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Pros/Cons of Schools

Discussion in 'Pre-Podiatry Students' started by PW96, Jun 19, 2017.

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  1. PW96

    PW96

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    I am planning on applying for this next cycle that enters fall of 2018. I am really looking at Barry, Western U, Samuel Merrit, Midwestern, Kent State, and Temple. If you go to any of these schools or know somebody who does, could you make a pro/con list for the school? I know these will be people's opinions, but I just wanted to see what they have to say.
     
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  3. KSUCPMMM

    KSUCPMMM

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    Ok I'll bite. I go to KSUCPM, I am finishing my 1st year summer session right now. Keep in mind that everything listed is from my personal perspective and something that I've listed as a pro might be a con for you and vice versa.

    Pro:
    Cost of living is CHEAP
    School is large, beautiful, and well maintained
    School is podiatry only
    The class size is large, meaning it is was easier for me to find friends. Despite the large class sizes certain classes have small groups associated with them so you can get individual attention.
    The school is reasonably diverse and everyone comes from different backgrounds.
    People are genuinely nice and helpful, the school is not cut throat in the slighest and students are very open to sharing resources.
    Most staff and faculty members are very nice and always willing to help you. You don't feel like a number.
    Many clubs, both academic associated and fun.
    Many chances to get involved in leadership roles in clubs, even as a first year student.
    Close to downtown Cleveland (15ish min drive) so if you like to go out you can but you aren't pressured to do so if you don't want to.
    Most students live in safe areas with lots of shopping and activities nearby.
    Anatomy lab is 4 students to a cadaver so you get to do a lot.
    Micro lab is excellent, you are given a pathogen and resources to isolate it. It was really good hands-on learning.
    Tutoring sessions are very helpful and nicely structured.
    Most professors are really good about holding review sessions before exams.
    Exam schedule is reasonable, 6ish weeks of classes and then a block of exams.
    Lots of opportunities to go to workshops and talks.
    Probably more things but this is just off the top of my head.

    Cons:
    The schedule could be laid out a little tighter. For example sometimes a class will let out at 11 and the next is at 1. There's time to have downtime and eat lunch but not enough time to get meaningful study in.
    The classroom that first years take classes in is kept COLD. People actually bring blankets. It's the middle of summer and I wear a jacket and long pants to class (to be somewhat fair I am a woman and am always cold but the temp at the school is excessively low).
    Some profs aren't great. This depends on personal preference though, you are definitely taught everything you need to learn.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2017
  4. Weirdy

    Weirdy

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    Plenty of threads on this. Use search function.
     
  5. TimmyTurner

    TimmyTurner 2+ Year Member

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    Pros of any school: Increased likelihood of obtaining residency anywhere within a 50 mile radius of that school

    Cons of any school: Decreased likelihood of obtaining residency anywhere within a 50 mile radius of the other 8 schools.

    Where do I see myself long term? The answer to that question greatly influenced my decision.

    To differentiate or rank schools based on curriculum or board pass rates is, IMO, splitting hairs.
     
  6. Sweatshirt

    Sweatshirt 2+ Year Member

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    When you get interviews at these schools go to them and make your own pros/cons list. Also consider where you'll be happiest at.

    IMO all the schools are similar. Minor differences here and there. You'll get a great education anywhere, that's why I say go where you'll be most comfortable/happiest. That's much better than having internet people list pros and cons of schools you've never even seen before
     
    smurfeyD and Packers4lifeDPM like this.
  7. e-POD

    e-POD

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    I am looking to apply at the following schools: DMU, AZPOD and Scholl. Has anyone who was considering all or 2 out of this list choose one over the other and why?
     
  8. smurfeyD

    smurfeyD 2+ Year Member

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    Theres an exact thread comparing these 3
     
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  9. esamoham

    esamoham Trust me, I am a doctor.

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    First location. Where do you see yourself?
    Money. What location has the lower cost of living?
    School. You will get the best education out of all them. You get in what you put in.

    Those are the 3 things I looked for to narrow down my options.


    Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
     
    Weirdy likes this.
  10. Packers4lifeDPM

    Packers4lifeDPM

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    I had those three I was deciding between. Came down to where I wanted to live for 4 years. Feel out which school fits you better during your interview. I chose AZPOD. From Wisconsin and wanted to try out the warm weather for awhile. Also, love the area and campus. Smallest class and already tight with everyone.
     
