Memorial University Faculty of Medicine: Requirements, Statistics & How to Get in 2020

Updated: October 13, 2020


Every year Memorial University’s medical school admits 80 students to pursue their dreams to become medical professionals. Preference is given to applicants from Newfoundland and Labrador. Applicants from New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island (PEI) are prioritized over applicants from other Canadian provinces. In this blog, you will learn Memorial's admissions statistics and eligibility criteria, admissions requirements, and strategies that will help you get in!

Here’s What We’ll Cover:

Mission Statement

Admissions Statistics and Eligibility

Available Programs

Academic Curriculum

Application Timeline

Tuition and Other Costs

Funding Opportunities

Application Process

Selection Factors

Interview

Acceptance Information

Contact Information

FAQs

Mission Statement

“Working in the spirit of partnership and respect, the Faculty of Medicine is committed to delivering integrated excellence in education, research and evidence informed care; meeting the unique health needs of our rural, remote and urban communities; and advocating for health, equity, Indigenous health and healthy populations.”

Admissions Statistics and Eligibility

Overall success rate: 10%

Newfoundland and Labrador applicants' success rate: 22.6%

New Brunswick applicants' success rate: 11.7%

PEI applicants' success rate: 4%

Other Canadian (out-of-province) and international applicants' success rate: 1.5%

Average GPA: 80% (85% for out-of-province and international applicants)

Average MCAT: 510

Location: St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador

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Eligibility

Memorial University accepts 80 students in the MD program annually. As the only Newfoundland medical school, Memorial University gives preference to local applicants. Sixty of the seats are reserved for applicants who are Newfoundland and Labrador residents, including 3 seats for Indigenous applicants. The remaining 20 seats are held for applicants who are residents of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and other Canadian provinces. Memorial University does accept international students, but due to fierce competition, international applicants must submit applications that go above and beyond the admissions requirements, have stellar academic backgrounds, and impressive extracurriculars with sufficient work experience.

Newfoundland and Labrador Residents (60 seats)

To be qualified as an in-province applicant you must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada and meet one of the following criteria:

1. Within twelve (12) years of the date of application, you have completed four (4) years of high school (grade 7- Level III) in Newfoundland and Labrador immediately before attending a post-secondary institution. This includes having met Newfoundland and Labrador high school requirements through other equivalent means (e.g. homeschooling) in the Province. Proof of completion of high school in Newfoundland and Labrador via an official government-issued or local school transcript may be required.

2. At the time of application to the Faculty of Medicine, your permanent address is located in Newfoundland and Labrador and must have been the immediate permanent home address for at least 3 years while not attending a post-secondary institution on either a part-time or full-time basis. Permanent address is defined as the address where you physically reside for at least 10 months each year for the last 3 consecutive years immediately before to application while not attending a post-secondary institution. You may be required to provide evidence of permanent home address in the province in the form of government-issued documents.

3. You are 18 years of age or older and have lived in the Province for 3 consecutive years without undertaking full-time or part-time studies at a recognized post-secondary institution.

New Brunswick Residents (10 seats)

Firstly, if you’re applying as a New Brunswick resident you should know that your residence information will be forwarded to the New Brunswick Government for confirmation of your residence status. Make sure you understand the definition of a New Brunswick resident before you apply. To qualify as a resident, you must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada who makes your home and ordinary resides in New Brunswick for twelve consecutive months before you apply for the MD program. This includes students who live outside of New Brunswick to further his or her education, but does not include tourists, transients, or visitors to New Brunswick. For more information, please visit Memorial University residence requirements.

Prince Edward Island (4 seats)

If you’re competing for one of the four seats in this applicant pool, make sure you understand the criteria as your residence information will be forwarded to Prince Edward Island for review and consideration. To be qualified as a Prince Edward Island resident you must meet one of the following criteria:

1. You are currently residing or have a permanent address in the province and attended school for five years during intermediate to high school inclusive.

2. You are currently working full-time in the province for three years continuously not attending a post-secondary educational institution.

3. You are currently residing or have a permanent address in the province for three years continuously because of family relocation, i.e. of parent or spouse.

4. You are currently residing or have a permanent address in the province for one year because of obtaining Canadian Permanent Resident Status.

Other Canadian Provinces and Territories and International Applicants (6 seats)

Memorial University medical school is one of the Canadian medical schools that accept US students and other international applicants. Applicants from the rest of Canadian provinces are also allocated to this pool. This applicant pool is highly competitive with over 450 applicants every year for only 6 seats. To be competitive, you have to achieve higher GPA and MCAT scores than applicants from the other three pools, as well as impress the admissions committee with your paid work experience, valuable people-centered extracurricular activities, and outstanding letters of reference.

Available Programs

MD

Memorial University’s medical school puts special emphasis on community and rural medicine learning environments. Patient contact starts early in a medical student’s training. Memorial's medical graduates are sought after across Canada and in the U.S. and are recognized for their clinical maturity and good grounding in the basics. The MD program excels in clinical teaching and has research expertise in specific areas of clinical specialties, community health, epidemiology, applied health and services research and basic medical science including neurosciences, immunology, cardiovascular & renal physiology and human genetic research.

MD-PhD Program

MD-PhD programs combine the rigorous MD curriculum with the demands of scientific research. Memorial University admits exceptional students into the MD-PhD program. Their record must show academic excellence and in-depth research experience. The purpose of the MD-PhD program is to provide medical education, including clinical skills, and training in health research to prepare students for a career as physician-scientists. The integrated program is designed to increase the efficiency of obtaining both degrees, and the student is required to fulfill the complete requirements of both the MD and PhD degrees in 7 to 8 years. To be admitted into the MD-PhD program, students must meet the admission requirements of both the MD and PhD programs.

Upon admission into the program, you are jointly enrolled in the MD program and the PhD program. You will be overseen by the Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Medical Education and the Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies. Normally, you will need to successfully complete the pre-clerkship phase of the MD program and then enter the PhD program full-time. You will complete the requirements for the PhD degree before resuming full-time MD studies. During the PhD training students are expected to maintain clinical skills by arrangement with the Assistant Dean, Undergraduate Medical Education and Assistant Dean, Graduate Studies. Before resuming full-time studies in the clerkship phase of the MD program, you will be required to demonstrate competency in clinical skills. During the MD-PhD program, you are expected to participate in the Faculty of Medicine seminars and journal clubs in your area of research specialization.

Concurrent enrollment in M.D. and diploma, M.Sc./PhD Programs

Concurrent enrollment allows you to complete your medical degree while working on a graduate diploma, M.Sc. or PhD. Students enrolled in a graduate program who have been offered admission to medical school or medical students who have been offered admission to a graduate program must complete a concurrent enrollment checklist to ensure their compliance with current School of Graduate Studies regulations governing concurrent enrollment. Because School of Graduate Studies regulations prohibit students from holding full-time status in two programs at the same time, current or prospective medical students have the option of changing their status from full-time to part-time in the graduate program or requesting a leave of absence from their graduate program. Current and prospective students must submit a written request for permission for concurrent enrollment from the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies.

Academic Curriculum

Memorial’s medical school offers a four-year undergraduate curriculum leading to the degree of Doctor of Medicine. The initial segment of the program, Phase 1, focuses on the healthy person and wellness. Phase 2 has an emphasis on acute reversible or modifiable health issues whereas Phase 3 continues with an emphasis on chronic illness. Within each of these phases that cover the first two years of the MD program, students will have a course in clinical skills, community engagement and a physician competencies course, during which students can pursue a range of research interests. By the end of phase 3, students are expected to be able to take a patient’s medical history, perform a thorough physical examination and to derive a logical diagnosis. The Phase 4 preparation course is completed prior to commencing Phase 4. Phase 4 comprises the last two years of the medical studies program. During this time students, who are clinical clerks, take courses that will allow them to alternate through major disciplines in hospital and community settings throughout affiliated teaching sites in Newfoundland & Labrador, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. Clinical clerks participate as members of the health care team gaining the knowledge and experience necessary to assume the responsibilities associated with patient care.

Application Timeline

June 30: CaRMS Online Admissions Application Service opens.

Mid to Late August: CASPer test dates.

Early September: Application deadline. All documents must be submitted to CaRMS by this deadline.

September 12: Deadline to write the MCAT.

