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Found 15 results

  1. I'm looking for advice on preparing to write the MCAT for April 2021. I completed a Honours B.Sc in 2012 and am now considering Med school. I want to write the MCAT as a first step in determining if I have what it takes before potentially doing a second UG. I'm looking for advice on the best study package for the MCAT. As a non-trad applicant who has been out of university for some time, I know I have knowledge gaps that need to be filled. I know Kaplan has been mentioned as a great resource and there are many other free study guides online. I'm considering purchasing the DIY Kaplan course for $1799. Am I better off trying to do free practice tests and using free online resources before purchasing Kaplan? Is the investment of purchasing the prep course worth it? Thanks for your feedback.
  2. Good day, I hope everyone is doing well. So I have asked about this in another Forum (under the similar username of this Premed101 account) and did get some positive replies from medical students and current undergraduate students. But I'm still facing the dilemma, so someone told me to post here in Premed101 to get more responses in order to make my decision. Please if you can take some time out and help me decide I'll be very grateful. I'm a 25y/o from Ontario, I dropped out of high school in my late teens due to personal problems and depression, then at the age of 21 I decided to go back to high school and finish off my Grade 12 courses. Then after almost 2 years of study I graduated with an overall of 87% in the OSSD. Upon graduating high school at 23 years old I went through a monetary crisis which led me to depression again, in addition I was very stressed with anxiety. I also procrastinated my undergrad application deadlines because I wasn't feeling well. Now, just recently after psychological counselling sessions I feel a slightly bit mentally prepared. But the problem is I hardly remember the things that I have learned in Grade 12 Physics and Chemistry. During that time I was mentally stressed being the oldest one in school but still managed to finish the high school courses by cramming. However the Grade 12 Biology, Calculus and Advanced Functions, I remember studying those. Hence I kind of remember the course materials of Grade 12 Biology, Calculus and Advanced Functions but not the ones that I crammed the Grade 12 Physics and Chemistry. I also didn't make any notes when doing the high school courses, I mainly bought a couple of textbooks by McGraw Hill and Nelson, did the practice questions and that it. And also another reason beside cramming , I had a 2 year study gap after graduating high school when I was depressed and felt drained out. There are still some Ontario universities and some Out of Province Universities that are still accepting students for undergraduate Fall 2020 entry since most University classes will be taken entirely online. Would it be better if I start my undergraduate this Fall 2020 (BSc in Biology or Biomedical Science) in OOP schools like University of Saskatchewan or other universities) without having any sort of preparation, because I feel that I have forgotten most of what I learned or crammed almost 2 years ago when I graduated high school at 23. Or is it going to be better if I start school in Winter 2021 and in the meantime in-between September to December I get prepared by making notes on each Grade 12 Courses that I previously completed. (Because before I didn't make any notes when studying for the grade 12 courses, as I said earlier I only read textbooks and did practice questions, I also crammed most of Grade 12 Physics and Chemistry). Is this a viable option? There are some huge cons of starting school in January 2021 which is I won't be accountable for wGPA and Full Course Load Med School application systems (I'm very sorry, I have little knowledge about this). Would it be a great disadvantage if I start school in Winter session? Is there anybody here that started their undergrad in January or Winter session in the pre-med track or got into medical school ? I'm just worried if I'll do very poorly in my 1st year because coming from a 2 year gap then there were some courses I crammed, I feel really guilty about this and regret it. I think if I had atleast 2/3 months of self preparation before starting the undergrad, I think I would have been able to relearn and recollect everything. But now if I start in Fall 2020 I have about 2 weeks left and if I start in January 2021 I can use the time to write notes on Grade 12 courses and relearn everything that I forgot. Please help me decide, what would you have done if you were in my situation? I really don't know who to talk to about this, I'm very much stressing out. I'm very sorry if I was being too repetitive in my description but I'm currently going through a lot of stress regarding this. Thank you very much for taking your valuable time to read through this, I will really appreciate all of your replies and suggestions. I need to make this decision in a few days, so Please help me out.
