Pocket Must-haves for 3rd year

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by DazedConfused, Apr 19, 2004.

  1. DazedConfused

    DazedConfused Junior Member

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    Looked around a bit, but didn't see any threads that discussed the most useful items to carry around in our white coats during 3rd year. A couple that I have are:

    Tarascon
    an H&P cheat sheet that is shrunken to 3X5 size
    PDA
    pen light
    hammer
    stethoscope

    What does everyone else carry? Any sites out there have downloadable/printable cards with info like the H&P form that I mentioned above? BTW, mine came from the back of my First Aid: Medicine Clerkship book.
     
  2. southerndoc

    southerndoc life is good
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    Tarascon, as you've mentioned
    Maxwell's (an absolute must)
    EKG calipers are helpful (not a must though)
    Pen light
    Reflex hammer
    Stethoscope

    You shouldn't need an H&P cheat sheet, but if you do need one, it's on the Maxwell's. Again, I highly recommend you pay the $8 and get a Maxwell's!
     
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  3. Seaglass

    Seaglass Quantum Member
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    Yes Maxwells is essential. Essential. Essential. Did I mention that it is essential? It's essential.

    Casey
     
  4. Smurfette

    Smurfette Antagonized by Azrael
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    Maxwell cards
    Pocket Pharmacopeia (Tarascon)
    Sanford anti-microbial guide (some medicine attendings are dead set on this one!)
    blank index cards (some recommend punching a hole in a corner and putting them on a ring to keep them organized) some people carry mini-notepads.
    PDA
    pens (always carry a spare)
    penlight, reflex hammer
    stethoscope
    breath mints
    a few dollars (for caffeine emergencies or an impromptu team trip to the cafeteria)
    any reference cards you have (H&P guidelines, pager numbers, EKG cheatsheet, pocket eyechart)

    and, a pocket-size bottle of hand sanitizer. Trust me, you and your team will use it often!
     
  5. DocWagner

    DocWagner Senior Member
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    This is what I tell the students...
    Get the pocket pharmacopeia, Maxwells, perhaps a Washington Manual, pen light and a stethoscope. (reflex hammer gets in the way and can be replaced by the head of your stethoscope or virtually anything else). Carry a notepad and plenty of pens.
     
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  6. southerndoc

    southerndoc life is good
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    I like the suggestion for breath mints (or gum) and caffeine for those nights of being on call, or even worse, "post-call breath" and the "post-call blues" that require gum and caffeine.
     
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  7. Mirror Form

    Mirror Form Thyroid Storm
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    If you're the computer type, especially the type that's into pirating stuff you should definitely invest a few hundred pocks into a pda. You can get every pocket-book worth owning in pda format for each rotation off of the skyscape crack and from yahoo user groups.

    Once I'm a doctor I'll actually buy the pocket books that pertain to the specialty I go into. But I'm not going to actually buy a separate pocket-book for each rotation when I can just download them for free and delete them after the month is over.
     
  8. Fermi

    Fermi Senior Member
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    When you say "Tarascon," do you mean the "Shirt Pocket Edition" ($9) or the "Lab Coat Edition" ($16)? I'm trying to figure out which one is most useful to buy.

    Tarascon also has a Pocket PC version--anyone use that? Is it more useful than microMEDEX or ePocrates?
     
  9. Weil-Felix

    Weil-Felix Super Flying Squirrel
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    When I was a third year, I carried a cigarette case that I converted into a sort of wallet substitute. It was just big enough to carry a driver's license, credit card, a few dollars, and most importantly meal tickets! It was slim, so it didn't take up hardly any room in my white coat pocket, but heavy enough that it wasn't going to fall out when I pulled other papers, etc. out of my pockets. It's useful for someone who doesn't want to be bothered by the bulkiness of a wallet. (By the way, I don't smoke. It just happened to be a handy carrying case.)

    I also carried a few different things on different rotations:

    Surg: Surgical recall..a must for quick cramming in between pimping sessions.
    FP: St. Francis pocket guide to outpatient medicine. Also good for the shelf.
    Medicine: Wash manual. Kind of bulky, in my opinion. I stopped carrying this halfway through the rotation.
    OB: Pregnancy wheel. There's also a little red pocket guide that was decent, but I can't remember the title for the life of me.
    Peds: Otoscope. Many peds floors/clinics have them in the rooms, but I was surprised at how many did not. Bring one on your first day, at least.
    Psych: Little green handbook titled "Current clinical strategies: Psychiatry".

    I also agree with the Maxwell's recommendation. Of all the pocket references, that is by far the most versatile.
     