October 3: Deadline to release MCAT scores to Memorial via CaRMS.

Mid-September-Early October: Interview Committee reviews application and decides on interview offers.

Mid-October: Applicants who are not selected for an interview are informed.

Mid-November: Interviews are conducted for invited applicants in AM and PM time slots.

March: Notification of results of the Newfoundland and Labrador competition.

April: Notification of results for New Brunswick and PEI competition.

May: Notification of results of the other Canadian provinces and international applicants.

May-August: Applicants who received medical school rejection notifications may meet with the Assistant Dean for Admissions or admissions officers to discuss reapplying.

Tuition and Other Costs

Annual tuition at Memorial University’s medical school is CAD$ $13,260 for all Canadian students and CAD$30,000 for international students. You must also consider other university and program fees that you will need to pay, including recreation fee ($186), student service fee ($150), books ($800-$1,100), etc. Your living costs will greatly depend on your personal choices. On average, a two-bedroom apartment in St. John’s is around CAD$800. Car costs can add up to around $8,000 annually in third and fourth years of medical school when you travel for electives and clerkships. You must carefully calculate your budget and consider all of your expenditures before you enter medical school. Learn how much medical school costs in our blog.

Funding Opportunities

Memorial University's medical school has a long list of scholarships and bursaries available to medical students. They are typically granted based on a recommendation from the Dean. Please visit this website to see the entire list.

Additionally, there are other funding opportunities available for travel and other professional endeavors:

MED Students’ Contingency Loan Fund

Money from this fund is used in exceptional circumstances to provide assistance to medical students who are in financial need. In general, it is used to support students who are unable to access other sources of funding. If you wish to attain this funding, you must write a letter requesting funds, including a financial statement. Along with your request, you must submit a copy of the official Faculty of Medicine loan application form found on Memorial’s financial aid website.

Learner Travel

Each year, funding is provided through the Learner Well-Being and Success Office budget to fully or partially fund student travel to promote the objectives of the Medical School. The following will be provided with full funding:

Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS) Conferences

Full funding is provided to the Medical Students’ Society (MSS) President (or delegate) and one (1) MSS Representative (as decided by the MSS president and the Assistant Dean, Office of LWS) to attend the CFMS Annual General Meeting and the CFMS Spring General Meeting. The same MSS Representative cannot attend both conferences. Full funding is provided to the Global Health Liaison (or delegate) and the Government Affairs and Advocacy Representative (or delegate) to attend CFMS Lobby Day.

National Student Research Forum

Full funding is available to students who place first in the Faculty of Medicine Medical Students’ Research Forum to attend the National Student Research Forum.

Partial funding opportunities will be provided to students who are presenting at a conference (poster/oral presentation) will have the opportunity to apply for partial funding, if funding is available, however, applying for partial funding does not guarantee approval. Learners are encouraged to seek funding from other available sources (e.g. individual clinical disciplines, research funding agencies, other university funding).

Application Process

The Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS) provides the online admissions application service for Memorial University’s MD program. In your application, you will need to select the applicant pool to which you think you belong. If adcoms have any questions concerning your residence status, you will be asked to provide more supporting documents. If you’re applying as an international applicant, you should know that you will not be eligible to apply to the residency match using CaRMS in your 4th year of medical school. If you’re applying as an indigenous applicant, you will need to complete an additional section within the application. Note that the Memorial University’s medical school reserves seats for indigenous applicants who are residents of Newfoundland and Labrador only. All indigenous applicants are encouraged to apply, but the 3 seats are reserved for in-province applicants.

Selection Factors

Transcripts and Course Requirements

You are required to complete a bachelor’s degree before entering the MD program. In some exceptional circumstances, Memorial University will consider applicants who do not hold a bachelor’s degree at the time of admission, but they must complete at least 60 credit hours of coursework with outstanding grades in all courses. You must indicate all secondary and post-secondary institutions you attended and list any degrees you obtained; this also includes any exchange or study abroad programs. If you have completed only one exchange semester, you do not need to provide a credential evaluation. If you have 2 or more exchange semesters you will need a credential evaluation with a course-by-course analysis. If you have completed your post-secondary education outside of Canada or the United States, you will need a complete credential evaluation with course-by-course analysis. Beware that such evaluations may take up to two months or longer, so plan ahead to submit your transcripts by the deadline. Transcripts should be submitted via a URL:

1. Advise your university’s Registrar Office that there is an online URL for sending transcripts to CaRMS with your request for a transcript.

