea of what you want to do, but also remember to keep your mind open. Many people change their idea of what specialty they want to go into during medical school, some by necessity and some because they begin to discover, through some experience, what truly interests them.
     
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  8. TexasTriathlete

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    It is impossible to specialize if you go to an osteopathic school. In fact, if residency programs find out that you even applied to osteopathic school, or even thought about applying to osteopathic school, you will be banished to family practice, probably in rural Alaska, or the Soviet Union.

    However, if you attend an MD school, you will be provided with your choice of derm, rads, anesthesia, or ophtho residencies upon matriculation.

    Residency match from an allopathic school is more like major college sports recruiting. These derm programs will fly you out to their facility, on their dime, and try and sell you on why you should rank them #1. The program director is allowed one in-home visit with each applicant as well. Occasionally, if you are very highly-regarded (i.e., you passed step 1 on your first or second try, you have a minimal amount of remediations, and you have at least one functioning eye), alumni of these derm programs will buy you a car or a house if you promise to go there.

    If you are a poor applicant from an allopathic school, you may have to settle for ortho or neurosurgery.
     
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  9. andexterouss

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    I would advice you to go to a school that has matched derm in the last 5 years.Why?Networking.In a field as obscure and small as DO derm(or even MD derm), going to a school with a derm alumni can allow you to forge early relationships. They can coach you, give you some sound advice when needed, set you up with some research and may be even call PDs on your behalf.

    Med school is hard enough but some schools can make the process a tad easier.
     
  10. Arooga

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    Alright everyone.
    I am confused.
    Is everyone saying if u go to DO school it will be hard to get into a good residency program ?:scared: if so then what do people do when they are done with thier 4 year medical schooling ?:eek:
     
  11. Boges

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    It's hard to get into a "good" residency program regardless.

    The consensus seems to be—to me anyhow but keep in mind I'm 98% chimpanzee—first, get into medical school, then work very hard to be tops and after that, you may end up choosing a different specialty than the one you think you want now. If you are an outstanding candidate—grades, boards, LORs, good impressions, etc.—you stand a chance from any school you choose.

    On another note, I vote to close this thread.
     
    #11 Boges, Jan 6, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2009
  12. JaggerPlate

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    No. What people are saying is to be realistic. If you're an average medical student, you aren't going to go into dermatology from MD or DO. You have to be best of the best to get the plastics, derm, ENT etc. No one is saying it's hard from a DO school.
     
  13. Arooga

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    Great.
    Thanks everyone
    :highfive:
     
  14. JaggerPlate

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    Remember too that you will probably change your mind on which road you want to take while in medical school. I think it would be foolish, for example, to pick a school that you don't feel comfortable with because you think it may give you a slight advantage applying for dermatology in four years (which it won't). I hear people throw around the idea that 'if you're sure you want to go into something super competitive (ie derm, plastics) try for MD,' but I personally believe if you checked raw numbers ... this is debatable.
     
  15. Semicolon

    Semicolon OMS II
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    :laugh:

    Careful TT; those that don't know you on these forums are likely to take you seriously. :p
     
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  16. hokiedo2012

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    Look at the NRMP Match Results 2008 - Table 11 (not sure if the attachment will work...) for the details about the number of DO students that match into each allo specialty. No breakdown of which school those students are from though.
     

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  17. cliquesh

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    Does anyone have the info that shows how many DOs applied for each field?
     
  18. JaggerPlate

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    Is plastics, integrated plastics?? I found it odd that DOs matched derm, ENT etc (where IMG didn't), but there were 2 IMG in plastics and no DOs. I'd be interested to know if any applied.
     
  19. p30doc

    p30doc Ever true and unwavering
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    The one where you score a 280 on the USMLE Step 1, aka it is about you not the school.
     
  20. boggvir

    boggvir Sunny California
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    Although there are some schools that send like 80%+ to primary care, like WVSOM if I am not mistaken. I doubt they force you though, but your rotations and such may be set up in a way that heavily emphasizes primary care. I know some schools like PCOM or NYCOM have 50-60% non-primary care, so maybe you should look more strongly at those.

    But in the end, you can make it work from anywhere.
     
  21. RySerr21

    RySerr21 i aint kinda hot Im sauna
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    Overall, a majority of DOs go into fields OTHER than primary care. I dunno where the idea of "forcing" people to go into primary care came from. A lot has changed, and more and more students (MD and DO) are going into higher paying fields.

    http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2004/03/15/prsd0315.htm

    http://www.amsa.org/tnp/articles/article.cfx?id=24
    "And don’t look to osteopathic physicians to plug in the gaps in primary care. Though generalism has long been a mainstay of osteopathic medicine, D.O. graduates are now choosing subspecialties in growing numbers, according to data compiled by the Robert Graham Center, which studies family practice trends. According to their research, only 21 percent of osteopathic medical residents remain in family medicine residency programs. In 1996, those programs held 37 percent of the D.O. grads. "

    There was another really good paper that I posted a while ago, but for some reason I cant find it. Oh well.
     