  10. Vincristine

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    What always makes it back into my pockets after I clean them every month or so:
    1. PDA (Tungsten T), but if you're not a computer type, you can get most stuff in paper version. For PDA:
    a. ePocrates
    b. Harrison's for the Palm
    c. Washington Manual
    d. 5 Minute Clinical Consult
    e. Sanford Guide to antimicrobial therapy
    f. medical dictionary
    g. med calc with more calucations that you'll ever use
    e. other random stuff including my schedule, important phone numbers, locker combiantions, door codes, pager numbers, etc.​
    2. Maxwell's -- more because it's lightweight
    3. Some sort of small notebook or scrap paper for jotting things down
    4. pen light
    5. favorite pen x2
    6. free drug pen to "lend" (and not care if I get back)
    7. GUM (I'm definitely a gum chewer, plus you'll be amazed how many friends you can make with gum
    8. Cash/Credit card -- especially if you're a woman and probably don't carry your wallet with you. I keep cash in the back "folder" of my small note book. There's also my "lab coat credit card" which is a MC accepted at the subway and bagelmann's nearby, but which I also don't care that it's not in my wallet normally. This bugs my husband, and if it came to it, I'd probably open some extra credit card too simply keep in my lab coat. I like the idea of a cigarette holder. Or a business card thing might work, too.
    9. Stethoscope (around my neck, not in my pocket).
    10. chapstick
    11. alcohol squares

    Things that come and go depending on the rotation:
    1. daily flow sheets for tracking daily labs, vitals, and problems for each patient. I ditched my clipboard and just started folding the papers lengthwise and stick then in my pocket, or the stack is just as easy to care as a clipboard if I want. I usually staple the flowsheets to copies of my admission H&P for the patient. It's easy to keep all the info together, but once the patient has been discharged, the file can go in my locker.
    2. Other quick reference cards. I am particularly fond on the Medical Info Systems cards (http://www.medicalinfosystems.com). They have a million different ones including peds normal values, abdominal pain, etc.
    3. Current Clinical Strategeies for the appropriate rotation. The IM and surgery ones has admission orders and DDX for common chief complaints. The OB/Gyn one is great to read while you're sitting here and there. These are avaible in PDF format for your PDA, but I find this format extremely non user-friendly (very slow and can't search) that I buy the paper version.
    4. gronola bars or peanutbutter/crackers

    I've not had reason to carry my own oto-/opthalmoscope, but some places don't really have then available. I also lost my reflex hammer during my second month of medicine. I never replaced it, and use my stethoscope when necessary.

    If you have an option about your coat, I highly suggest one with pockets on the inside, too.
     
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  11. Seaglass

    Seaglass Quantum Member
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    Hey, did anyone mention Maxwells?
     
  12. Smurfette

    Smurfette Antagonized by Azrael
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    :confused: :( :(
    I didn't realize this post was so offensive as to earn me so much bad karma. My apologies for whatever it is that caused such a negative response (I really would like to know so I don't inadvertantly do it again).

    smurfette
     
  13. southerndoc

    southerndoc life is good
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    You mean the Bible? ;)
     
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  14. jakstat33

    jakstat33 Senior Member
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    Ann Intern Med 1999; 130:247-250
     
  15. beezar

    beezar Senior Member
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    I think an essential read is Tarascon's How to be a Truly Excellent Junior Medical Student.

    Not many people know about this, but this little pocketbook really breaks down the nitty gritty of how hospital services are run, your role as a medical student, the roles of residents/attendings, exactly how patients are admitted, how to write notes, how to write orders, how to do many procedures.

    Maybe not so useful for people who've been in clinics for a while, but very very helpful for those starting out. Basically covers all the essential stuff that you need to know outside of diagnosis, treatment, etc. that they formally teach you.
     
  16. Vincristine

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    Beezar's right. I completely forgot, this is certainly a good read. However, once I read it, I didn't really carry it around. Tarascon's purple IM/Critical Care pocket book is also very good for both IM (lots of good formulas and quick facts) and ICU.
     
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  17. Epi

    Epi Fuzzy Tiger
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    where can i get Maxwells?
     
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  18. DOtobe

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    Your school bookstore. That's where I got mine.

    It's also on amazon.com...
     
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  19. Seaglass

    Seaglass Quantum Member
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    What he said.
     
  20. Hmmm...

    Certain basics go for all rotations...Maxwell's, pen, paper, penlight, drug guide (e.g. Tarascon's), ABX guide (e.g. Sanford Guide).

    In Medicine? I'd add the Red Book, EKG basics notecard/quick reference.
    OB? Pregnancy wheel, measuring tape (for measuring fundal height), Red Book.
    Surg? Scissors, 4-by-4s, tape, stool guaiac cards and developer.
    Psych? Maybe a card with the mental status exam. The CCS (little green book) series is good too.
    Peds? Not sure yet, haven't done that rotation. :)
     
  21. DOtobe

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    Uhh..I'm a she, but thanks for agreeing with me ;)
     
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  22. Whoops, forgot to add, a measuring tape can be helpful for Surg if there's a skin lesion, ulcer or abscess involved.
     