  3. Good day, I hope everyone is doing well. So I have asked about this in another Forum (under the similar username of this Premed101 account) and did get some positive replies from medical students and current undergraduate students. But I'm still facing the dilemma, so someone told me to post here in Premed101 to get more responses in order to make my decision. Please if you can take some time out and help me decide I'll be very grateful. I'm a 25y/o from Ontario, I dropped out of high school in my late teens due to personal problems and depression, then at the age of 21 I decided to go back to high school and finish off my Grade 12 courses. Then after almost 2 years of study I graduated with an overall of 87% in the OSSD. Upon graduating high school at 23 years old I went through a monetary crisis which led me to depression again, in addition I was very stressed with anxiety. I also procrastinated my undergrad application deadlines because I wasn't feeling well. Now, just recently after psychological counselling sessions I feel a slightly bit mentally prepared. But the problem is I hardly remember the things that I have learned in Grade 12 Physics and Chemistry. During that time I was mentally stressed being the oldest one in school but still managed to finish the high school courses by cramming. However the Grade 12 Biology, Calculus and Advanced Functions, I remember studying those. Hence I kind of remember the course materials of Grade 12 Biology, Calculus and Advanced Functions but not the ones that I crammed the Grade 12 Physics and Chemistry. I also didn't make any notes when doing the high school courses, I mainly bought a couple of textbooks by McGraw Hill and Nelson, did the practice questions and that it. And also another reason beside cramming , I had a 2 year study gap after graduating high school when I was depressed and felt drained out. There are still some Ontario universities and some Out of Province Universities that are still accepting students for undergraduate Fall 2020 entry since most University classes will be taken entirely online. Would it be better if I start my undergraduate this Fall 2020 (BSc in Biology or Biomedical Science) in OOP schools like University of Saskatchewan or other universities) without having any sort of preparation, because I feel that I have forgotten most of what I learned or crammed almost 2 years ago when I graduated high school at 23. Or is it going to be better if I start school in Winter 2021 and in the meantime in-between September to December I get prepared by making notes on each Grade 12 Courses that I previously completed. (Because before I didn't make any notes when studying for the grade 12 courses, as I said earlier I only read textbooks and did practice questions, I also crammed most of Grade 12 Physics and Chemistry). Is this a viable option? There are some huge cons of starting school in January 2021 which is I won't be accountable for wGPA and Full Course Load Med School application systems (I'm very sorry, I have little knowledge about this). Would it be a great disadvantage if I start school in Winter session? Is there anybody here that started their undergrad in January or Winter session in the pre-med track or got into medical school ? I'm just worried if I'll do very poorly in my 1st year because coming from a 2 year gap then there were some courses I crammed, I feel really guilty about this and regret it. I think if I had atleast 2/3 months of self preparation before starting the undergrad, I think I would have been able to relearn and recollect everything. But now if I start in Fall 2020 I have about 2 weeks left and if I start in January 2021 I can use the time to write notes on Grade 12 courses and relearn everything that I forgot. Please help me decide, what would you have done if you were in my situation? I really don't know who to talk to about this, I'm very much stressing out. I'm very sorry if I was being too repetitive in my description but I'm currently going through a lot of stress regarding this. Thank you very much for taking your valuable time to read through this, I will really appreciate all of your replies and suggestions. I need to make this decision in a few days, so Please help me out.
