Asheville Family Medicine Residency

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We believe that every person deserves great primary care. We believe that great primary care is care that is able to respond to the needs of a community. We believe that primary care is joyful and fulfilling work. We are a full-spectrum Family Medicine training program based in scenic Asheville, NC. Our community focused, not-for-profit residency program at the Mountain Area Health Education Center is set in the Blue Ridge Mountains and primarily serves urban and rural underserved populations of the Western NC region. In June of 2022, MAHEC became an FQHC, expanding our ability to offer the high quality care our patients have come to expect and upon which our community depends. Our primary practice site has consistently maintained the highest-level status as a Patient Centered Medical Home, helping to provide the best possible care for our patients and the best education for our residents.

Our goal at the MAHEC Family Medicine Residency Program in Asheville is to develop residents into highly skilled and compassionate physicians through collaborative, team-based care, quality education, innovative practice and evidence-informed decision making. Our graduates’ skills extend beyond the care of the individual patient into population health, community needs assessment, healthcare advocacy, scholarship and practice management in an evolving healthcare system. We train family physicians who can practice full-spectrum and community informed Family Medicine anywhere, from rural to urban and regional to global settings.

For more than 40 years, our curriculum has offered outstanding training in our Family Health Centers and our world-class hospital system. Residents have always been key contributors to our program’s environment of innovation. This comprehensive training is highlighted by strong commitments to global and community-based care, maternity care/women's health, behavioral medicine, geriatrics, sports medicine and rural medicine. We embrace the care of marginalized populations including patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities, substance use disorders, infected with HIV and Hepatitis C, needing gender affirming care, experiencing homelessness and transitioning out of correctional facilities. We remain committed to the care of our patients without regard to their ability to pay.

We encourage you to apply for a position with us!

Our Team

Acting Internships

We are pleased to offer Acting Internships (AI) to students interested in doing residency at the MAHEC Asheville Family Medicine Residency Program. Several options are available. If you are interested in doing an AI with us, please contact

4th Year Medical Student Rotations

MAHEC offers a variety of student rotations in Family Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, General Surgery, Rural Medicine, and Psychiatry for both in-state and out-of-state students interested in our residency programs. Learn more about our 4th year medical student rotations

Our Commitment

MAHEC is committed to creating an equitable and inclusive place to work, learn, and receive care. We actively recruit physicians, staff, and students from underrepresented minorities, and we strive to implement policies and procedures that value and support diverse backgrounds and experiences. MAHEC does not discriminate on the basis of socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, spiritual practice, geography, disability, or age.

Mission Statement

We train community oriented family physicians by promoting sustainable and fulfilling careers as leaders among diverse and innovative healthcare teams. We do this in order to address evolving needs of Western North Carolina and improve quality and access to primary care for everyone.

Values Statement

  • Excellence: We deliver quality activities and services that our customers and partners value.
  • Diversity: We promote equity and inclusivity.
  • Integrity: We act with fairness, transparency, and the highest level of ethics.
  • Collaboration: We value partnerships and support interprofessional approaches.
  • Improvement: We continuously innovate and improve our work.

Foundational Principles

  • Civility: We treat all people with respect and kindness, all the time.
  • Inclusivity: We value the contribution of people different than ourselves and the merits of an organization that reflects differences in our teams and our community.
  • Empowerment: We value engagement, commitment, and ownership of MAHEC’s mission, work, and budget.

Faculty and Alumni Comments

What do our graduates do?

Class of 2017:

  • MAHEC Faculty, full scope inpatient/outpatient + non-surgical OB
  • IHS in New Mexico, full scope inpatient/outpatient + non-surgical OB
  • Private practice in NY, full scope inpatient/outpatient + non-surgical OB
  • Maternal Child Health (MCH) Fellow at MAHEC, then BRCHS rural Western North Carolina, does C-sections, full scope inpatient/outpatient + surgical OB
  • MCH Fellow at MAHEC, then rural Western North Carolina, full scope inpatient/outpatient + non-surgical OB
  • Celo Health, rural/outpatient FM – addiction medicine
  • MAHEC Faculty, Geriatric medical director of Deerfield Retirement community, full scope inpatient/outpatient + non-surgical OB
  • IHS, Cherokee, NC
  • IHS, Cherokee outpatient FM
  • Works for NCDHHS, MPH, CDC fellowship following residency
  • Adolescent Fellow at GWU, FM/Peds in Emory University

