The new new careers

The United States may keep shedding jobs to foreign countries, but it cranks out new occupations like no one else. Here are just five of the hottest you can get into now.

Salary range: $200,000-$800,000

Experience/skills: Certified radiation oncologists must take three-week training course.

Perks: A broader base of patients and a long-term source of high-margin revenue

Who's hiring? Large hospitals, universities, pioneering small medical practices

For years San Diego radiation oncologist Donald Fuller relied on the standard tools of cancer therapy: radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery. But late last year, Fuller and several partners invested $4 million in a high-energy linear accelerator fixed to a robotic arm. The CyberKnife zaps radiation beams with submillimeter precision at tumors inside patients' bodies. After as many as five, one-hour treatments, tumors can disappear in a matter of days.

So-called radiosurgery has been used for years to treat cancer in the brain, where conventional operations are usually too risky. The CyberKnife--manufactured by Accuray and approved by the FDA in 2001 to treat tumors anywhere in the body--is only now reaching a broad population of patients with early-stage lung cancer, spinal tumors, and other cancers.

But it's turned Fuller, 49, into an entrepreneur. If he can treat 150 patients a year for the average insurance reimbursement of $19,000 each, he'll break even on his radiosurgery business by the end of 2008. Afterward, he could be looking at as much as $2.6 million a year in new revenue. "This is the way we are heading in medicine," Fuller says. "It's the way technology is taking us."





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