  4. Hi everyone, I'm looking for a little advice on writing the MCAT. I have been toying around with writing the MCAT since the last cycle's results came out on May 12th. I am from Ontario and was on the waitlist for the only school I applied to last cycle (NOSM). A little background/stats: I am a non-traditional applicant. Degrees: HBSc (Chemistry), Bachelor of Education (concurrent), Master of Education (completed Nov 2019). GPA: cGPA 3.56, 2Y GPA for Queen's 3.67 ABS: Likely the strongest suit in my application. Lots of long term EC's. SSHRC in Master's, two conference presentations, work as a lecturer at my local college, work as a contract lecturer at a university, worked for the Ministry of Education, specializations in social justice and Indigenous education, regional lead for PPE campaign during COVID, President of various clubs, etc. etc. Lots here - more quality items than spaces. I have not written my MCAT, which is why I only applied to NOSM last cycle. My GPA does not meet cut offs for Ottawa so that was out of the question. Even if I were to write the MCAT, U of T and Western are off the table due to me not meeting course requirements or not meeting Western's two year GPA threshold. However, writing the MCAT would make me eligible to apply to Queen's and McMaster, in addition to NOSM. I am still on the fence about writing the MCAT because I'm not sure if it will be worth it! PS the MCAT is not offered where I live, so I am looking at a 6 hour drive each and a stay in a hotel in potentially COVID times to write...but if people think I have a chance, of course it would be worth it. First there's Mac, which doesn't look at my ABS (strongest part of application), but does CASPER which I think I would excel on. Mac also only cares about CARS, which in my diagnostic MCAT result was my best section (scored 125 without any practice or studying). Queen's on the other hand highly values ABS (from what I gather) but requires MCAT cutoffs that are unknown. I would be very interested in attending Queen's or Mac. My areas of strength are Chemistry and Critical Reasoning/Analysis for sure. The other kicker is that I would be aiming to write September 27 or 28th so I have a little under 3 months. I am also working during this time about 6 hours per day (could maybe reduce to a little lower than that). Financially, I can't not work this summer, but I don't know if I have enough time. I have three questions: 1) Is it worth it for Queen's and possibly a slim chance at Mac? Especially when I was on the NOSM waitlist this year and potentially have a good chance next cycle? 2) Does Queen's or Mac ever take Master's graduates with a GPA like mine? 3) Do I have enough time to adequately prepare? My Chem thesis was completed in 2015-2016, so I need refreshers for sure, even in Chem. Thank you for any advice you can give
  5. Hi there, I'm a 1st year Mechanical Engineering student although first year is just general. But, I do also hold a Bachelor of IT, Game Development & Entrepreneurship degree which I graduated from last April with a 3.81/4.3 GPA. I also didn't take biology in high school as I didn't express much interest towards it then until now but did take physics and chemistry. As a background, I felt that Game Dev was not for me early in my degree but as I was being pressured to finish it off and also not having the grade 12 chem prereq at the time, I forced myself to go through with it which I now regret as those were the worst 4 years of my life. I knew engineering was for me for a while which is why I pursued it now, aiming to work as a mechanical engineer in the biomedical/biomechanical field. But, I did have moments throughout where I felt that being doctor might fit me more from my life experiences but was always under the impression that it required many prereqs for med school so didn't consider it until I just realized now that McMaster doesn't require any at all. I know that it is stupid of me to not find this out earlier before starting my engineering degree but my engineering prereqs were expiring so it was like now or never for that and I would've found it very risky to reject it as I know that getting into med school in Ontario is real competitive and if I would've failed at that, I would have no back up. So, my plan now if I decide to apply is to leave my engineering degree for med school after my 2nd year ends next April if I somehow get in as doing so would back me up with engineering if I fail at getting into med school. But, given my background and me dealing with a full course load this summer (20 credits but 5 courses at a time since 2 are S1/S2 ones), I don't know if it really is possible. One of those courses is chem and another one is a physics course, and I have already taken one physics already this past semester, so hopefully these should help. Also, I have taken courses such as Psychology and Sociology in my Game Dev major which may also help. In terms of my study routine, I was planning on around 10 hours a week over the course of 3-4 months before my 2nd year of engineering begins. Another thing is that I don't have much in terms of extracurriculars/volunteer work as I didn't consider med school until now so I was planning on getting some of those in the 2nd half of the summer but given the COVID-19 situation, that may or may not be possible. But, I read somewhere that Mac doesn't strongly consider ECs as much and mainly just care about other aspects like the GPA although I may be wrong which is why I'm asking for help here. Below were my questions: 1) Is it possible for me to be ready for the MCAT in this 3-4 months time given my situation or am I just being foolish to even be considering it? 2) I read somewhere that Mac only considers the Verbal Reasoning component and Critical Analysis and Reasoning Section for MCAT so given my limited time, would it be a good idea to just study those as I would only be applying to Mac? 3) Is it possible to just use Khan Academy and try to fill in any parts I don't understand through like YouTube or something? I really prefer to not spend money on anything to prepare for it unless absolutely necessary as my chances of getting in seem real slim to me anyways. Any help would be appreciated and sorry if I sound really dumb to even consider applying with my situation. I'm unsure as I've seen similar posts online with mixed responses. Sorry for the long read, I was just trying to explain my situation as best as I could. Thanks a lot in advance!
