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Graduate Medical Education

Quillen College of Medicine

Resident Handbook

Benefits - General Information - Affiliate Hospitals

Housestaff Benefits

Campus Recreation

East Tennessee State University offers programs in:


The Wayne G. Basler Center for Physical Activity (CPA) is a 120,000 square foot facility that was built by and operates on student activity fees and is staffed by ETSU student workers. 

The Basler Center recreational facilities include:

  • 19,000 square foot weight room - cardio room
  • 1/8 mile indoor track
  • Martial arts training area
  • 2 Racquetball/squash courts 
  • 4 Basketball/Volleyball courts 
  • Outdoor challenge/ropes course
  • Indoor swimming pool with 8 lanes
  • Aerobic studio
  • Yoga studio
  • An indoor and outdoor climbing wall
  • 2 outdoor intramural and sport club fields
  • Locker rooms
  • Casual Care child care service
  • Additional information may be obtained at: Center for Physical Activity webpage
Deferred Compensation Program

Residents are eligible to participate in two optional, tax deferred retirement savings plans operated by the State of Tennessee:  a 457 (b) plan and a 401 (k) plan.  Enrollment in of either of these plans is voluntary.  If you choose to participate in either or both of these plans, you will make contributions through regular payroll deductions.  The Resident is responsible for evaluating and selecting a company and for entering into a contractual agreement with that company.  ETSU does not investigate, evaluate, or endorse any of the tax-deferred income investment options.  Residents are not eligible for any matching funds from the State of Tennessee or ETSU.

Compare the 457(b) and the 401(k) plans 

Forms for enrollment and additional information can be found on the following website: 
Forms and Guidelines

All forms should be submitted to the GME office for processing.

Group Insurance

Group health insurance is available for residents and their eligible dependents. Term life insurance, Accidental Death and Dismemberment and long term disability are available for the residents only. 

The resident health insurance is provided through Blue Cross/Blue Shield.  Residents may elect single coverage or family coverage. Premiums are shared by the university and the resident.  The resident portion is $35.00 for single coverage and $75.00 for family coverage.  The premiums are payroll deducted monthly. 

The resident dental insurance is provided through Blue Cross/Blue Shield.  Residents may elect single coverage or family coverage.  Premiums are shared by the university and the resident.  The resident portion is covered by the Health Insurance premium at the same coverage. If not covered under health insurance premiums are $7.00 for single coverage and $15.00 for family coverage.  If applicable, the premiums are payroll deducted monthly.

If enrolled in the health insurance through Blue Cross/Blue Shield residents also receive vision coverage at no additional premium. 

A basic life insurance policy is available for each resident in the amount of $50,000. No life insurance is available for dependents. Residents may elect to purchase additional life insurance up to $500,000. Upon termination, residents have the opportunity to convert their life insurance to an individual policy. For additional information on life insurance contact TMA Plan Administrators at (800) 347-1109. 

Individual disability policies with monthly benefits of $1,000, after 90 days of disability are available for the resident only. 


Impaired Physicians Program

East Tennessee State University, James H. Quillen College of Medicine is committed to supporting the Tennessee Medical Foundation and the Physicians Health Program in regards to our faculty, residents and students.

Counseling services will be available to all residents upon their request or the request of the Program Director. Services will address any issue of professional or personal stress that may be encountered during the training experience which might result in deterioration of performance, medical behavioral problems or substance abuse. Services will function within and follow the guidelines set by the Tennessee Medical Foundation, Physicians Health Program.

When a problem with a resident is suspected, the Program Director or Departmental Chair will contact the Tennessee Medical Foundation, Physicians Health Program in Nashville, Tennessee. The Medical Director or the Assistant Medical Director will require an evaluation and the Physicians Health Program will recommend treatment, if indicated. The resident will be under their complete management and may not be considered for reentry into our program until they have been cleared by the Physicians Health Program.

The Office of the Executive Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education should be kept informed as to coordinate leave time and disability benefits. 

Leave Benefits

Policy: Residents/fellows are entitled to several different types of leave.  Time away from training due to leave my count against fulfilling board and program requirements.  The amount of time a resident can be away from residency/fellowship duties and still meet Board requirements vary amoung the specialties.  It is the resident's responsibility to be aware of his/her specialty requirements.  Training may be extended to meet all program and board certification requirments if they are not met.

