I'm a 4th year med student who had a change of heart late in the application cycle. I originally applied to ER, but late in November decided that a career in surgery was the most appropriate choice for me. I won't bore you with all the why's and how's of my career change. I cancelled all of my ER interviews and by then it was too late to apply to gen surg categorical programs. Being from Chicago and really not having much of an interest to leave my beloved town, I matched into a good prelim position in the city. I know that at the institution I will be a prelim at, transitioning into an open pgy-2 position will be extremely difficult. Having said that my plans are to apply this coming year (within Chicago as well broadly across the U.S.) to about 20-25 programs as well as keeping my eye out for good pgy-2 openings across the U.S. However, since it is my desire to remain in Chicago (for various personal and family reasons), the most ideal situation for me would be to get a good categorical position in the city (via the match) even if it meant that i would have to repeat my intern year. For most that would seem ridiculous but it would be a sacrifice i would make in order not to leave the city. And if i had leave to get a guaranteed spot elsewhere then that's what i would do. My main concern is will I be competitive for Pgy1-5 categorical programs as a prelim who has not failed to match once already and with a Step 1 score of 252/99, AOA, and possibly good LOR from my prelim institution??? Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks!