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Need opinion of doctors/med students in residency please

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by tmeehan25, Jan 15, 2014.

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  1. tmeehan25

    tmeehan25

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    Are you all happy with your decision to become a doctor? I've wanted to be a doctor since I was about 12 and I'm currently a freshman in college. I just recently started volunteering at a hospital however and a lot of the doctors I see always seem to be depressed and very stressed. The other employees at the hospital say that a lot of the doctors wish they chose another career. So is this just a problem at my local hospital or is this outlook common? I mean of course some doctors will not like it, such as with any career, but is it this prevalent everywhere?
     
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  3. Darth Doc

    Darth Doc 2+ Year Member

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    I saw recent stats that 51% of physicians polled would do it again, but really, that's probably better than most professions. Who wants to be an aerobic instructor forever? Personally, my hell would be to be an accountant. I went to physician assistant school first. I didn't want med school unless I was passionate about medicine. It's too much work. Being a PA is a good job and less work if you're not sure. Turns out medicine is something I am passionate about, just didn't realize it when I was your age. I am going to med school, and I will be in the 51% of doctors who enjoy what they do.

    http://www.medscape.com/features/slideshow/compensation/2013/public
     
    emilym likes this.
  4. notbobtrustme

    notbobtrustme Crux Terminatus Banned Account on Hold 2+ Year Member

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    The grass is always greener on the other side.
     
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  5. Arkangeloid

    Arkangeloid MS2 Banned

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    One week into medical school was when I started wishing I had done CompSci in college. All my friends are getting jobs at Google, Intel, Facebook, Microsoft, making money, partying, and having a good time. And I'm just sitting here learning about the differences between hypocalcemia and hypokalemia.

    Every Saturday night, in my apartment I see the pretty girls dressed up to go out to the nightclubs, and I remember that the only thing that I have to look forward to is fun with Robbins.

    And then I remember that I have to do this stuff for another decade of my life.


    As it stands, I regret everything. But I don't intend to quit. I've sacrificed too much to quit.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2014
    skiier54 likes this.
  6. hurryupnwait

    hurryupnwait 7+ Year Member

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    I'm not a resident/attending yet, but absolutely adore medicine as an MS4. First two years were rough and made me question my decision a lot, but third year dispelled any kind of doubt or fear I had before. I personally love the value of hard work and welcome a little bit of stress, but there are also specialties that might allow you the luxury of working an 8-5 job if you're so inclined.
     
    emilym likes this.
  7. oldbearprofessor

    oldbearprofessor SDN Advisor SDN Administrator 10+ Year Member

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    Well, although there are exceptions as there are to everything, most of the pediatric specialists that I know who work at Children's Hospitals love their career. I do and I graduated med school over 30 years ago. Talk to more people and make your own decisions.
     
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  8. mcloaf

    mcloaf 5+ Year Member

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    I guess I'm the only one enjoying MS1...
     
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  9. sobored

    sobored 2+ Year Member

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    Your sig is so hilarious. And M1 isn't too bad...M2 sucked though!
     
  10. pdxhopeful

    pdxhopeful 5+ Year Member

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    Hah, I'm liking MS2 way more!

    Anyway... to the OP, volunteer a few more places. I've been around good hospitals and clinics and bad, and I'd bet there are systemic issues going on at this hospital you aren't aware of (chronic shortstaffing, poorly thought out hospital policies, etc.) contributing to the generally low satisfaction you're seeing there.

    One of the things you'll start to develop as you get more volunteering and work experience is a feel for whether or not a place has a toxic work environment, and a wish to avoid them if at all possible. You'll find those in any field, so don't let it put you off medicine if you've really got the drive for it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2014
  11. Arkangeloid

    Arkangeloid MS2 Banned

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    Yeah, there are two kinds of people with regard to this, from my experience. I know a lot of medical students who say they don't care at all about lifestyle, and they just want to do whatever they like the most. Then there's people like myself and my study buddy, who are adamant that our first priority in choosing a specialty will be lifestyle.
     
  12. ulikedaggers

    ulikedaggers Account on Hold Account on Hold

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    I'm enjoying it as well.
     
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  13. DH410

    DH410 2+ Year Member

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    I'm having fun: some days better than others, but overall it's been a great year.

    Patiently waiting for my optimism to get crushed like a clam on an otter's tummy, but still happy for the moment!
     
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  14. Southplains

    Southplains 2+ Year Member

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    I'm also enjoying M1, but find myself really looking forward to M3+ and even M2. I'm a firm believer that the work required of M1 is considerably less than a full time job, and I really like the info we're learning ~75% of the time. My favorite moments are still when we interact with the clinicians though, things will get way more enjoyable when we're actually doing medicine.
     