A leave authorization form must be completed and approved for any type of leave.  These must be completed in advance of the leave except for emergency sick leave.

  • Administrative Leave
  • Annual/Vacation Leave
  • Education Leave
  • Exam Leave
  • Family Leave (FMLA)
  • Holidays
  • Jury Duty
  • Maternity/Paternity Leave
  • Military Leave
  • Sick Leave

ETSU provides residents/fellows with up to 15 working days (Monday through Friday).  Weekend days are at the discretion of the department.  Annual leave is scheduled by the Program Director to ensure adequate coverage of educational and clincial responsibilities and must be approved in advance. Unused annual leave may NOT be carried over into a new contract year.  Resident/fellows are not paid for any unused annual leave.

Sick leave is provided at the rate of one (1) day per month, and may accumulate to a total of not more than sixty (60) days for continuous service.  Accumulated sick leave is forfeited if Unversity service is contractually interrupted.  Sick leave can only be used for bona fide illness which prevents the performance of professional duties and cannot be used for vacation, educational leave, or other personal purposes.  It is the responsibility of the resident to notify the Program Director of illness which prohibits his/her attending to assigned duties.  The Program Director has the right to require verification of any illness from a licensed physician.  Residents are not paid for unused sick leave.

Residents/fellows may receive up to five (5) days administrative leave over the course of their residency/fellowship, depending on their Program's policy.

Educational leave may be provided to attend conferences and workshops.  A maximum of five (5) days per contract year is allotted.  The resident/fellow may petition the program director for an additional five (5) days per contract year.  These days will not carry over in to a new contract year.  Residents/fellows rotating at the Veterans Affairs hospital will only be allotted five (5) days per academic year.  A request with required documentation must be submitted for approval at least 30 days in advance for educational leave.

Residents/fellows who are taking a required exam may take up to two days paid leave for the exam and up to two days for travel (depending on the location) with the approval of the Program Director.  Documentation is required to the program.

If a residents/fellow is not eligible for FMLA, they still may use any accrued annual or sick leave.  Please make an appointment with GME office (439-8023) to discuss.

Residency/fellowship training has been recognized as an activity that should not be interrupted.  However, participation in jury duty is a civic responsibility.  In the event that a resident/fellow is called for jury duty, he/she must notify the Program Director.  The Program Director must arrange with back-up to release the resident/fellow from clinical activities during the jury duty process if at all possible.

All residents who are members of any reserve component of the armed forces of the United States or of the Tennessee National Guard may be entitled to leave of absence from their duties for all periods of military services during which they are engaged in the performance of duty or training in the service this state, or of the United States, under competent orders as stipulated in the U.S.C. Title 38, 4311-4318 and T.C.A. 8-33-101 through 58-1-106.

Each resident who is on military leave shall be paid his/her salary or compensation for a period, or periods, not exceeding fifteen (15) working days in any one (1) calendar year, plus such additional days as may result from any call to active State duty pursuant to T.C.A. section 58-1-106. The resident must furnish the University certification from competent military authority of the dates of active duty that was actually performed. 

Official holidays of the University are not automatically observed as time off for house staff. 

Professional Liability Insurance 

As a resident physician with East Tennessee State University under the State of Tennessee your professional liability coverage will be provided by the Tennessee Claims Commission Act (TCA 9-8.301 et sq). The limits of liability are $300,000 per plaintiff/$1 million dollars per occurrence. State law provides that residents have absolute immunity from liability for acts or omissions within the scope of their employment, unless the acts or omissions are willful, malicious, criminal, or done for personal gain.

The immunity of residents under Tennessee law has no mandatory effect in the courts of other states. Residents who participate in rotations out of Tennessee must have additional malpractice. Please consult with your residency coordinator when planning an out of state rotation.

If you should receive a summons and complaint naming you or East Tennessee State University as a defendant in a civil lawsuit arising out of your residency with the University, please contact the Office of Graduate Medical Education immediately. Do not discuss the suit with anyone other than the University attorney or the Attorney Generals Office. Do not talk to the plaintiff or the plaintiffs attorney. Refer all requests for documents to the University attorney or the Office of Graduate Medical Education.