  11. smurfeyD

    smurfeyD 2+ Year Member

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    Hows the first week or so been?
     
  12. VolibearMain

    VolibearMain Banned Banned Account on Hold

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    Ill bite since we had a festival of personal attacks and people thinking Im here to defame kent.

    Pros
    1. Anatomy lab is pretty solid you get two TA's per table of around 5-6 people and they help you. Although some TA's know less than others
    2. Parking and the neighborhood is safe.
    3. People seem friendly enough, with the exception of a few people (im hoping its a few)
    4. Lectures are recorded

    Cons:
    Ive mentioned most of these before (PBL without information, no notes for anatomy, amongst other things).

    One of the biggest problems we have now is an excess of group work but no actual guidelines. And I realize this is what "prepares us" for the real world but you often have to carry dead weight of your group on your shoulders. Some people refuse to participate, they wont let you do any work without meeting as a full group, some people dont want to meet, right now weve been stretched out on a 15 minute remainder of an assignment because people wanted to leave early during an assigned time to work on it. The work load is also fair enough to be proportional to the size of our group but many individuals provide short answers with less detail and we are forced to fill in for it.

    There also isnt much to do here, there is downtown, which is a bunch of bars.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2017
  13. Packers4lifeDPM

    Packers4lifeDPM

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    As good as expected I guess lol. A lot of information was a understatement for how much you need to know in a short amount of time. Being with the DO students is definitely a benefit though. Going to be prepared for everything and anything. Just found out that we had 100% pass rate too for the previously class.
     
  14. CappnNono

    CappnNono 2+ Year Member

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    I only interviewed at Kent and NYCPM and honestly, it was a tough decision for me. I'll share my lists in hope that it will help someone with a similar decision

    NYCPM
    Pros:
    1. No car needed - public transportation is sufficient.
    2. On campus housing - nice way to meet classmates and you could live off campus if you want to too.
    3. 5 minute walk to class - very convenient
    4. Busiest clinic out of the schools - I saw a whole bunch of stuff while I was there for my interview in only an hour. I can't imagine what I would see in a day.
    5. Lowest tuition

    Cons:
    1. 70% classes mandatory - I'm used to attending all classes but I've heard of instances where people feel like they succeed better by staying at home and streaming lectures. I felt like that would be beneficial to me to have the choice on whether I wanted to attend class or not and decide what works for me. It feels like we are still high schoolers by making class mandatory. Maybe it is good because then you will be more tight knit as a class.
    2. NYC can be distracting - I felt like I could be distracted during my undergrad years being close to LA and having access to all the concerts that go on in the area. NYC is the same way but I have a different perspective now than I did in undergrad so hopefully it will be ok.
    3. 1-2 tests a week - This could be seen as a good or bad thing. I feel like it can make sure I am on track and not getting behind but could make my life pretty difficult too.

    Kent
    Pros:
    1. own apartment, low cost of living
    2. 3 exam weeks per semester - A lot more chill than NYCPM. Students felt like they had a really good balance and then just pushing extra hard during those exam weeks.
    3. 2nd busiest clinic - I didn't get to see anything during the interview though.
    4. Class is not mandatory

    Cons:
    1. Car - I hate driving in snow, I was in an accident in the snow/ice. I really did not want to deal with that again. I would need a different car because my current car could barely handle rain, let alone snow.
    2. 20 minute drive from campus - All the apartments are 15-20 min away since they don't have apartments in the actual town Kent is in.
    3. Higher tuition than NYCPM (plus that parking fee is outrageous. I felt like they just wanted to suck me dry of money I don't have)


    I chose NYCPM, the biggest reason being the car thing.
     
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  15. SLCpod

    SLCpod Staff Member SDN Moderator 5+ Year Member

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    Great post. Thanks for letting the pre-pods see how you decided which school is right for you.
     
    CappnNono likes this.
  16. Temple Podiatry

    Temple Podiatry Podiatric Medical School

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    In the end, anybody should visit or interview at any school which they could potentially see themselves attending. There is a big difference between how a school looks on paper and how a school feels in person. So take any pros or cons on this thread (including those I am posting below) with a grain of salt.