2. The university should then contact CaRMS at [email protected] to request the necessary information and to obtain the URL.

3. Once CaRMS receives the transcript they will upload it to your application.

Memorial University does not accept hard copies of your transcripts. Give yourself plenty of time to request your transcripts and make sure they are received by Memorial by the deadline. If they do not receive your transcript on time, your application will be closed.

Your undergraduate degree can be in any discipline. Though Memorial University does not have any prerequisite requirements, you should still familiarize yourself with the general medical school prerequisites. In your application, you will be asked to enter your annual progress at the post-secondary level with the total number of courses taken and the average over that time period. You must enter numerical grades, rather than GPA or letter grades. For a four-year degree, you will have a minimum of 4 entries, or 3 if you are still finishing your degree at the time of application. The information you enter will be validated via your official transcripts. If you will be continuing your post-secondary education after the application is submitted, enter the courses you plan on taking. Don't worry if you change your coursework during the school year. As long as the requirements of your degree are fulfilled by the time you start the MD program, the actual courses listed on your application are not as important.

GPA and MCAT

Memorial University requires out-of-province and international applicants to have a minimum of 85% GPA. For the rest of the applicants, the minimum medical school GPA requirement is 80%. The program promises a holistic approach in application review but notes that students must demonstrate academic ability to take on the heavy academic workload of the MD program. If you have a low GPA, you might still have a chance to get an interview if other aspects of your application impress the admissions committee. In the past, Memorial University's matriculants had average GPA standings of 85% and higher – so this is your benchmark. If you’re worried about your ability to meet this standard, you should check out how to get into medical school with a low GPA. Otherwise, you must get your grades up as soon as possible. If you're still an undergraduate student, make sure you take classes you like and do well in, but don't forget to fulfill all of your program's requirements. Classes you enjoy tend to result in better grades, so try to incorporate the disciplines you ace into your timetable. If you're struggling with coursework, reach out to your instructors and teaching assistants. They can often provide invaluable help during their office hours. Check your student center for any study groups information or peer-tutoring. If you can afford it, hire a tutor to help you work through difficult content and subjects. Graduates have a more difficult time improving their grades, but you can look into taking additional undergraduate courses or even re-enrolling into an undergraduate program. You should know that Memorial University will consider your personal history when reviewing your transcripts and grades. If any factors prevented you from achieving success or negatively impacted your academic performance, the admissions committee will make a note of it. This may include immigration, socioeconomic factors, family circumstances, and so on.

Though there is also no official MCAT score cut-off, make sure your MCAT score is no less than 510 with 127 in the CARS section if you want to be a competitive candidate. Your MCAT must be written within 6 years of the application deadline and the admissions committee will consider all the MCAT scores you have received to evaluate your improvement. You must release all your test scores to CaRMS manually. The AAMC does not automatically release MCAT scores to Memorial when you enter your AAMC ID into CaRMS, so you must personally direct AAMC to release your scores to Memorial University. In previous entering classes, the average MCAT score was around 510 with section scores between 125-128. If you are wondering “When should I take the MCAT?”, make sure to read our blog. If you’re planning to take or retake the MCAT exam soon, make sure you know what is a good MCAT score and when to start studying for the MCAT. You must have a good MCAT study schedule to cover all the necessary MCAT content, including MCAT physics equations, MCAT biology questions, MCAT chemistry questions, and MCAT psychology topics. Remember, this test takes a lot of dedication and rigorous study on behalf of the student. Make sure to take the MCAT diagnostic test to note improvements and areas of knowledge you still need to study. Take as many practice tests as you can! Adjust your schedule according to your needs and don’t forget to include MCAT CARS practice in your schedule.

CASPer

Memorial University is one of the medical schools that require CASPer. You must write your CASPer test on specific dates. Only scores obtained on those days will be accepted for admission. Please check the program's website for the most up-to-date details on Memorial’s CASPer test dates. To register for specific Memorial CASPer test dates you must use your 8-digit AAMC ID that is generated when you register for the MCAT – this is essentially your CASPer ID. Like the MCAT, you will need to authorize the release of your score form Altus Assessments to Memorial for them to receive it. Your CASPer score must be released to the university, rather than CaRMS.