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  22. JaggerPlate

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    PC fields are hurting on both sides of the fence (MD and DO), and it's sad. I really can't blame people for not going into these fields, I just wish this trend would change.
     
  23. andexterouss

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    You are right. Physician salary has been stagnant for many years while inflation and medical education has gone up. In some cases 400% for med schools. I think the only way to end the problem is when the "medical education bubble" bursts. When the market can no longer support the cost, the system will break. The average debt for DO schools now is probably btw 200 -300k.Will students still line up to be doctors for a price tag of 1 million while the salary remains the same? Smart ones will leave.
     
    #23 andexterouss, Jan 7, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2009
  24. JaggerPlate

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    I agree, but honestly ... I think you'd still have a line out the door with a million dollar price tag for the MD/DO. People will always jump head first to be doctors ... it's just a role that will always be in demand in our society. I mean as of right now, people are killing themselves for four years in college (basically giving up a good portion of the 'experience') keeping GPA perfect, spending $2,500 to take the MCAT, spending god knows what to apply, killing their 20s in school to come out owing 200k etc, and the process is still the most absurdly competitive thing I have ever encountered in my life. Also, in regards to PC fields ... my biggest hope is that the concierge practices expand, demonstrating to the US that PC docs will find ways to live happy and be compensated well for their services. It's sad to know that FM docs work 10 hour days and have 3,500 patients (not to mention the ones who now do botox etc) to make an alright living (for what they have put into it).
     
  25. Phitenks

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    How difficult would it be to specialize in oncology? This isn't just a DO question, but since I'm in this thread, might as well ask here. :)
     
  26. andexterouss

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    :smuggrin:
    Yes. That is the trend right now. They are popping up here in New York. These guys/gals are young and cute!.......and they take cash only. In fact, one of the best family doc I use to see took cash only but I couldn't keep going because my insurance doesn't reimburse me for the total fee. They only pay back a certain "percentage".:smuggrin:
     
  27. cliquesh

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    Oncology is an internal medicine fellowship, making it somewhat difficult to achieve. According to the NBRM, 80% of MDs applying for ACGME fellowships are accepted and 60% of DOs are accepted. The average salary for the field is 250k making it pretty popular, however, its not as competitive as cards or GI.

    At any rate, there are 3 DO oncology fellowships that take 1 to 2 people each year, so you will probably need to do an ACGME residency to improve your chances.
     
    #27 cliquesh, Jan 7, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2009
  28. Dissected

    Dissected All bleeding stops eventually
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    :laugh:

    This is rich.
     
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  29. nbd13

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    Does anyone know how much orthopedic surgeons make on average?

    I also heard if you practice in a small town you make more than if you practice in a large city. Does this hold any truth?

    Thanks,

    Nick
     
  30. pseudoMCAT45

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    Can anyone please educate me about "unfilled residency spot" ?
    I was just browsing http://opportunities.osteopathic.org/ on derm residency at Long Beach. I saw some zeros and unfilled spots, I don't understand why such a popular residency is unfilled.
     
  31. cliquesh

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    I'd imagine that that particular program opened up recently, like a few years ago, and therefore does not have PGY-4's yet. Additionally, that is an unfunded program (residents get paid nothing, literally 0 dollars), so maybe people avoided that program.
     
  32. rkaz

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    Why would anyone choose an unpaid residency? How would it even be ethical for a residency program to make their residents work 40-70 hours per week and not even pay them? :confused: People are swamped with loans after med school, I can't even imagine anyone signing up for an unpaid residency.
     
  33. cliquesh

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    In 2008, there were 2,778 AOA intern/resident positions and of these 2,778 positions, 466 were unfunded. Most of these unfunded positions were part of a new residency program in a competitive field of medicine, like, in this case, dermatology.

    It is expensive to start a residency program and even more expensive to continue it over a number of years. So as a way to cut costs and provide osteopathic students with specialty training opportunities, some programs opt not to pay their residents.

    People enter these programs because they want to be a certain type of doc and they probably didn't have other options. Oddly, however, from what I hear, these unfunded programs are still very competitive. Nonetheless, in the end you'll be a dermatologist, or whatever, and for some its worth not getting paid for 3-5 years.

    I believe unfunded programs are only seen in the osteopathic world, but I could be wrong.
     
    #33 cliquesh, Jan 8, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2009
  34. Chocolate Bear

    Chocolate Bear Moderizzle Fo'Shizzle!
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    Plenty of grads would pick unpaid-derm over paid-anything else. Many med students/grads have family (spousal or parental) support sufficient to survive without income for several years. The trade-off is worth it for many, as the end result can be a relatively low-stress, high-pay career.
     