    TUSPM Pros:

    1. A lot of affordable living within walking distance of school. In other words, no car needed and no long distance traveling to school unless desired.
    2. Most lectures are not mandatory and every lecture is recorded and posted online for later review.
    3. TUSPM has the same basic science professors/lecturers as the MD and DMD schools at Temple. The lectures and quizzes/exams are either the same or very similar, depending on the class.
    4. TUSPM technically has the busiest onsite clinic, boasting over 50,000 patient visits per year. I'm seeing "nearly 25,000 patient visits a year" on the NYCPM website—let me know if there's an updated statistic. TUSPM also has an onsite full-body physical therapy clinic that students rotate through third year.
    5. The anatomy/cadaver lab is currently being renovated. The new lab will be ready for class of 2021 to use later this Fall.
    6. Philadelphia is a great city to live in when you're young—assuming you live and hang out in the right areas. The city is aesthetically pleasing, the food is good, the nightlife is good, and everything worth doing is within walking/Ubering distance from the podiatry campus.
    TUSPM Cons:
    1. APMLE pass rates are usually around the national average. While not bad it's not necessarily good either. There are schools with consistently higher pass rates though which would be a pro for those schools. Note: Both the administration and student body are attempting to find ways to improve board pass rates. It is not being overlooked or brushed aside by anyone.
    2. For the most part the building is old and the nice facilities at main campus are a couple of miles away. While not horrible, it's not super convenient. Note: The podiatry campus has received approval and funding from Temple and other sources for renovations which are taking place in stages. For instance the library recently received a rearrangement and new couches, the lounge was recently recarpeted, the onsite gym recently received some new equipment and a rearrangement, the anatomy lab is currently being renovated, the skills lab and surgical suites are in the process of or will soon be in the process of being updated, the signage outside is in the process of being updated, et cetera.
    TUSPM Pro or Con?
    1. Dorms on campus, probably about a 10 second walk from the building with the classes/clinic. Very very convenient. However, these dorms have not been renovated in decades, so I couldn't really say whether it's a pro or a con. Really depends on the person.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
  17. esamoham

    esamoham Trust me, I am a doctor.

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    They weren't going to let you live lol. Poor guy.


    Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
     
  18. GypsyHummus

    GypsyHummus 5+ Year Member

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    Regaurding group work, didn't you have to do that in college, especially in nom science classes. Every stupid time we had an assignment I felt like we were forced to do group work. I'm so used to it by now that it prolly wouldn't bother me.


     
  19. GypsyHummus

    GypsyHummus 5+ Year Member

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    Alright, so I remember how helpful these types pros and cons were for different schools for me when I was applying (even though most of them were dated 2007-2008), so I wanted to give back a bit of info SDN gave to me. Ill give my take on some of the schools I interviewed at.

    First, I'll break down what I think the pros and cons of podiatry are and then move onto my school list. Ill bold my topics and break up by each school in a separate post, that way its easier for people to read. I'll give a brief thoughts, pros, then cons.

    Podiatry:
    The podiatry of today is not the podiatry of ten years ago, and you have the graduating classes of recent years to thank for this. Each year things are getting better for pods in terms of scope of practice, practice autonomy, income, prestige and recognition. This is a really good, under the radar field to go into with a bright future ahead of it if you can tolerate feet and being a foot and ankle surgeon; it doesn't have the problem of over saturation like dentistry, pharmacy, or optometry, and people need foot and ankle care done well. There is a big push for parity right now that students can get on the front lines and literally determine the trajectory of the profession in a very real way, and make a difference in the profession as a whole.

    Pros
    1) Improving at an increasing rate. Not exponential, but more at a "slow and steady" rate. The Pods of today are like the DOs in the 50s and early 60s, struggling (with success) to be recognized as physicians and surgeons within the medical community. The equity provider act in congress is a good example of this.
    2) Resources are being dedicated to podiatry schools more than ever before for research and development.
    3) Many schools are taught in conjunction with MD/DO schools. This further helps Podiatrists defend their physician status. If you take the same classes as the medical students and come from the same background, why wouldn't you be considered equal?
    4) Podiatry fills a vital role in healthcare today. With the rise of diabetes, aging elderly, and general population growth, foot and ankle problems are becoming more prevalent. Whats most important however, is that podiatrists are willing to do some of the gross things for the feet that really need to be done, like wound care, Cyst drainage, and all the lovely smells associated with the feet.
    5) Most of the students currently will make great advocates for the profession, and will take it to new heights. There were many current pod students on my interview day that are passionate about pushing the profession forward.
    6) The introduction of the 3 year minimum residency training I feel is a good thing, as it gives pods more exposure. It is also the minimum residency training time for MD/DOs, further giving them
    7) the residency problem is almost fixed.