It is difficult to prepare for this test. In answering CASPer questions, you must be prepared to identify the most pressing issue and the most vulnerable party. Think of those under your care when you plan your answer. Consider all possible sides of the conflict/scenario and always remain non-judgmental. To get an idea of what to expect from this test, check out our CASPer questions and expert answers. If you’re still wondering how to ensure you score high in your CASPer test, contact us to get some help.

Learn how to ace your CASPer test in our video:

Other Application Components

The following application components outline your academic and non-academic history, as well as involvements outside of school. Remember, the admissions committees are looking for well-rounded candidates with a diversity of experiences, interests, and responsibilities. This is your chance to shed some light on your personal life.

Scholarships and Awards

In this section of the application, you will list any scholarships and awards you were given in chronological order with a brief description of the scholarship or award in the space provided, as well as indicate the monetary value of the award, if any. Common awards like Dean’s List do not require a description. Provide descriptions for anything unique from your post-secondary institution or community, particularly if you are an applicant who resides outside of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Employment

Memorial University warns that applicants should have paid work experience. Ideally, you should have had a minimum of 2 different jobs at the time of application. Enter employments that you obtained starting at the post-secondary level. If you began working in a position in high school and continued working while in university, you may include it as an entry. Do not enter any pending work experiences. Use the following definitions to guide you:

Work Term. If you have completed a work term, practicum, or placement that is required as part of your degree, Master’s, or PhD program, whether paid or unpaid, use Work Term. Do not put this kind of employment experience as full-time during university. If you have completed a work term/placement that led to full-time employment independent of your program, make 2 entries: one as Work Term and one as employment as defined below.

Part-time. Less than 30 hours per week at one position, either upon graduation from a post-secondary degree or in the summer (or equivalent) between post-secondary semesters. You are not in school during this time. Do not use this category to describe employment during studies.

Full-time. 30 or more hours per week at one position, either upon graduation of a post-secondary degree or in the summers between post-secondary semesters. You are not in school during this time. Make sure not to use this employment category to describe employment during study.

Part-time during University. Less than 30 hours per week at one position while attending university on either a full-time or part-time basis.

Full-time during University. 30 or more hours per week at one position while attending university on either a full-time or part-time basis.

Extracurriculars

Extracurriculars for medical school demonstrate how you spend your time outside of academic duties and employment. According to the MD admissions, your extracurriculars must demonstrate commitment over time to helping and supporting others in vulnerable or challenging positions. Please note that you should include only extracurriculars that you participate in or do regularly over the last 5 to 7 years. Do not include activities that are one-off events for you. Prioritize extracurriculars that demonstrate long-standing commitment and involvement.

Don’t Include:

  • Research completed as part of your undergraduate or graduate degree. This will be considered in your academic history.
  • Unpaid work terms or placements that were part of your post-secondary education. These should go into the Employment section of the application.
  • Regular daily activities and hobbies like childcare, cooking, jogging, and so on.
  • Activities that are pending, i.e. a volunteer position that you will start after you submit your application.

Do include volunteer research experiences that were not a requirement in your post-secondary or graduate degree. Make sure to emphasize consistent involvement with charities, non-profits, community groups, and other volunteer organizations.

Recommendation Letters

You must choose two different referees to write your medical school recommendation letters. To submit the names of your references, you will need to pay for your application first. After you do, you will be asked to enter their contact information. Your writers must submit electronic and signed copies of the letters via CaRMS. It will be your responsibility to make sure that the referees submit their letters by the application deadline. Letters cannot be submitted after the deadline, as the application will be inaccessible, so make sure to notify your writers of the deadline and remind them about the letter a few weeks before their submission is due.