The coverage does not extend to any medical practice or activities outside the medical education program of the University (moonlighting). Claims made after termination of training will be covered if based on acts or omissions of the resident within the course and scope of their assignments during training, therefore residents will not need to purchase tail coverage.

Residents working at the VA are covered by the Federal Tort Claims Act during their rotation at the VA.

Resident Assistance Program "RAP"

East Tennessee State University, James H. Quillen College of Medicines Resident Assistance Program (RAP) is a confidential counseling and referral service for East Tennessee State University Medical School residents and their families. The purpose of the program is to encourage self referral so that you can be helped with training issues, personal and marital concerns before they lead to more serious difficulties. The first six visits are free and subsequent visits are covered by resident health insurance with the normal deductible and co-pay applied.

As resident physicians, you should strive to manage professional and personal stress, to maintain your own health and well-being so that you can maximize your ability to provide quality health care to your patients.

Stress is part of everyone's life. It can become overwhelming when it is not managed properly which in turn can lead to physical, mental and spiritual difficulties.

The Resident Assistance Program (RAP) is here to provide you with help in managing stress in both your personal and professional lives through confidential counseling, education, and in some cases medication. This includes assistance with marriages and other relationships.

Below are listed some causes of excessive stress:

  • Lack of staff or attending support
  • Unresolved bereavement issues
  • Too much responsibility
  • Culture issues
  • Trying to be perfect
  • Sexual orientation issues
  • Lack of sleep
  • Sexual harassment
  • Marriage and family issues
  • Too many hours on call
  • Physical illness
  • Both husband and wife are residents
  • Excessive anxiety
  • Depression
  • Social isolation
  • Don't feel part of the residency community

Contact: Phillip Steffey, M.Div., L.C.S.W. 
Call:  (423) 854-0342

Resident Sick Leave Bank 



The purpose of the ETSU RESIDENT SICK LEAVE BANK is to provide emergency paid sick leave to members of the residency program who have suffered an unexpected personal illness, surgery, injury or disability with complications beyond their control and who have exhausted their personal sick leave.

By definition, "unexpected personal illness", does not include recovery following childbirth. Unforeseen complications during pregnancy would be a qualifying event.

The Sick Leave Bank shall be managed by seven (7) Residents, one from each of the respected residencies (Family Medicine, Surgery, Pediatrics, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Pathology, Internal Medicine, and Psychiatry). Each residency program will elect their own representative yearly. Elected resident representatives must be a member of the sick leave bank. The seven (7) Residents will elect a chairperson from among the seven (7) elected resident representatives at their first meeting.

Membership in the Sick Leave Bank will be available to all Residents of the ETSU Quillen College of Medicine. To be eligible for membership, a Resident must have accumulated a minimum of four (4) sick days and agree to contributing assessed sick leave days to the bank. Residents who do not elect membership by agreeing to contribute the assessed number of sick days to the Sick Leave Bank will not be eligible to apply for grants of bank sick leave.

All eligible Residents who elect to participate in the Sick Leave Bank may be assessed up to a maximum of three (3) sick leave days annually by the trustees to be placed in the bank. Sick leave days transferred to the Sick Leave Bank are non-refundable with the following exceptions: the Sick Leave Bank is dissolved due to the membership in the bank falling below twenty (20) participants. Upon dissolution of the bank, the total hours on deposit shall be returned to the participating members at the time of the dissolution and credited to the personal sick leave accumulation in the proportion to the number of days each has been assessed individually.

A bank member may cancel his/her membership at any time by written notification to the trustees. Assessed sick leave days are non-refundable upon cancellation of membership. Effective date of cancellation shall be the date of the written communication from the bank member.

Upon a Resident completing his/her residency, their balance of sick leave days will be removed from the Sick Leave Bank. The effective date for the removal will be July 1.

A bank member shall lose the right to request bank sick leave upon termination of employment, cancellation of bank membership, refusal or inability to honor the trustees assessments, and going on a leave of absence (in a non-pay status) for reasons other than illness, injury or disability.

Participants who are granted bank sick leave shall continue to accrue sick leave and annual leave if applicable, during the time they are on bank sick leave. Also, the participants will receive holiday pay during the bank sick leave period as applicable.

Grants of bank sick leave shall not be contingent, upon repayment of hours used or waiver of other employment benefits or rights.