  6. Join us! The Pre-Medicine Diversity Symposium is an annual UBC faculty-sponsored event designed to encourage people from all walks of life to apply to medical school. This event is tailored to applicants who consider themselves ‘non-traditional’ for reasons that may include having a non-science background, applying later in life, having children and family, having financial or personal hardship, or belonging to a demographic underrepresented in medicine. There will be events at all 4 sites in BC - Vancouver, Kelowna, Victoria & Prince George. FB event: https://www.facebook.com/events/506704993595930/ Google Form RSVP (this confirms your registration): https://forms.gle/Rkgm2exxU4RaQTWi6
  7. Join us! The Pre-Medicine Diversity Symposium is an annual UBC faculty-sponsored event designed to encourage people from all walks of life to apply to medical school. This event is tailored to applicants who consider themselves ‘non-traditional’ for reasons that may include having a non-science background, applying later in life, having children and family, having financial or personal hardship, or belonging to a demographic underrepresented in medicine. There will be events at all 4 sites in BC - Vancouver, Kelowna, Victoria & Prince George. FB event: https://www.facebook.com/events/506704993595930/ Google Form RSVP (this confirms your registration): https://forms.gle/Rkgm2exxU4RaQTWi6
  8. I am determined to attend medical school in Canada. Would love any advice regarding the few options I have Currently studying for the MCAT and going into the fourth year of my honours Science undergrad- 1st year GPA 3.21 (technically 4.5 course load, including my initial grade and my improved grade for my 1 repeated course) 2nd year GPA 3.44 3rd year GPA 3.63 I'm assuming these are my options (based on years of obsessive research on forums lmao): 1) Do a 5th year. Attain 3.8+ in year 4 & 5. Apply to Western in my 5th year. If unsuccessful, complete a master's program. Apply again to Western and Queen's (perhaps Ottawa?) Any other schools I would have a chance at? 2) Do a second undergraduate degree and open up doors to other schools. Could do this after completing my degree in four years or after doing the additional 5th year. I am studying hard for the MCAT and would say I have unique ECs. I appreciate any honest insight (optimistic/pessimistic). Thank you in advance!
  9. Hello everyone,would appreciate any comments + honesty + constructive feedback on GPA. GPA by year 3.1, 3.2, 3.67, 3.71, 3.97 (Science) (OMSAS: 3, 3, 3.6 ish, 3.69, 3.93) Second Degree (Arts + Sci): 4.0 (OMSAS: 3.98) --> second degree was stall time to decide on masters (had scholarship to cover). Have one more year, aiming for 4.0/3.98. I am contemplating whether it is worthwhile to write the mcat with my current stats, my ECs are pretty average + research, student groups etc. + continuous employment during undergrad, at one point had 2 jobs; a couple are long term (7 years, 4 years etc). I started on with an inclination of med, but wanted to keep my options open. However, because of my grades, felt like it was a lost cause. Consequently, my drive and focus took a hit. I've since improved my grades. Can anyone provide insight as to whether it is worth a shot? I literally feel my motivation waning because I have no idea where I stand because I've never applied. APPRECIATE IT
  10. Hey guys! This is a bit of a long post but it's my first time posting here and I wanted to be thorough, really just looking for some honest feedback as I am new to the pre-med thing I have only recently made the decision to try for medicine, and I just registered for the MCAT. Having not done a science degree I am wondering whether it is even worth it for me to dedicate my whole summer if the rest of my application wouldn't stand a chance but makes me feel hopeful even in spite of my average GPA and lack of sciences...But I'm worried it may not even be that great compared to most applicants. My stats: GPA: 82% AGPA (without my first year): 83.8% Degree: BSc Major: Psychology, Minor:Political Science MCAT: tba EC's: Quite a few but I basically had no idea what i wanted to do in my undergrad so I got involved in everything... ~4 years (200) hours on-going volunteering at a Suicide/Crisis support online service for youth 13-30 -Summer intern full-time and then intermittent volunteer at a Psychiatric Residential Facility on the old Riverview psychiatric Hospital grounds in Coquitlam.. there I supported the clients in their everyday activities as well as facilitated programs and helped the OT, RT team with programs. -2 years as an RA/Community Leader, with one of those years as a Residence Education Leader in an international themed community -Elected and served as a Director-at-Large on my uni's Student Society's Board of Directors...Once elected I focused on my main platform promise of implementing a student led mental health initiative on campus, which included both raising awareness and making mental health literacy training such as MHFA and ASIS for students more affordable, which in turn would help students be more able to help their peers. We got a grant Capital Savings and then organized ASIST training to students at a fraction of the regular price. Other initiatives I led that year or helped lead involved the first mental health week with different stigma-busting/awareness/wellness initiatives each day. -As a student union board member was also an active member on several committees and campaigns (usually geared Affordable education and Campus Sexualized Violence Awareness ), as well as sat in on University Senate