    Cons
    1) Pods are still a long way from parity. Despite the gains, pods have an uphill battle that is going to be hard to fight. Pods don't take the USMLE and as such, there will always be a disparage between MD/DO vs DPM. Now, DOs don't necessarily take the USLME, but they are merging residencies, so things are looking up for them parity wise.
    2) The leadership (at a professional level) and lobbying bodies leaves much to be desired.
    3) The DPM degree as of right now, is currently seen as an inferior degree by some medical professionals in the healthcare community. I feel like this will get better in the long term (30+ years away).
    4) Older DPMs tend to take advantage of the younger ones with salary and compensation offers that are atrocious by PA or Nurse Practitioner standards.
    5) Cost of tuition, across all pod schools, are reaching ridiculous levels. This is not a podiatry only problem however.
    6) One thing in general I really don't like is that pod schools are increasingly switching over to computerized testing measures instead of good old fashion paper exams. I dont like this because I like being able to write all over my exams and annotate in the corners to digest the information. Computer exams seem very sterile to me.
    7) I wish pod schools did pass fail and not A-F grading.


    Now, for the first school:

    Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine

    Formerly Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine. Going into this school, I had very little expectations. I had preconceived notions that this was a bottom tiered school, that people go here because they had too. My reasoning behind this was because of their GPA and MCAT score ranges (They accepted people in the 2.0s and sub 20 MCAT). This place blew away all my expectations and I was thoroughly impressed with the program.

    Pros:
    1) The staff, teachers, and administrators as so friendly. They want you to be apart of the program and they bend over backward to accommodate you. I can only assume this goes for their students as well. Everyone is super approachable.
    2) there are Supplemental instruction (SI) sessions for 1st year anatomy and biochem classes and tutoring available as well. This to me was a HUGE positive because SI was a massive benefit to be as an undergrad student.
    3) the immediate area of Independence OH is really nice. Cleaveland is not.
    4) there were research opportunities for students that were readily advertised. No other pod school brought up research opportunities on interview day.
    5) Partnering with Kent State brings in a lot of benefits that a big state school has and was in my opinion, a small step in the right direction.
    6) Anatomy Lab was very nice.
    7) The students, at least at the interview, all seemed like they wanted to be there. This is interesting, as there were students at other schools who didn't seem to want to be pods.
    8) From what I understood during the interview, rotations could all be done in one place, which is really nice.
    9) They gave our interview group free Kent State apparel. That was sweet.
    10) There was a really nice study area on the upper levels.
    11) I really liked the little library.
    12) The school is very aggressive in recruiting. I can't tell you how many fliers, folders, and papers they sent to me. I feel like the marketing could really help the profession.

    Cons
    1) the class size is too big. The school could be 100 students and it would still be fine.
    2) I personally did not like the Cleveland area. It is a depressing area.
    3) I wish they would accept higher caliber students, like screen at 3.0 GPA and 490 MCAT. I mean come on guys, a 3.0 in undergrad is easy, thats like all Bs, the occasional A and the occasional C.
    4) I felt that the school run clinic was rather small and not really emphasized.
    5) The board score pass rate was really low when I was interviewing (83 or something like that)
    6) I wish the school was on Kent Sate University's campus proper instead of the old building. I feel like having a Podiatry school on college campuses would help attract students.
     
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  20. smurfeyD

    smurfeyD 2+ Year Member

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    Cant wait for your reviews of the other schools! Also we need to get you back on the podteam, gypsy. Drop LECOM haha
     
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  21. GypsyHummus

    GypsyHummus 5+ Year Member

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    Yeah, no kidding lol. The pod forum is so much more laid back than the DO and MD forum.