Class of 2018:

  • A married couple did a year of locums in New Zealand before coming back to private practice
  • 70% research (but also inpatient, outpatient and addiction) at Boston Med Center
  • Team doctor for Georgetown University
  • EPIC leader for local hospital system and is now shifting to private practice at the family health centers
  • Palliative care at the VA
  • FQHC including inpatient obstetrics in Oregon then in Wilmington, NC
  • MAHEC faculty
  • MAHEC faculty at Hendersonville, inpatient, outpatient and non surgical obstetrics
  • After a hospitalist fellowship, doing a job share for half inpatient half outpatient in Burnsville

Class of 2019:

  • Two graduates from this class restarted deliveries by FM docs in rural Western North Carolina
  • Inpatient palliative
  • Graduate helped develop the precision med/DPC practice at Vickery Family Practice
  • Did a health policy fellowship at Georgetown before joining Duke Faculty
  • Full spectrum outpatient care in rural clinic in Linville, NC
  • Did an obstetric fellowship, previously faculty at W Virginia, now with HCA and now in the surgical obstetric call pool in rural Western North Carolina
  • Two graduates do sports medicine
  • Outpatient family medicine

Class of 2020:

  • Winner of Florida Academy of Family Physicians leader award for their work around expanding access to addiction medicine in their HM
  • Working at the Michael Jordan clinic
  • FQHC in the piedmont, followed by an academic job in Wisconsin
  • MAHEC faculty behavioral health
  • Two graduates are doing full spectrum family medicine on island in Alaska
  • Started a methadone clinic in Alaska and is running a “first step” clinic for those experiencing homelessness
  • Outpatient and newborn in Flagstaff
  • The head of WCMS (Western Carolina Medical Society) and working for local FQHC
  • Inpatient, outpatient, and addiction medicine faculty at Oregon Health Sciences University
  • Outpatient family medicine and addiction
  • 2 graduates from this class are providing comprehensive reproductive health care including abortion care

Class of 2021:

  • Completed Sports Medicine Fellowship, and now faculty and Assistant Program Director of the Sports Medicine Fellowship at MAHEC
  • Practicing outpatient primary care in hometown of Midland, TX
  • Completed Sports Medicine Fellowship, now practicing sports medicine in Louisville, KY, physician to the jockeys at Kentucky Derby
  • Practicing outpatient primary care in Berkeley, CA
  • Practicing outpatient primary care in Spartanburg, SC
  • Faculty at St. Francis Family Medicine Residency in Midlothian, VA; full-spectrum inpatient, outpatient, and OB
  • Core faculty at MAHEC, doing full-spectrum inpatient, outpatient, and OB
  • Practicing outpatient primary care in Huntington Beach, CA
  • Completed OB fellowship, now practicing outpatient primary care and OB (including surgical obstetrics) as faculty at Providence Family Medicine Residency Program in Eureka, CA
  • Completed Palliative Care fellowship, now practicing palliative care in Corvallis, OR
  • Practicing outpatient primary care in Chapel Hill, NC
  • Practicing outpatient primary care in Exeter, NH

Beginning July 2023, we will be launching a new Clinic First curriculum with a 2+2 schedule. This restructuring is the result of our desires to make outpatient learning a central focus of the curriculum and to meet the 2023 ACGME New Core Program Requirements, which facilitates 6 months of elective time over the course of the residency program.

Below you will find our clinic first curriculum. Please reach out to our residency team with any specific questions you have and we would be happy to answer them.