One of your recommendations must come from an academic reference. Your academic recommender must be someone you worked with directly during your post-secondary or graduate work. They must know you well and be able to speak about your academic performance. This may be a professor or course instructor, a thesis supervisor, a graduate teaching assistant who had teaching duties and supervised you as an undergraduate, or a co-op practicum supervisor who was directly involved in evaluating your work. Memorial will not accept academic references from teaching assistants who oversaw your work but did not grade it, program administrators, research supervisors during your volunteer research activity, or any professional who has not assessed your academic performance. Non-academic references can come from a variety of individuals including volunteer supervisors, your employers, or coaches at the post-secondary level. Try to ask people who are/were your superiors. Please do not ask your family and friends to be your references. Avoid asking your high school coach, your family doctor, or anyone who cannot speak about your personal achievements, valuable qualities, and character.

Additional Information

In this section, you may indicate any other important information that does not fit in the other categories of the application. Most applicants leave this section blank.

Interview

Memorial University uses a hybrid of Traditional Interview and Multiple-Mini Interview (MMI). The composition of the interview is:

  • One 30-minute two-person panel traditional interview, designed to get to know the candidate via topics like decision making, life experiences, interactions with others, and future goals
  • Eight 10-minute Multiple-Mini Interview stations with one assessor at each station with scenarios meant to evoke thoughtful reactions and stimulate discussion

Firstly, make sure you know how to prepare for a med school interview. You should also review how to prepare for your Multiple Mini Interview, as there are some nuances about this interview format you should know before you go through it. Practice answering the most common medical school interview questions and MMI questions to get ready. You can also go over some panel interview questions.

Acceptance Information

You’ll be notified of your acceptance by a letter signed by or on behalf of the Chair of the Admissions Committee. No other form of notification is considered official. You’re allowed fourteen (14) days to confirm that you will accept the place offered. The signed intention to accept the offered place must be accompanied by a deposit of $200.00 which will be credited towards tuition fees. The deposit will be forfeited if you subsequently decline the place. If you fail to respond within fourteen days, the offer will be withdrawn on the appropriate date, and you will be informed of this by letter.

Unsuccessful applicants have the right to appeal against the decision of the Admissions Committee not to offer the applicant a place. You must submit the appeal in writing within fourteen days of the notification of the decision and direct it to the Dean of Medicine. Unsuccessful applicants who wish to reapply for admission will have to start the process from scratch in the new application cycle. An unsuccessful applicant can meet with the Assistant Dean for Admissions or the Admissions Officer to discuss reapplying before the deadline for submission of a new application.

Contact Information

Admissions Website

Admissions Email: [email protected]

FAQs

1. How do I apply to Memorial University medical school?

You must apply through the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS) Online Admissions Application Service.

2. What kind of degree should I pursue in my undergrad to have better chances of acceptance?

Like most medical schools in Canada, Memorial does not have a preferred program of study. However, the admissions committee will look at your grades, difficulty of the courses, the level of courses, and course load. Due to the limited number of places available in the medical school and the intense competition for entry, applicants are advised to pursue a degree program of their choice and prepare for the MCAT. Even thought there are no science prerequisites, a basic knowledge of the physical and life sciences may help write the MCAT and do well in the MD program.

3. Should I retake courses I didn’t do well in to increase my GPA?

You are not recommended to repeat courses, especially courses you have already passed, to raise your GPA. If you failed a course and successfully repeated it, both grades will be considered and the average grade will be used in calculating the GPA.

4. Do I need an undergraduate degree to be eligible to apply?

Yes, a four-year bachelor’s degree is required of applicants. Occasionally, Memorial University may admit students with the minimum 60 credit hours of course work with outstanding grades in all courses, but a four-year program is preferred. The degree can be in any discipline.

5. Are graduate courses counted in my GPA?

Graduate courses are considered a part of the whole academic record and are calculated in the overall academic average, i.e. your GPA.

6. What is the minimum GPA requirement?

Memorial University expects its Newfoundland and Labrador applicants to have a minimum average of 80%. Out-of-province applicants and international students should have an 85% average to be competitive candidates.

7. What is the minimum MCAT requirement?

To be a competitive candidate, your total MCAT score should be 510 with 127 in CARS.

8. Can I submit some additional documents to increase my chances of admission? I have more reference letters and a really strong CV?

Do not send or attach more documents than you are asked to provide in the application. Some students try to send extra reference letters, personal statements, or publications, but none of these will be considered in the admissions process. Only components that are asked for in the application will be considered.

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