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  35. J1515

    J1515 Member
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    Pre-meds.
     
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  36. JaggerPlate

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    Unpaid derm is verrry popular. If you go to the long beach website they say that you need to rotate with them, be top 15% of class 85% COMLEX, letters from DO derms etc just to be looked over. If there is any specialty in the WORLD people will complete a residency in for FREE it's derm. If Pacific has unfilled derm spots, it's not because people didn't want them ... it's honestly probably because they had no reason to fill them without people who were ballers.

    Also, about the unpaid thing ... there are several with derm, one in CA, one in FL and a few 1/2 paid ones. It's hard to get funding, and even harder to get people to skip out on a cushhhh private derm practice to teach in a small hospital. I heard a rumor that the practice of the head of the derm residency employees the residents and pays them there, honestly I don't know if it's true or not but his practice is woven with the residency. Check it out:

    www.coastdermatology.com

    A whole practice of DO derms, there are some people on SDN who's heads would explode at the idea of this.
     
  37. rkaz

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    Oh okay... makes sense. If someone is married with an employed spouse, I guess that could be an option. What about student loans though? Does interest continue to accumulate during the residency period of an unpaid residency? I would assume so...

    My background is in public health. Derm sounds like a fun field, but I don't know how I could justify it as a means of treating the underserved. Seems to be more for those who want a cushy office. I'd probably get stuck with people who have too much money and just to squander it on botox.
     
    #37 rkaz, Jan 8, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2009
  38. saylorsdad

    saylorsdad OSU-CHS OMSII
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    as far as unpaid residency couldn't the person claim to be unemployed? and get a deferment? After all don't they base it off of your income which is zero. That would make your loans interest paid by gov until you get out. That would mean you could moonlight a couple nights a month at er somewhere and stick that cash in your pocket.
     
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  39. Boges

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    To continue off topic:

    I think that only the subsidized loans might have their interest paid—those loans are limited to somewhere around $8500 per year. Small potatoes if you're borrowing $60k-$70k annually. The majority being unsubsidized or private would continue to accrue interest.

    Also, if you're not getting paid for the residency and you are moonlighting for cash, it seems that would be your only source of income. Unless the residency provided room and board, you'd probably be unable to stash that cash in your pocket as it would be flowing directly into the cost of living.

    That said, I'm sure there's a way to make an unpaid residency work or they couldn't exist. It would be very interesting to know more details.
     
  40. Boges

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    Don't the under-served need all kinds of doctors? While the PCP may be the point of first contact, they certainly are not qualified to do everything.
     
  41. Chocolate Bear

    Chocolate Bear Moderizzle Fo'Shizzle!
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    Very true. I think there is plenty of need for Derms in public health. It's just that Derm often comes to mind as cushy/cosmetic/etc. Poor people get skin cancer, acne, rashes, and skin diseases too. :thumbup:
     
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  42. Boges

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    Indeed and I could see the justification for PRS too.
     
  43. Chocolate Bear

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    Definitely. Especially with tons of cleft lips/palates.

    I had to look up PRS, by the way. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery for anyone as naive as myself. :p
     
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  44. nevinleiby

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    Somewhat interesting, actually. I was shadowing a Russian doc who came to America - he was a strong advocate of plastics. His argument for it was that EM, FM, etc docs are almost a dime a dozen. You get what you can get. But with surgery, especially plastics, etc, you as an individual are valued and sought out by your patients. A patient wants the best plastics guy in town or the state...you are their man.

    Granted that you get a lot of breasts and tummy tucks, but with your salaries you can fly to an underserved region internationally and seek out cleft lip/palates patients. Researching DO, that was one of my first concerns (its okay!! :D)...I really want to help the underserved :xf:

    It wasn't until I had this discussion with a surgeon that I realized this: Although its somewhat unfortunate (and somewhat unethical, imho), but these opportunities are likely to enhance your abilities without exposing you to as much risk. Consider Ben Carson separating the two Binder Siamese twins abroad. It's sad, but I can't imagine a US surgeon trying that operation out in the US first =(

    FYI: Ben Carson's Gifted Hands movie will be on TNT in the beginning of February. (I wish I got TNT) He was the speaker at my wife's commencement speech about the same time I was re-considering a move into medicine...very inspiring!!!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Carson
     
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    #44 nevinleiby, Jan 28, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2009
  45. ChandutheMagici

    5+ Year Member

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    I'm quoting this just so I can read it again. This is easily the funniest post I've read in a long time. Hilarity :laugh:

    Josh
     
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  46. newdoc15

    2+ Year Member

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    What's NBRM?

    Can you do an AOA fellowship following an ACGME residency? And are you saying that AOA programs prefer ACGME trained residents?
     
    #46 newdoc15, Jan 30, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2009

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