    That also translates to real life too. Every pod student I have met has been super chill and easy to get along with. I've met some pretty uptight MD students. I'm sure there are some exceptions to everything, but pods for the most part are the people I would much rather hang out with
     
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  22. Weirdy

    Weirdy

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    There's dozens of us.....DOZENS!!
     
  23. GypsyHummus

    GypsyHummus 5+ Year Member

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    Alright, AZPOD

    This is a very special school. Many people on the forums debate weather or not the best school overall is DMU or AZPOD, the reason for these comparisons are because of board score and residency placement. While every pod school out there will give you a good education, I am inclined to give the win to AZPOD as #1 for a couple of reasons (which will be listed in the pros). This school impressed me the most, and it has student entering statistics that rival DO programs (3.5+GPA, 500+ MCAT averages). This is one of the 3 schools that are integrated with the DOs, which I feel is a good step in the right direction for the profession. AZPOD is certainly the most selective Pod school in the country, next to DMU, so keep that in mind. They are looking for a certain "type" of person at AZPOD.

    Pros:
    1) Timester system. This gives students a bit less each semester with the tradeoff of no big breaks. I think this is the best way to go, and wish more schools in general would do this.
    2) Highest board pass rates. This year 100% of the students passed boards (I believe part 1). Over the last couple years they have had consistent pass rates in the 90%s. There are DO schools with a smaller % of the students passing than what AZPOD turns out. This is the reason pods go to school, to pass the tests.
    3) 30 student class size. I feel like this really helps familiarize yourself with the class.
    4) On campus housing.
    5) Weather is amazing in the winter time. Hot in summer.
    6) Campus is beautiful
    7) Exclusively a professional school. Lots of healthcare people which helps connect you to all facets of medicine. Maybe even find a significant other?
    8) Awesome residency placement. If I recall, they only had one person not get a residency, and that was because they didn't apply to enough places.
    9) California like restaurants without having to go to California. You get all the cool dinning experiences like in and out burger, what a burger, lots of stuff like that.
    10) The staff is great. Open door policy and makes you feel that you are a student and not just a number
    11) Students were super friendly. All the pod students seemed like they wanted to be there.
    12) Phenix is right nearby, so there is plenty of things to do 30 mins away.
    13) Lots of retired old people=lots of patients who need foot and ankle care. I find dealing with old people easier than younger generations.

    Cons:
    1) Rotation sites are kind of all over Arizona. I really wish clinic would be established in one place each year. This can be a pro for some people if they like moving around.
    2) Cost of living is rather expensive.
    3) Scorpions.
    4) Tuition is crazy expensive.
    5) 30 students in the class. Everyone knows your business.
    6) Hot in the summer
    7) The podiatry program is within the health sciences department instead of being its own stand alone.
    8) Outside of the campus area, its a lot of desert. Lots of red sand, not a lot of green in the desert.

    Ill go back and edit the post if more things pop up in my head.
     
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  24. smurfeyD

    smurfeyD 2+ Year Member

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    I met this kid and will add that he agreed he didnt apply to enough places. However, he just received a spot in the Maricopa residency program due one of the students have medical issues. Maricopa seems like a really good residency. So their one student who didnt get a residency landed one just in time!
     
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  25. Weirdy

    Weirdy

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    Wut.....

    Thought it was dirt cheap compared to a lot of places?
     
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  26. VolibearMain

    VolibearMain Banned Banned Account on Hold

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    It was, im pretty sure the student who showed us around had a 3 bedroom for less than 1200 a month for his family. The lady who was a director or something of such nature said students purchase homes for 150-200 k there. CSPM was 2000 for a crap studio, and Western was around 1200 for a 1-2 bedroom.
     
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  27. GypsyHummus

    GypsyHummus 5+ Year Member

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    I couldn't find a place for less than 900/month for a studio.

     
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  28. Packers4lifeDPM

    Packers4lifeDPM

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    I live in a studio apt on campus for 710 a month. It's a 4 min walk to campus which is super nice!! Love it here so far!
     
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  29. PW96

    PW96

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    If I want more ortho/surgical/sports med, would looking at residency programs around each school to see what they focus on be a good idea in helping pick a school? Or is that thinking too far ahead?
     
  30. Sweatshirt

    Sweatshirt 2+ Year Member

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    Too far ahead. It doesn't matter where you go to school for residency. When you do externships, just rotate at programs that focus more on ortho and sports med
     

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