  23. Seaglass

    Seaglass Quantum Member
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    Sorry; what she said.
     
  24. Smurfette

    Smurfette Antagonized by Azrael
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    I've done Medicine and OB and haven't heard of the Red Book...What is it and is it something I'd still find helpful for fourth year or is it more basics-oriented? I'm always looking for good resources.

    Peds-specific idea: I carried a bone necklace (a pen shaped like a femur, on a lanyard) I got from a drug rep. It was a great thing to hand to a kid for them to look at in order to keep them from crying or help prevent them from trying to grab my stethoscope or hair while I examined them. Older kids liked guessing which bone it was. I know other people had similar things they carried as kid-distractors. This was for my outpatient peds rotation though...some people would argue that carrying the Harriet Lang Handbook is helpful for inpatient, depending on your school and how busy of a service you have. I personally fared well without Harriet Lang, but I already had most rotations (including medicine) under my belt. But if you want a good peds reference book, I know it fits easily in a white coat pocket.
     
  25. Jaded Soul

    Jaded Soul Proloxil > Zoloft
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    I don't like bulky pockets, so I keep things to a minimum compared to other people here.

    The single most useful thing I carried around with me is my PDA. It's got 5MCC, ePocrates, AtoZ Drugs Sanford Guide, med calculator, med dictionary, and whatever program that might be useful for the service I'm on.

    I always carry Maxwell, which I don't need on a daily basis, but comes in handy regularly. I also like to carry the CCS for the rotations I'm on. The Psych and Medicine ones were the most helpful.

    As for tools, just my stethoscope and a penlight. I haven't been on a service where I need a reflex hammer every day, so if I do need to test reflexes and can't get one, I just use the end of my stethoscope.

    Other stuff I always have include: granola bar, extra pens, notepad, and alcohol wipes.
     
  26. There's a series of little red books (think they're written by Stanford residents) for different subjects. I've only ever seen the Medicine and OB ones. They're small, around 3x4" (maybe around an inch think), but jam packed with useful disease synopses, drugs, algorithms, etc. Around $25-30.
     
  27. hexagram13

    hexagram13 Junior Member
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  28. Pox in a box

    Pox in a box 1K Member
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    Bumping up for the new kids on the block.
     
  29. nerfherder

    nerfherder Member
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    what you need depends on your rotation

    Neurology - Penlight, reflex hammer, tuning fork, couple extra safety pins for pinprick test,
    Surgery - Trauma shears... Steal 4x4 gauze, kerlex, and tape to keep in your pocket once you get to that rotation. Also surgeons keep thier stethoscopes in thier pockets as they don't look like internists :rolleyes: Surg recall
    Ob/gyn - Pregnancy wheel, you can usually get this from the residents
    Peds- otoscope, goofy things to distract kids or else they'll play with your stethoscope and pull your hair. Stickers, Pens that light up are really cool. Some residents had chicken reflex hammers.

    I only used the daily H&P plus orders and labs sheets for inpt peds and IM. Basically for any rotation you should have penlight, pocket sized notebook, 2-3 drug reps pens, pocket sized pharmacopeia, and MAXWELLS (it has cheat sheets for any kind of note you have to write and h&P, MMSE, normal values for labs, etc etc)
     
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  30. Ergo

    Ergo Integrated Resident
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    Wow, way too much crap! You can honor the whole third year with much less junk. Only the following things, the rest is too much!!!
    small Pocket Pharmacopeia (Tarascon)
    small Sanford anti-microbial guide (some medicine attendings are dead set on this one!)
    10 blank index cards (no ring)
    pen
    penlight
    stethoscope - wind the cord around the metal parts so it folds up tight.
    very small container of breath mints
    a few dollars (for caffeine emergencies or an impromptu team trip to the cafeteria)
    very small Pocket calendar contains: pager numbers, EKG cheatsheet, pocket eyechart)
     
  31. p53

    p53 ****** for F******
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    They both have the same information. I would go with the shirt pocket edition because of less weight. I have used Pocket Pharmacopeia every day in my rotation to write out the dosage of my patients in the physician's orders. Furthermore, they will be very impressed when you share your assessment and plan of a patient by spitting out the dosages of the drugs indicated!!!

    I carry 3 HIGH YIELD pocket books in my white coat and this is the one I use the most!!!!

    I LOVE THIS BOOK!! A+++++++
     
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  32. grounded

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    Add a Pocket Dilation Guide (pocketdilationguide.com) for your OB rotation. It will help with learning your cervical dilation measurements and doesn't take up much room in the pocket.
     