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  15. Arkangeloid

    Arkangeloid MS2 Banned

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    What? I'd say that a full time job is 40-50 hrs a week, and everyone is working around that much, unless you want to be in AOA and become a neurosurgeon, in which case you'll be at 70-80+ hrs/week. Also, when you're at a job, you have time periods you can be relaxed, but while studying, you cannot ever relax, because you're not done till you're done.
     
  16. happygilmore

    happygilmore

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    First two responses were money.

    #1: Probably half of doctors love it and half hate it.
    #2: All jobs are tough. The more $ involved, the more stress. Medicine is incredibly complex with lots of interested parties including patients, government, big pharma, insurance, etc. All of these people complicate the job.

    I would say that you definitely can find happiness in medicine.

    There are plenty of midlevel options that will be excellent in the future. Midlevel anesthesia, psych, primary care, and a few other specialties in the future could be excellent. Much better bang for your buck and time. 1/3 the school, 1/2 the effort and 75% of the pay. Think about that.

    I think if you can find your niche in medicine you will be fine. The smarter you are, the easier med school is. If you've had extremely high standardized exams your whole life then med school could be easy breezy.
     
  17. Southplains

    Southplains 2+ Year Member

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    I disagree about the work load. If you don't go to class, you can sleep in, go to the library whenever you want, maybe 10ish in the morning, stay for ~5-7 hours going over that days stuff. Maybe more if its a hard day. It cranks up around test weeks to a lot yeah, and there are some "extra" clinical skills stuff. That all sounds easier than having to be at an office job 9am every morning, can't leave until 5-6 and you don't get a christmas break or summer! M1 isn't bad.
     
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  18. zeppelinpage4

    zeppelinpage4 7+ Year Member

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    Honestly, I think it goes both ways...like anything else in life, some people find out they enjoy it and others realize it might not have been for them.

    If it's any reassurance at all, most doctors and residents I've interacted with have been happy and encouraged me when I said I was hoping to go to med school. So, I don't think all doctors are jaded and unhappy, I'm sure there are those on both sides of the spectrum and I wouldn't let it discourage you if it's something you want. Everyone comes in under different circumstances, and a field that may not be a good fit for some, could be a great fit for others.

    As for me...I'm just a semester into M1, but thus far I am happy with my decision. Is med school stressful and tough? Yes! And I had a rough transition in, but despite all the frustrations, I wouldn't change my decision to come here. Could I change my mind down the road? Perhaps, but up till now, I'm glad I chose to pursue this path.
    Honestly, there's a "leap of faith" factor to this whole process too. In the end, you really don't know for sure until you go in and do it. The best you can do now is shadow, volunteers, and really think hard about why you want to do this, and make what seems to be the best decision to you at that point. It is totally okay to have doubts, and second thoughts and really put serious thought into this, it means you care about your decision and are putting thought into it. Best of luck OP.

    P.s. Yeah M1 has been had it's ups and downs haha. I did not enjoy studying for my anatomy final (downs)....but was having a blast partying with classmates to celebrate after (ups).
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2014
  19. mcloaf

    mcloaf 5+ Year Member

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    So much this. Even if I end up working 8-10 hours on a given day I never go to class except anatomy labs and required small groups, so I can still sleep in until 9 or 10, eat when I feel like it, make time for the gym. Even if the hour total ends up equivalent to a full time job it feels like much less because of the flexibility. And there are definitely days I work quite a bit less than 8 hours.
     
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  20. SouthernSurgeon

    SouthernSurgeon Lifetime Donor 7+ Year Member

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    Yup. I love my job. Couldn't imagine doing anything else.

    But then my med school friends post about signing their contract for a private practice derm job. Or post a picture of the car they just bought. And I realize I have another 5 years of training to go...

    Or even worse, my college friends who have been living it up as DINKs post the pictures from the trips they take each weekend (one works for an airline, the other for a big hotel group!! Argh!).

    Medicine requires a lot of delayed gratification. The natural tendency is to get envious at times.
     
  21. punkedoutriffs

    punkedoutriffs 7+ Year Member

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    I'm an M1 and most days I wake early, go to the gym, and study in a room by myself all day before going home at night and going to sleep. I have never been happier or more tranquil in my entire life, but not because of med school. It's that I don't over think things and let my mind construct these monstrous devolutions out of everything I perceive. Do I ever see/hear/learn about things that in turn make me feel fatigue, frustration, envy, anxiety, loneliness, etc.? Of course, but these emotions usually go away pretty quickly because I am generally successful in not fueling them with obsessive, brooding thoughts.

    I feel like this whole "being happy as a doctor or not" is really an abstract conception of the mind and it has very little to do with moment-to-moment reality. Try to let go of thoughts/notions about "being a doctor" or "my friends/old classmates are doing this and that."

    Life lived out of discursive thinking can never lead to lasting happiness. Try to just live life as it is, each moment. When you're walking/driving to school, just walk/drive. When you're reading lecture slides, just read lecture slides. Then when it's time to go home and go to sleep, just do that. I'm not always perfect at this, but when I do this successfully, it's... well, try it and see for yourself.
     
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  22. Porfirio

    Porfirio 2+ Year Member

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    The making money part and having a better time is true. However, your Saturday night making love to Robbins is a waste. You are doing medical school wrong if you are not going out with those pretty girls that are all dressed up and heading to the nightclub. Robbins can wait till Sunday afternoon. Hell, you do not even need Robbins at all. MS1 was a joke, and so far MS2 has been more of the same. Go have fun a few nights a week.
     
    elektroshok likes this.
  23. evilbooyaa

    evilbooyaa 5+ Year Member

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    Absolutely not. This may be your experience, but it is not everybody's (definitely wasn't mine). Granted, I didn't honor everything and make AOA, but I definitely didn't study 40hrs every week. When I did study though, I made it count.
     
  24. Arkangeloid

    Arkangeloid MS2 Banned

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    Heh, maybe I'm just stupid then. I just know that I'm putting in about 40-45 hrs/week of effort if you count that gay crap like small group sessions and longitudinal courses and preceptorship, and I'm one of the worst students in the class, so I assumed everyone was doing more than I was.
     
  25. SunsFun

    SunsFun VICE president 5+ Year Member

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    Unless you have an exam, what prevents you from going out on Saturdays?
     
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  26. DubVille

    DubVille Herd the gurd 10+ Year Member

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    So far as an intern I would say I regret my decision. However, I know it is temporary and I am still "paying my dues." I've had a few moments cross-covering the ICU where I remember wishing I had never gone into medicine. Generally I feel like I'm moving the meat and pushing them out ASAP, only for them to be readmitted from the nursing home in a few weeks. Next year will be much better, and I came in knowing intern year would be miserable, mostly because I hate general hospital medicine. Luckily, I really like my fellow interns/seniors/majority of attendings and the environment of my program is actually fairly "cushy." 6 more months!

    I don't think any of us really know if we regret our decisions yet. Probably have to get a few years as an attending before we can really say.
     
  27. Arkangeloid

    Arkangeloid MS2 Banned

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    The issue is that I'm most productive in the afternoons and evenings, and a night out is a lost night from a studying perspective. For example, just last week one of my med school friends invited me to his birthday party, and I had to accept because doing otherwise would look rude. Well, I lost a day that I could have used to study Physio. And now the exam's over and I scored below average at best, near failing at worst (75-83ish range)

    Course it doesn't matter if you're intelligent like my friend is. But when you're the so-called "Retard of 2017,"* every day counts.






    *Story behind this: our school posts grade distributions outside the main office. I've mentioned here that I failed Head and Neck with the lowest score in the class, though I have been doing better since then. Well, I was walking by the office and I overheard two people talking about the grade distribution, and expressing their surprise at the outlier on the graph. One of these men remarked that the outlier "must be a tard."
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2014
  28. Lavan

    Lavan 2+ Year Member

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    Delayed gratification, as noted above, is a big problem for a lot of people. Even once you have that gratification, many physicians had less fun in college, less fun during their 20s, delay starting a family, have a lot of debt which then largely puts a downer on the increased income for a number of years. Depending on the work environment, there can be many stresses. Contrary to what you might hear about psych or rads etc, there are no free lunches in medicine. Everyone is working. I like my job, I like patient care, and I do believe in medicine. But being honest I probably wouldn't do it again.
     
  29. SunsFun

    SunsFun VICE president 5+ Year Member

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    Maybe your study method sucks? I also like to study late night and cram but I can't imagine not being able to study at all at other times. Does your school provide academic support? You got to change something. Things will only get harder from now on.
     
  30. Arkangeloid

    Arkangeloid MS2 Banned

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    Well I don't quite cram, I study every afternoon and night.

    I have been seeing tutors and learning specialists, and they've helped me go from a failing student to a below average student, which is a start I guess. I'm also seeing a psychiatrist. Once I get access to Ritalin (legally, of course), I should be able to fight against the other students on a more level playing field.
     
  31. happygilmore

    happygilmore

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    Are you psych or rads?
    Btw, I think there are some free lunches in medicine. Yet, I agree with your sentiments.

    The scariest thing about delaying gratification for 10 years is it may never come.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2014
  32. mcloaf

    mcloaf 5+ Year Member

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    I'm sorry you go to school with people like that.
     
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  33. Southplains

    Southplains 2+ Year Member

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    Yeah screw those guys Ark, what assholes.
     
  34. Arkangeloid

    Arkangeloid MS2 Banned

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    I think the worst thing that came out of the whole affair was that my confidence in myself was shattered. Ever since then, I've had this problem that I absolutely cannot study right before a test. Like, I'll be studying hard for most of the unit, but then the last few days before a test I'll completely shut down, and I'll just be filled with anxiety about what's going to happen.

    It happened again before today's exam, I had to really force myself to study and put everything together.


    Also, one more thing I'll really struggle with is trying to balance out multiple classes. For example, we have Pharm and Physio this time, and I'll end up overstudying on one class and understudying the other. On the Pharm part of the exam, I think I got about a 90%, but only around an 80% on the Physio (class average hovers in the 85% range usually). Then for the other exams I'll have to totally tank the classes I was doing well on so I can make sure I pass the others.
     
  35. Dr. USMLE

    Dr. USMLE USMLE tutor Lifetime Donor 5+ Year Member

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    I'm a radiology resident and love it! The key is to find what you're interested in yet still maintain work life balance. While this seems obvious, most doctors fail to do it.
     
  36. Lavan

    Lavan 2+ Year Member

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    Rads, haha. I should have included derm, ophtho, anesthesia, and rad-onc right? If you are referring to literal free lunches, then there are lots.

    It is the scariest thing. People wait and wait and say, if I can just get through this then it's going to be great! They say that when CV plumping in high school. They say it during orgo. They keep saying it. That part doesn't stop in medical school, and it doesn't stop during residency. And for a lot of physicians, it's still happening. Hence >50% regret.
     
  37. ksmi117

    ksmi117 GEAUX TIGERS!!! Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor 7+ Year Member

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    Moving to the Pre-Allo forum as the OP is not a medical student yet.
     
  38. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    I'm not sure residency is far enough through the tunnel to give you an honest assessment of the career. But so far it's a pretty good gig. It's interesting and the days, (though sometimes too long) usually fly by.
     
  39. ulikedaggers

    ulikedaggers Account on Hold Account on Hold

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    I initially thought this too, but then I revamped my study methods and became more efficient. I went from going to lecture and studying for 6-8 hours a day on top of lecture time to watching the lectures at 2x speed and studying ~3 hours a day. My grades improved and I moved from the 20-25% into the top 15% of my class.
     
  40. RogueUnicorn

    RogueUnicorn rawr. 7+ Year Member

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    I too would love to hear opinions from med students in residency please

    Yea it sounds to me you should have done CS too. BTW be more efficient with your studying.
     
  41. knv2u

    knv2u 2+ Year Member

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    Where are you getting your numbers? None of them seem realistic to me, or am I missing something here?
     
  42. RogueUnicorn

    RogueUnicorn rawr. 7+ Year Member

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    1/3 of school and 1/2 the effort seems right on the mark actually
     
  43. knv2u

    knv2u 2+ Year Member

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    Could you explain the 1/3 the length of school part to me? Internal medicine is a 3 year residency, Psychiatry is four I believe. Many specialties are around this mark (neurology, anesthesiology) and even general surgery is only an additional year. Is that poster including fellowships? Those aren't exactly like school are they (and you are paid more realistically, correct)? Or did I misread/misinterpret his comment about 1/3 of school?
     
  44. RogueUnicorn

    RogueUnicorn rawr. 7+ Year Member

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    I was under the impression the poster was only speaking of midlevels
     
  45. knv2u

    knv2u 2+ Year Member

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    This is the source of my misunderstanding. Could you explain "midlevels" in relationship to the numbers cited?
     
  46. RogueUnicorn

    RogueUnicorn rawr. 7+ Year Member

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    There are midlevels - PAs, NPs, who have an expanded scope of practice and are active in several fields - such as pricare and psych. They require only a masters, not residency (surgical PAs do a 1 year thing), and almost invariably work 40 hour weeks. 6 years of post high school training vs. 12 for an MD psych, for instance, would be the comparison. Not quite 1/3 of course, but it can feel that way sometimes...
     
  47. knv2u

    knv2u 2+ Year Member

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    Now I understand, thanks! I was confused about the meaning of the term and was equating it to a physician who didn't sub specialize (many PCPs are internal medicine and could go further). Now it makes sense to me, thanks!
     
  48. Arkangeloid

    Arkangeloid MS2 Banned

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    Were it so easy, haha.
     
  49. SunsFun

    SunsFun VICE president 5+ Year Member

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    Grass is always greener. Mid levels have their own problems.
     
  50. circulus vitios

    circulus vitios 7+ Year Member

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    I keep reading that choosing a specialty based on lifestyle is stupid. I have no idea what people are thinking. I'd rather do something I hated for 40-50 hours a week then something I 'love' for 60-70 hours a week. Medicine is just a job. I work to live, not the other way around.
     
  51. RogueUnicorn

    RogueUnicorn rawr. 7+ Year Member

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    great attitude. one you've been voicing for some time now.
     

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