Clinic First Schedule:


  • 26 weeks Family Health Center
  • 12 weeks Obstetrics
  • 8 weeks Internal Medicine
  • 8 weeks Pediatrics
  • 2 weeks Newborns
  • 2 weeks Rural


  • 26 weeks Family Health Center
  • 2 weeks Family Practice Service nights
  • 4 weeks Family Practice Service days
  • 2 weeks Medicine senior
  • 2 weeks Pediatric senior
  • 1 week Surgery
  • 1 week Gynecology
  • 1 weeks Sports Medicine/Rheumatology
  • 2 weeks Rural
  • 1 weeks Emergency Department
  • 10 weeks Elective


  • 26 weeks Family Health Center
  • 2 weeks Family Practice Service nights
  • 4 weeks Family Practice Service days
  • 2 weeks Rural
  • 2 weeks Pediatric Emergency Department
  • 14 weeks Elective

PGY2/PGY3 Electives

Including but not limited to:

Behavioral medicine Cardiology Dermatology Ear / Nose / Throat Emergency medicine Gender-affirming care Geriatrics Global health Gynecology HIV / Hepatitis C Hospital medicine Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities Lifestyle Medicine Nephrology Neurology Newborn Care Obstetrics Ophthalmology Point-of-care ultrasound Practice Style Experiences Psychiatry & addiction medicine Rural medicine Sports Medicine Urology


Residents at the Family Health Center...
  • See their own panel of continuity patients on their clinic team on a set schedule
  • Are supervised in person and via video by family medicine and behavioral health faculty
  • Learn about coding, billing, and practice management models
  • Access a variety of community resources for their patients
  • See patients in variety of specialty clinics such as diabetes, healthy living (Lifestyle Medicine), Next Steps (hepatitis C), osteoporosis, colposcopy, vasectomy, chronic pain, OMT, sports medicine, geriatrics, medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD), and skin conditions
  • Gain procedural skills such as skin biopsies, toenail removal, vasectomy, joint injections, casting, laceration repair, and sphenopalatine ganglion blocks
Age Distribution of FHC Patients for 2017-2018
Age Percentage
0-2 13%
2-9 11%
10-19 10%
20-29 17%
30-39 16%
40-49 9%
50-59 8%
Geriatric 15%
Payor Mix for the Division of Family Medicine
Private/Commercial 16%
Medicaid 28%
Medicare 34%
Other Government 2%
Self 20%


Residents on the Family Practice Service at Mission Hospital......
  • Care for geriatric, adult, pediatric, newborn, postpartum, antepartum, and laboring patients all on one comprehensive and interdisciplinary service
  • Work one-on-one with our family medicine and pharmacy faculty
  • Work with the patient’s primary care provider and specialists to provide continuity and comprehensive care
  • Lead the code team in ACLS as the first responders to all adult codes in the hospital


  • Weekly protected time for a full afternoon of simulation training, dynamic classroom instruction, and resident support
  • Simulation training on adult, pediatric, newborn, and maternity care is woven throughout didactic sessions
  • Use of innovative and interactive "flipped classroom" model of teaching that includes problem-based learning, case presentations, procedure rodeos, role-play, and audience response systems
  • Other didactic activities include an innovative evidence-informed decision-making curriculum and wellness workshops focused on resident well-being

Simulation Center

Our state-of-the-art Simulation Center is a 15,000-square-foot facility which opened in 2018. It includes high-fidelity manikins, standardized patients, task trainers, and laproscopic surgery, endoscopy/bronchoscopy, point-of-care ultrasound, and virtual reality simulators. This allows residents to work through patient case scenarios led by our own family medicine faculty and guest faculty. Residents are grouped by class to support optimal learning based experience and scenarios are typically grouped by teaching topic to hone specific skills and learning points. Each session highlights unique and powerful learning opportunities in key competencies including communication, teamwork, emergent conditions, and tasks that require well-practiced manual skills such as diagnostic and surgical procedures.

Adult Medicine

Residents on the adult medicine service at Mission Hospital...
  • Work closely with MAHEC Internal Medicine faculty and Team Health hospitalists.
  • Manage patients on the adult medicine unit, cardiac and pulmonary step-down units, med-surg ICU, cardiac ICU, and neurotrauma ICU
  • Work in teams with interns from FM, IM, psychiatry, and transitional year programs, IM and FM senior residents, pharmacists and pharmacy residents and students, and UNC Chapel Hill medical students.
  • Attend daily morning report