A Resident must have been a member of the bank for thirty (30) calendar days prior to applying for withdrawal of Sick Leave Bank days.

Participants must exhaust all accumulated annual and sick leave prior to receiving bank sick leave.

No grant from the Sick Leave Bank shall be made for periods of leave of four (4) days or less.

Bank sick leave shall not be used for: elective surgery, absence to allow for routine childcare subsequent to childbirth (unforeseen complications during pregnancy would be a qualifying event), illness or death of any member of the Residents family or during any period when the Resident is receiving disability benefits. Participants may be required to provide proof that the above does not apply.

Initial grants of bank sick leave to individual bank members shall not exceed twenty (20) consecutive days for which the applicant would have otherwise lost pay. After receiving twenty (20) consecutive days, requests for an extension, made in writing, may be granted by approval of the trustees. The maximum number of days any participant may receive in any fiscal year is sixty (60) days. The maximum number of days any participant may receive for any one illness is ninety (90) days.

If a bank member is physically or mentally unable to request bank sick leave, or an extension, a family member, or agent for the member may file.

The trustees by a 4/7 vote will approve or reject all requests for bank sick leave within ten (10) calendar days of receipt of the request.

All denials of sick bank leave must be accompanied by a letter explaining why the members request was denied.

The decision of the trustees shall not be appealed beyond that body.

All records and official forms of the Sick Leave Bank and minutes of the trustee meetings shall be maintained in the Office of Clinical Affairs. All records shall be subject to audit by administrative officials of East Tennessee State University. All records of the trustees shall remain confidential unless requested access is approved by the 4/7 of the trustees.

Granting of sick bank days does not relieve the Resident from meeting the required number of days for his/her board eligibility. A Resident who accumulates excessive absences for any reason may have to sign a letter of extension for meeting board eligibility. This will be handled by individual program directors/chairpersons.

All eligible Residents will receive notification of the establishment of the plan, dates of initial enrollment period, and copies of the plan and enrollment forms.

The effective date for the East Tennessee State University, James H. Quillen College of Medicine, Sick Leave Bank shall be July 1, 2004.

The annual enrollment period shall be May 1 through June 1.

Currently, all participants in the Sick Leave Bank shall be equally assessed one (1) day (as determined by the committee) as the initial and annual continuing enrollment assessment to be deducted from the individuals personal accumulated sick leave.

Subsequent assessments will be determined annually and shall only be conducted in order to maintain a positive minimum balance in the bank.

Official forms of the Sick Leave Bank:

  • Enrollment form
  • Sick Leave Bank request form
  • Sick Leave Bank notice of assessment

All requests to draw upon the Sick Leave Bank must be made with all appropriate signatures upon a sick leave request form and submitted to the trustees within thirty (30) calendar days of the first date Sick Leave Bank usage is requested. A physicians statement, verifying the nature of the illness or injury, and the inability of the Resident to work, must accompany the request form. The trustees shall approve or disapprove the application within ten (10) calendar days of receipt of the application.

Upon receipt of a request to draw upon the bank, the trustees will examine the bank members sick leave record. If evidence of abuse exists, the trustees may deny the request.

When acting upon a request, if additional information is necessary in order to approve or disapprove a request, the trustees or their official representative, may contact the attending physician and/or the bank member requesting leave. The Resident requesting the sick leave will provide the appropriate releases for obtaining the information from the physician. Failure to provide such information or release may result in disapproval of the Residents request.

A bank member requesting leave from the Sick Leave Bank will receive a copy of the signed approved/disapproved request form as notification of the trustees action.

Amendments to these guidelines may be made by a majority vote of the trustees and approval of the Sick Leave Bank Committee.

Tuition Reimbursement
The College of Medicine has set aside $5,000 for tuition reimbursements for residents spouses and eligible dependent children. Reimbursement will be limited to undergraduate classes at ETSU only and will be on a first-come-first-served basis. Applications are available in the Office of Graduate Medical Education or on the Office of GMEs website. Applications must be completed for each semester and submitted before the semester begins.


General Information


The university bookstore is located on the middle level of the D.P. Culp University Center. They carry a supply of new and used text books, school and office supplies, stationery and greeting cards.

NEEBO is located at 824 West Walnut Street.  In addition to new and used text books, NEEBO carried COM clothing and equipment.

The medical bookstore is located on the lower level of VA Building 34 (the clock tower building). This satellite bookstore carries books for all medical school courses, supplies and equipment.

Completion of Residency Training

Each resident is responsible for completing the residents checkout form. A forwarding address must be provided by each residents.

The Programs will issue a certificate of training to each residents completing their program. A certificate will also be issued to residents who have served as a chief resident.

Each program director is responsible for certifying that the residents has satisfied all training requirements of their program and is eligible for the certifying examination of their specialty. Certification of completion of the program will be contingent upon the residents having returned all ETSU and hospital property such as books, keys, equipment; completed all patient medical records at each affiliated hospital; and settled their professional and financial obligations. A checklist for final clearance will be provided which must be cleared prior to release of the last paycheck.

It is mandatory for all residents/fellows to obtain and keep current a University e-mail account for e-mail communications. The primary means of communication for all residents/fellows is e-mail. The majority of important/critical communication is done by e-mail via the University e-mail account. University e-mail account is subject to University Information Technology policies and procedures, including but not limited to access, authentication, and password management. Contact your Program Coordinator for instructions on activating your e-mail account. 
Graduate Medical Education Committee


The charge to the Committee will be to perform a periodic analysis of each residency training program and recommend appropriate corrective action where necessary and have the responsibility for the oversight and administration of the Graduate Medical Education programs. These analysis will be in compliance with ACGME Essentials to include the following:

The GMEC must establish and implement policies and procedures regarding the quality of education and the work environment for the residents in all programs. These policies and procedures must include:

  1. Stipends and position allocation: Annual review and recommendations to the Sponsoring Institution regarding resident stipends, benefits, and funding for resident positions.
  2. Communication with program directors: The GMEC must:
    1. Ensure that communication mechanisms exist between the GMEC and all program directors within the institution.
    2. Ensure that program directors maintain effective communication mechanisms with the site directors at each participating institution for their respective programs to maintain proper oversight at all clinical sites.
  3. Resident duty hours: The GMEC must:
    1. Develop and implement written policies and procedures regarding resident duty hours to ensure compliance with the Institutional, Common, and specialty/subspecialty-specific Program Requirements.
    2. Consider for approval requests from program directors prior to submission to an RRC for exceptions in the weekly limit on duty 11 hours up to 10 percent or up to a maximum of 88 hours in compliance with ACGME Policies and Procedures for duty hour exceptions.
  4. Resident supervision: Monitor programs supervision of residents and ensure that supervision is consistent with:
    1. Provision of safe and effective patient care;
    2. Educational needs of residents;
    3. Progressive responsibility appropriate to residents level of education, competence, and experience; and,
    4. Other applicable Common and specialty/subspecialty-specific Program Requirements.
  5. Communication with Medical Staff: Communication between leadership of the medical staff regarding the safety and quality of patient care that includes
    1. The annual report to the OMS;
    2. Description of resident participation in patient safety and quality of care education; and,
    3. The accreditation status of programs and any citations regarding patient care issues.
  6. Curriculum and evaluation: Assurance that each program provides a curriculum and an evaluation system that enables residents to demonstrate achievement of the ACGME general competencies as defined in the Common and specialty/subspecialty-specific Program Requirements.
  7. Resident status: Selection, evaluation, promotion, transfer, discipline, and/or dismissal of residents in compliance with the Institutional and Common Program Requirements.
  8. Oversight of program accreditation: Review of all ACGME program accreditation letters of notification and monitoring of action plans for correction of citations and areas of noncompliance.
  9. Management of institutional accreditation: Review of the Sponsoring Institutions ACGME letter of notification from the IRC and monitoring of action plans for correction of citations and areas of noncompliance.
  10. Oversight of program changes: Review of the following for approval, prior to submission to the ACGME by program directors:
    1. All applications for ACGME accreditation of new programs;
    2. Changes in resident complement;
    3. Major changes in program structure or length of training;
    4. Additions and deletions of participating institutions;
    5. Appointments of new program directors;
    6. Progress reports requested by any Review Committee;
    7. Responses to all proposed adverse actions;
    8. Requests for exceptions of resident duty hours;
    9. Voluntary withdrawal of program accreditation;
    10. Requests for an appeal of an adverse action; and,
    11. Appeal presentations to a Board of Appeal or the ACGME.
  11. Experimentation and innovation: Oversight of all phases of educational experiments and innovations that may deviate from Institutional, Common, and specialty/subspecialty-specific Program Requirements, including:
    1. Approval prior to submission to the ACGME and/or respective Review Committee;
    2. Adherence to Procedures for "Approving Proposals for Experimentation or Innovative Projects" in ACGME Policies and Procedures; and,
    3. Monitoring quality of education provided to residents for the duration of such a project.
  12. Oversight of reductions and closures: Oversight of all processes related to reductions and/or closures of:
    1. Individual programs;
    2. Major participating institutions; and,
    3. The Sponsoring Institution.
  13. Vendor Interactions: Provision of a statement of institutional policy (not necessarily GME-specific) that addresses interactions between vendor representatives/corporations and residents/GME programs.

