Notes by Akhil Saji

How to create a clean Windows 10 installation

Microsoft bundles fresh installations of Windows 10 with a variety of junk software including free trials and small games that most people have no intention of using. Uninstalling this mess of software even on a /fresh/ installation can be challenging. Luckily, there are some tools that can help. Below are the steps to easily uninstall this software in the fewest steps possible.

Download the Windows 10 decrapifier script and save it to your desktop as decrapify.ps1

Open powershell in administrator mode and run Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned

Now run the powershell script & "C:\Users\user\Desktop\decrapify.ps1”

Once the script finishes running all of the unnecessary software should have been removed. Set your execution policy back to restricted to prevent unauthorized powershell scripts from running. Set-ExecutionPolicy restricted

How to Remove PDF Metadata

If you have ever wanted to completely strip identifying metadata from a pdf file for whatever reason, you would quickly find there is no easy way to do this. Luckily, if you have any form of linux access available to you, there is a free tool that can help. Below are the steps to strip an example pdf file of all identifying metadata.

Install the Tools

apt-get install exiftool

Viewing Existing Metadata

exiftool -all example.pdf

Running this command will show you the metadata already present in the pdf file you’re working on including timezone, time stamps, author and other potentially identifying variables.

Deleting Existing Metadata

exiftool -all:all= example.pdf

At this point, if you re-run exiftool -all example.pdf you’ll see that most of the original metadata is removed and you have a fresh pdf file stripped of metadata.

Intern Year (PGY1) Tax Benefits

The tax year that you graduate medical school (I.e 2018), as a newly minted intern there are a variety of tax benefits one should be aware of. Most of these stem from the fact that you will have only earned income for half a tax year (July-December) and therefore will be placed solely in a lower tax bracket than the subsequent years of residency.

  1. Lifetime Learning Credit- this $2000 credit is the most important tax benefit you can claim as an intern. Assuming you paid tuition during your last year of medical school, they will provide you with a form 1098-T which you can use to fill out IRS form 8863 which can be submitted along with your standard form 1040. If you are like most interns and your only substantial income is from your residency pay then this credit will enable you to reduce your tax burden to effectively $0. Note: Some schools will bill all of their academic year expenses at once and therefore you will be utilizing the 1098T of the year prior to the you graduate. For example if your 4th year of medical school was 2017-2018 you would utilize the 2017 1098T.
  2. Student Loan Interest Deduction- this $2500 deduction can reduce your taxable income if you made one student loan payment (even first year income driven repayment plans count) during the tax year. You’re eligible to either either the full $2500 or the amount of interest you paid, whichever is greater. Read more here.

These two are the two main deductions and credits that can help the vast majority of interns save some money on their taxes during their first year of employment. Please feel free to ask questions or leave comments below.