Residents on the inpatient pediatrics, newborn, and family practice rotations...
  • Work closely with pediatric hospitalists and newbornists
  • Gain procedural skills including circumcisions and lumbar punctures
  • Attend community-wide pediatric conferences and neonatology seminars
  • Become comfortable managing neonatal abstinence syndrome through the Eat, Sleep, Console model
Residents in the outpatient setting...
  • Care for a high volume of pediatric patients—one-third of the visits in the residents' continuity clinics at the Family Health Center are with children
  • Work in pediatric practices in our community
  • Explore pediatric specialties in cardiology, orthopedics, obesity, hypertension, asthma, sleep, oncology, dermatology, endocrinology, neurology, allergy and asthma, developmental issues, and genetic disorders

Obstetrics & Gynecology

  • Participate in outpatient ob/gyn care including family planning clinics and STD clinics at the health department and Planned Parenthood, gyn clinics with local specialists, and dedicated prenatal clinic at the Family Health Center
  • Gain procedural skills including colposcopy, IUD and contraceptive implant insertion, endometrial biopsies, miscarriage management, ultrasound, obstetrical laceration repair, pessary fittings, induction of labor and intrapartum procedures, and vasectomy.
  • Weekly didactics cover preconception care, breast and cervical cancer screening, contraception, vulvar disease, abnormal uterine bleeding, sexual dysfunction, menopause, natural childbirth, and management of pregnancy complications and chronic disease in pregnant patients. We also use the Simulation Center for skills practice during some ob/gyn didactic sessions
  • Collaborate with the MAHEC ob/gyn residency program during high-volume rotations on the labor and delivery unit at Mission Hospital
  • Interested residents can pursue optional high-volume experiences at outside hospitals during elective time
  • Follow pregnant patients longitudinally through their prenatal care in the Family Health Center and through their deliveries on the Family Practice Service at Mission Hospital. We do everything possible to facilitate residents attending the births of their continuity prenatal patients

Behavioral Health

Residents enjoy the benefits of an integrated care model in their outpatient continuity clinic. This means that Behavioral Health faculty providers will work together with residents to co-manage patient care and will be available for real-time consults as needed. This model affords innumerable learning opportunities as residents partner with an interdisciplinary team of providers for daily patient care.

Additional scheduled learning opportunities included working directly with MAHEC behavioral medicine faculty, peer support specialists, and psychiatry faculty as well as community providers.


  • Perform initial surgical consults in the Emergency Department
  • Opportunities to assist with surgeries, intubation, and pre- and post-operative care
  • Perform office-based procedures in primary care and surgery clinics
  • Attend procedure rodeos to practice procedures in the Simulation Center

Electives & Scholarly Activities

  • We value individualizing the curriculum to meet resident’s personal educational objectives. Examples of resident elective activities listed in the table at the top of the page.
  • Residents are required to complete a community, quality improvement, and research project prior to graduation. Click here to learn more about the clinical research and scholarly activity of our residents and faculty.
  • Continuous quality improvement is the fabric of how we practice medicine. All residents will participate in team-based quality improvement projects and initiatives in collaboration with nurses and other clinical staff.

Emergency Medicine

  • Supervision by emergency medicine faculty in the third-busiest emergency department in North Carolina (and one of the busiest in the nation)
  • Improve procedural skills with the “fast-track team” including EKG interpretation, incision and drainage, laceration repair, fracture reduction and splinting, point-of-care ultrasound, and ATLS
  • Spend time in rural emergency department settings in McDowell County
  • Attend monthly collaborative morbidity and mortality (M&M) sessions with emergency medicine faculty


  • Longitudinal care for older adults at the family health center, at two skilled nursing facilities, and through home visits
  • Acute care for geriatric patients in the hospital
  • Participate in our home visit curriculum care retirement communities we serve, as well as with local palliative care and hospice services

Orthopedics & Sports Medicine

  • Attend primary care sports medicine clinic and provide continuity orthopedic care based at the MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore under the supervision of sports medicine faculty
  • Work with community-based general orthopedists, hand surgeons, spine specialists, physical therapists, chiropractors, and podiatrists
  • Administer sports physicals and provide side-line care at local sporting events and races
  • Diagnose and stabilize common musculoskeletal trauma and sports injuries, and inject soft tissues and joints
  • Gain procedural skills including shoulder and knee injections, aspirations, splinting, and casting
  • Obtain high-yield ultrasound experience through direct patient care and in the MAHEC Simulation Center