The composition of the Committee will be the Executive Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education, the Assistant Dean for Graduate Medical Education, representatives of medical affairs from participating hospitals, one peer selected resident representative from each residency program, and other appropriate individuals involved in furthering graduate medical education as appointed by the Dean. The Executive Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education will Chair the Committee. 

Identification Badges
An I.D. badge will be made for each residents at orientation. Residents are required to wear these badges at all times in the hospitals and clinics, making sure that the picture, name and department can be seen at eye level. If the badge is lost, please call ID services at (423) 439-8316 for a replacement. There is a $10 charge to replace an ID badge. Badges are the property of ETSU and must be relinquished upon completion or termination from the residency program.
Loan Deferments
The Office of Graduate Medical Education will complete deferments, forbearance, and hardship forms. That office will also send letters verifying training periods to loan companies when requested.
Mandatory Deduction
Withholding Taxes - Federal withholding taxes are deducted from your salary at a rate determined by the amount of your salary and the number of personal exemptions claimed. All residents participate in the Social Security system at the established rate, currently the rate is 6.2% OAB and 1.45% FICA-MED.
Medical Library

The Medical Library is located in building #4 on the Veterans Affairs campus. Residents are eligible to check out materials but must obtain a library I.D. card at the Circulation Desk.

Library Hours: Monday-Saturday 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 midnight

Sunday 12:00 noon - 12:00 midnight 

Changes in hours or holiday hours are posted at the library.

A Computer Lab is available during regular library hours. There are three Apples and three IBM computers. Information is available at the Circulation Desk.

Medical License and License Exemptions

All residents must hold either a Tennessee medical training license or a license exemption from the State of Tennessee. Both must be renewed annually. Check with your program for their requirements.

National Provider Identifier (NPI) Number 

All residents must obtain a National Provider Identifier (NPI) number.  Please contact your Program Coordinator for information on obtaining a NPI number. 

Notary Public 



Orientation is held during the last week of June for all new residents. University policies, procedures, benefits and responsibilities are covered at this time. All new residents are required to attend.


Residents are required to have salaries paid through direct deposit. A voided or canceled check must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Medical Education for processing. All residents are paid on the last working day of each calendar month.

Safety & Health

The university strives to provide the safest possible environment for all residents. Residents must comply with safety and health regulations and report to appropriate supervisors any condition which appears to be hazardous. Residents should report any unsafe working conditions to the Human Resources Office. Residents have the right to expect such conditions to be explained and/or improved. If the residents does not feel that the condition has been satisfactorily improved, the residents has the right to request further inspections without any fear of dismissal or discrimination because of the action.

Traffic and Parking Regulations 

All residents who intend to park a motor vehicle on the ETSU Campus or VA Campus must register with the ETSU Department of Public Safety, Parking Services (439-5650). Residents should purchase faculty/staff decals. Information about the regulations and prices can be obtained in the Business Office at Dossett Hall. You will receive further instructions concerning parking through ETSU e-mail.  

Work Related Injuries

All workplace injuries must be reported to State of Tennessee Worker's Compensation Program through Corvel.  Residents must contact the workplace injury and first notice of loss cell center at 866-245-8588.  Please select option 1 to speak to a nurse for immediate care.  Select option 2 for first notice of loss reporting.
The failure to contact Corvel within a reasonable time will result in denial of claim.



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