  33. Pox in a box

    Pox in a box 1K Member
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    What are the other two p53? Let me suggest the Intern Pocket Survival Guide. It's a pretty sweet feeling when an intern asks you, the third year med student, how to write an order on an ER patient that you're going to admit to the floor. :smuggrin:
     
  34. kaos

    kaos Web Crawler
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    I carry Maxwell's, my steth, reflex hammer, penlight, a small spiral notebook, a little folded card with all the important hospital #s, my pager, and a PDA. My white coat is too freaking heavy already, and today was just the first day! :scared:
     
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  35. MaloCCOM

    MaloCCOM Senior Member
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    This is exactly my philosophy; If it fits in your palm, don't put it in your pocket.

    I am a minimalist as well. I wrote up some information on PDA Essentials on my blog, here: http://www.thealo.com/maloblog/index.asp?ci=16&s=category

    Enjoy!
     
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  36. p53

    p53 ****** for F******
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    1. Scutmonkey - has a hodgepodge of everything from operating room procedures to lab diagnosis. Take a look at it a bookstore but buy a used copy from ebay.

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0071402551/qid=1121209708/sr=8-1/ref=pd_bbs_ur_1/102-0560143-4068132?v=glance&s=books&n=507846

    2. Harrison's Manual of Medicine - I prefer it over Washington Manual because of the algorithms, and pathophysiology.

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0071444416/qid=1121209892/sr=8-1/ref=pd_bbs_ur_1/102-0560143-4068132?v=glance&s=books&n=507846
     
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  37. Pox in a box

    Pox in a box 1K Member
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    I've considered Scut Monkey but I haven't picked one up yet because 1) there's no time to read anyway on my current service and 2) I haven't found a need for it yet. I'll probably take a better look at it when I start my medicine/family rotations.


    Might I suggest the Washington Manual for Interns? It's a slightly different version but is quite useful, especially for interns and budding medical students looking for the edge. I used to like Harrison's until I found some better resources.
     
  38. fantasty

    Physician 10+ Year Member

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    Bumpty bumpty bump.

    (I'm trying to keep track of these recommendations and it'd be nice to see this on the front page for a bit)
     
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  39. medgirl20

    medgirl20 Senior Member
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    Tissues are always handy to have when someone on the team has a sneezing fit in the patients room. The small packets don't take up much room in your pocket
     
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  40. DebDynamite

    DebDynamite Attending
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    I always keep a few ibuprofen in my case of mints.

    And depending on the rotation, I may actually put a small water bottle in my coat pocket and take it with me.

    I got my Dell Axim on ebay (the 3.0) for about 200$. Using this eliminates the need for extraneous paper books. Some days, however, I'll leave it at home and take Maxwell's instead.

    I don't use note cards on my patients, instead I print up the daily census and jot my patient note on the back. Then, on the fromt I keep little bullets about other patients on the service, in case I end up picking them up or helping out a team member, I can recall something about them.

    Most days this leaves my coat with: 2-3 pens, 1-2 sheets of paper with pt census and notes, stethescope, penlight, PDA, 3-4$, lip balm, car keys, small container with mints, ibuprofen, and maybe vitamin C& B12. Sometimes I add a water bottle and Cliff bars and nuts- these are the long days.
     
  41. cytoskelement

    cytoskelement Dr. D.R.E.
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    Nice!!!!!
     
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  42. nutcancer

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    Heard fantastic things about 'Differential Diagnosis Pocket.' Is it worth getting, especially for internal medicine?
     
  43. MadameLULU

    MadameLULU Saucy
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    What is Tarascon?
     
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  44. DrQuinn

    DrQuinn My name is Neo
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    Tarascon is a publishign company that started with the pocket pharmacopeia. Which is a definite must have for any medical student. You can probably get them free from drug reps or by going to any convention.

    I would also recommend for any soon to be M3 or current M3, my book (don't worry, its not a TOS violation, my publisher is going to advertise here on SDN), Pimp Protector. Its MADE for the m3 clerkships with medical students in mind.... you can get it cheap on barnes and noble.com

    Q
     
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  45. MadameLULU

    MadameLULU Saucy
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    yeah, I figured it out, but thanks! I carry it around, but I'm thinking of purchasing a PDA w/ePocrates so I can look up drug mechs, contraindications, and stuff like that
     
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  46. grounded

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  47. DragonWell

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    Somebody was preaching Sabatine for IM rotations. Opinions?
     
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  48. kito

    kito Big Evil
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
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    In the rare event that I actually wear my white coat (usually during the first two and the very last day of a rotation) I will have:

    stethascope
    pen light
    pen
    pocket phone extension directory

    It is amazing how minimalist people get as they climb the heirarchical ladder. I started out with my pockets full on my very first clerkship, and am now left with the above.
     
  49. MacGyver

    MacGyver Membership Revoked
    Removed

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    Tell me more about this "skyscape crack"
     
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