Community & Global Health

  • Provide primary care for underserved and underinsured patients in our office, at Mission Hospital, and at a free medical clinic through Project Access (a volunteer physician community-based healthcare initiative)
  • Collaborate with local schools under the School Healthy Lifestyle Collaborative
  • Visit multiple rural hospitals and clinics under a national Teaching Health Center grant
  • Participate, if interested, in a two-week trip to rural Honduras with the not-for-profit nongovernmental organization Shoulder-to-Shoulder
  • Assist Hispanic and underserved populations with navigating the healthcare system
  • Volunteer with local housing developments and equity organizations
  • Rotate with area federally qualified healthcare centers


Residents PGY3

Residents PGY2

Residents PGY1

MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore


The MAHEC Mary C. Nesbitt Biltmore Campus, constructed in 2013, houses the Family Health Center, Dental Health Center, Education Building, and Ob/Gyn Specialists. The newly constructed UNC Health Sciences at MAHEC building houses the UNC School of Medicine Asheville campus, UNC Gillings School's Master of Public Health Program in Asheville, the Center for Health Professions Education, the Rural Health Initiatives team, and the Center for Psychiatry and Mental Wellness. The Family Health Center includes 33 patient care rooms, behavioral health offices, group visit space, ultrasound, x-ray, and laboratory services.

Mission Hospital


YouTubeMAHEC residents train at Mission Hospital, a part of the Mission Health system and a regional referral center for 16 counties in Western North Carolina and parts of TN, SC, WV, and VA. The medical staff is comprised of approximately 650 physicians, with nearly all subspecialties available. Mission is an 815-bed hospital, featuring state-of-the-art facilities. The Emergency Department at Mission averages over 95,000 patient visits per year.

In 2020, Mission Hospital was named North Carolina's Best Hospital by Business North Carolina; it is one of the busiest hospitals in the state. Read more about Mission’s various accolades here.

MAHEC Satellite Locations

Welcome to a powerful approach for preventing, managing, and reversing chronic health conditions through lifestyle and behavioral changes.

Our Lifestyle Medicine Residency Curriculum, the first in North Carolina, builds on MAHEC’s tradition of delivering innovative medical education and whole-person care. It also takes advantage of Asheville’s abundance of outdoor sports and recreation, parks and greenways, local farms, and wellness practices.

A Whole-Person Approach

Lifestyle medicine focuses on six key areas:

  • healthful eating
  • physical activity
  • stress management
  • improving sleep
  • avoiding toxic substances
  • forming and maintaining relationships

This evidence-based approach provides physicians with powerful tools to partner with patients to improve overall health and well-being. By preventing, treating, and even reversing conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol, lifestyle medicine can make a significant impact on health and well-being across the lifespan.

Integrated Learning

All MAHEC residents are eligible to participate in the LMRC and have the opportunity to become board eligible in Lifestyle Medicine if they so desire. Upon completion of the curriculum, residents will qualify to sit for the American Board of Lifestyle Medicine certification exam after graduation.

Lifestyle Medicine Modules

  • Introduction to Lifestyle Medicine
  • Role of Physician Health and the Physician’s Personal Health
  • Nutrition Science, Assessment, and Prescription
  • Physical Activity, Science, and Prescription
  • Sleep Health, Science, and Interventions
  • Managing Tobacco Cessation and Other Toxic Exposures
  • Fundamentals of Health Behavioral Change
  • Key Clinical Processes in Lifestyle Medicine
  • Emotional and Mental Well-Being Assessment and Interventions
  • The Role of Connectedness and Positive Psychology

Program Director

Ginger Poulton, MD, MSEd, DipABLM Ginger Poulton, MD, MSEd, DipABLM
Family Medicine Faculty Physician
Assistant Director, Transitional Year Residency Program


MAHEC Vision and Culture


Program Overview

Campus and Facility Tours

Tour of the Simulation Center

Tour of Mission Hospital


Behavioral Health in Family Medicine

Behavioral Medicine Rotation

Family Practice Service

Full Spectrum Training

GYN Curriculum

Internal Medicine Rotation

Reproductive Health and Maternal Child Fellowship


Rural Health Rotation


Special Clinics and Interests

Center for Healthy Aging

Hepatitis C and HIV

Integrative Medicine

Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Clinic

Office-Based Opioid Treatment

Osteoporosis Clinic

Preconception Health

Project ECHO®

Rural Health Initiatives

Skin Clinic

Integrated Care




Behavioral Health Fellowship

Make Your Own 4th Year Fellowship

Sports Medicine Fellowship

Interview Dates & Second Looks

Our interview days are on Tuesday and Thursday. We will interview every week From October 11, 2022 through January 26, 2023 except for the weeks of October 24-28 for the in-training exam week and December 26–January 6 for the holidays. Our interviews begin with a casual catered dinner party hosted at one of our resident's homes the night before.

We welcome residents who would like to arrange a second look. Second look visits are arranged by appointment.


In compliance with AAMC recommendations, MAHEC Family Medicine Residency suggests that applicants signal their most interested programs regardless of whether they are home or away rotations. This is the most fair and equitable process for all applicant types (MD, DO, and IMGs) and provides all programs that participate in receiving signals with the same information about interest level. This signaling information will be used in the process of choosing applicants to interview but not for rank list ordering.

Application Requirements

We invite you to apply to our program via the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). We will review your application and contact you if we wish to invite you for an interview. Typically, our interview season runs from mid-October through mid-December. We have 16 interview date options and welcome applicants back for informal second looks.

A complete ERAS application is required, including:

  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Personal statement
  • Three letters of recommendation from faculty who have directly supervised clinical performance (at least one letter should be from a family physician)
  • Medical school transcript(s)
  • Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE)
  • USMLE, COMLEX, or Canadian licensing exam scores (Step 1 required, Step 2 CK required before ranking, Step 2 CS preferred)
Questions regarding the application process should be directed to the residency program coordinators at

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

The Graduate Medical Education (GME) programs will select from among eligible applicants on the basis of residency program-related criteria such as their preparedness, ability, aptitude, academic credentials, communication skills, and personal qualities such as motivation and integrity.

Minimum Requirements

An applicant must meet or exceed the following minimum qualification(s) to be eligible for selection and appointment to MAHEC’s GME residency programs:

  • Be a graduate of a medical school in the United States or Canada, accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME); or
  • Be a graduate of a college of osteopathic medicine in the United States, accredited by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA); or
  • Be a graduate of a non-LCME- or AOA-approved medical school who also meets one of the following additional qualifications:
    • holds a currently-valid certificate from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) prior to appointment; or
    • holds a full and unrestricted license to practice medicine in a United States licensing jurisdiction in his or her current ACGME specialty/subspecialty program; or
    • has graduated from a medical school outside the United States and has completed a Fifth Pathway program provided by a LCME-accredited medical school.
  • Passed USMLE Steps 1 and 2 or COMLEX 1 and 2 within three attempts, as required by the North Carolina Medical Board.
  • Be eligible for a NC resident training license.
  • Be eligible to work in the U.S. (citizen, permanent resident, eligible visa including J1). MAHEC does not sponsor H1B or other visas.

International Medical Graduates

Special laws and regulations apply to international medical graduates who wish to enter the United States to undertake graduate medical education. MAHEC's policies and procedures regarding graduates of international medical schools comply with federal and state laws and regulations and MAHEC's commitment to graduate medical education.

Graduates of medical schools outside the United States and Canada must have a currently valid certificate from ECFMG. Applicants must successfully pass both Step 1 (basic medical) and Step 2 (clinical knowledge and skills) of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE).

While MAHEC does not sponsor a visa, the international medical graduate applicant must also possess a current/valid visa option or other status governed by the U.S. Immigration Regulations to participate in a GME program.

Finally, the North Carolina Medical Board requires that physicians who are graduates of schools that are not accredited by the LCME or the AOA (foreign medical schools) must be individually certified by ECFMG, have successfully completed at least three years of accredited graduate medical training, and have passed the USMLE or its equivalent to be eligible for application for full licensure. An international medical graduate must complete all other application requirements required by MAHEC and the GME program.

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