committees on Learning & Teaching, Advisory Committee on Academic Accommodation and Access for students with disabilities and Student Mental Health Implementation Committee. -Volunteer and member of Global Community Advisory committee for 2 years -Sent to Jack.org Summit in Toronto, yearly student national conference for mental health promotion in 2015. Then the next year in my 4th year I co-founded a chapter of Jack.org chapter at my university and we received another $2000 grant to run big event during midterms called "Built-to-bear Exams" where we set up a huge station and offered students a chance to build their own stress kits and provided booklets with coping/stress-busting resources...This club however was only active for the semester since I left for 7 months on exchange to Australia/travelling Asia the next semester and had too heavy of a courseload in my 5th year when I returned. -Work study position for a semester with Student Affairs where I helped organize the student performance in my Uni's annual Mental Health key speaker event, as well as researched college mental health initiatives across Canada and the U.S -Currently I am and have been volunteering for the past 6 months at the Victoria Brain Injury Society where I co-facilitate the creative arts program and also help with administrative duties Awards: ~4-year 16k$ Academic Excellence entrance scholarship out of HS ~$2000 grant from the University for the following year to offer students more subsidized mental health training, this time for Mental Health First Aid which occured the following year. ~700$ bursary from the Lorne Fraser Education Fund for those pursuing a career in Mental Health A little bit of background regarding my decision to try medicine...I started university studying Political Science, but through work / volunteer and personal experience developed a passion for the mental health field so I switched to Psychology. I was initially thinking of going into counseling/social work, but after spending a summer working at a psychiatric facility and having a family member hospitalized for recurring psychosis, I developed a deep interest the medical treatment of psychiatric illness and started thinking about psychiatry. Having said that, I have not done sciences in about 5-6 years at that point, having not done super well in them in HS...Thus in the middle of my 4th year I decided to stay an extra year and switch into the BSc Psychology stream to get some exposure to science courses. Having said that, I have not done sciences in about 5-6 years at that point, having not done as well well in them in HS. This year I ended up taking 6 courses each semester and upgraded my math 12, then took first year biology, chemistry and organic chemistry - it was a bit of a tough learning curve after 4 years of Arts courses , and i got a 74/76 in chem/ochem and 78/83 in bio.. which brought down my AGPA but 2%, but at least I knew I could tackle the sciences needed to write the MCAT. Plus, this year made me actually fall in love with science after getting fed up 7 years ago in HS and decided i wasn't smart enough for them. I guess my question at this point is.. should I do more course work in the sciences before applying and trying to do the mcat... for example, I haven't done physics since science 10 and was hoping to self-teach this summer..Should I just study what I can this summer and apply? I think my EC's are quite extensive, but is it what medical schools are looking for? Sorry for all the questions. If there is any other pertinent information that might be needed to assess my situation, please let me know! I really appreciate anyone reading this super long post .
  11. Hi everyone! I am graduating with a BA (Hons.) in Music this spring. A couple of years ago, after a couple of life-changing diagnoses, I decided that I want to work in healthcare as a physician. Unfortunately, my cumulative GPA is NOT competitive (it's a 3.7) and I do not have a science background (just a few life sci courses I took out of interest). My dream school is McMaster because their values align closely with my own and I love Hamilton! I applied to McMaster this past application cycle so I could get a feel for the application process. As I expected, I did not receive an interview. My OMSAS GPA was a 3.7 My CARS score was a 128 I felt as though my performance on the CASPer test was probably mediocre I have no lab experience, but I have ethnomusicological fieldwork experience with older adults (LTC/retirement home residents) I have decent ECs - 4yrs in a competitive university chamber choir - 2yrs Volunteering in the ED and Day Surgery unit of my local hospital - Facilitating sexual wellness workshops for high school students - 3 semesters with Student Accessibility Services (multiple roles working closely with students who experience disability) etc. My current plan is to rewrite CARS this summer and to prepare better for the CASPer this time around. If I have to apply again after that (which is very likely), I will have to make some big decisions about how I want to move forward. I could try to improve my GPA by taking first and second year science courses that many traditional premed students take (I am getting my high school match/sci. courses this fall), I could do a post-degree BSW program to boost my GPA and gain knowledge that could be valuable to a physician, I could do an MA . . . Many of your success stories on this forum have been SO inspiring to me. I would love ANY words of wisdom form other applicants who graduated with a BA and who might have more experience with this process than I do. Thank you!!
  12. Question for the current med students/residents, especially non-trad with kids, was it worth it? Any regrets? Would you make the same decision if you could back? (I saw this question on an American forum, and the answer was a resounding no. Wondering how it would be different in Canada). What residency are you doing or hoping to pursue, and how does that affect your answer? Do you ever see your kids? Do you spent every spare moment studying? Is there any work/life balance? I'm 31, married with 2 young kids (1 and 3) and a mortgage. I have a B.Sc. in Biology with High Honours (GPA of 4.0) from 2006. I am currently a sonographer, which I enjoy, and pays fairly well - but I just don't know if I can do it for another 20-30 years. I should have gone to med school 10 years ago when I first talked myself out of it, but alas, hindsight is 20:20. It's always been at the back of my mind. I recently wrote the MCAT and am awaiting marks. Obviously there would be sacrifices involved in going back to school, I'm just trying to decide if it would be worth it. Thanks for any wisdom! (crossed posted to non-trad forum)
  13. We are pleased to announce the UBC Pre-Med Diversity Symposium 2014! This MD student run event sponsored by the Faculty of Medicine. The UBC Pre-Med Diversity Symposium is an annual event designed to educate future applicants about medical school. The event is geared toward those individuals who may consider themselves ‘non-traditional’ applicants. Reasons for considering oneself non-traditional include a non-science background, a difficult family or financial background, recent immigration to Canada, aboriginal ancestry, parenthood and career changes. The event is run by current UBC medical students with the support of the UBC faculty of medicine. The event will take place Sunday, November 16th 2014 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM in Vancouver, Victoria, Prince George and Kelowna. Traditional applicants - please be on the lookout for future events more geared towards your needs! Sunday, November 16th, 2014 –10:00 am to 4:30 pm (Lunch will be provided.) Vancouver: Medical Student Alumni Centre (2750 Heather St) Victoria: University of Victoria Medical Sciences Building (3800 Finnerty Rd), Room 131 Prince George: Donald Rix Northern Health Sciences Centre (3333 University Way), Room 9-370 Kelowna: Kelowna General Hospital (2268 Pandosy St), Room 228 Please RSVP by November 7th, 2014 with your name, site you will attend, and any dietary restrictions. e-mail: premed.diversity@gmail.com
  14. I have been around these forums since 2 years. Often checking back back and learning a lot about the admissions process. The Non-trad success stories thread is still, IMHO, the greatest thread for us non-trads. So much inspiration brews out from there, and for some of us we really need it because we don't tend to get any other support out in the "real life". Now I want to give up my career and pursue med. I would really appreciate if you guys could help give this mid-twenties guy some support, and tell me that it's not as ridiculous as other people around me like to point out. Any advice would be great. Perhaps someone going through with this or already been through with such transition. Choosing the right degree? What questions to ask the adcoms? How to increase my chances the best I can? Also, I have international volunteer experience, as well as volunteer in leadership roles (non-clinical). Cheers!
  15. Hey guys, So i'm writing my MCAT for the second time on September 6th. I got 31 (12/9/10) last time (september 2013) and decided to rewrite. I'm current scoring much higher on all Practice tests and generally feel more confident. I'm currently averaging 35, with a range of only +/- 1. My average per section so far is as follows: Ps: 13-15 VR: 9-10 BS: 11-13? What worries me is my VR which i can't seem to consistently get 10+. The original reason for my retake was to boost my VR but now i'm scared that might not happen. My question is, if I score a 36 with a 14/9/13, does that count me out for a large amount of schools? I'm from Montreal and am starting my 2nd Undergrad In Anatomy on Tuesday. My previous Biochem cGPA was 3.58.
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