Wealth On The Go

For Chris Galloway, staying on the move has meant staying in the money. Galloway, 41, is a radiation therapist and real estate investor. When he travels to hospitals, he uses highly technical equipment to deliver doses of ionizing radiation to treat patients with cancer and other diseases.
Galloway began his career at a Washington, D.C., radiation therapy firm in 1985, before graduating from Howard University with a degree in radiation therapy and physics in 1989. The firm was able to contract his services to radiology departments at hospitals in and around the Washington, D.C., area because he had fulfilled all of the certification requirements.

Galloway obtained certification in a highly specialized technology as early as possible. This achievement is an illustration of how he has used DOFE principle No. 9: to maximize my earning power through a commitment to career development, technological literacy, and professional excellence.

Galloway graduated from Howard and landed a job at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), earning $22,000. He began saving money in low-interest savings accounts. “I wanted to get into investing in real estate, but I wanted to save enough money to execute my plans rather than be unsure about putting money into the stock market,” he says. He continued to do contract work after spending 18 months at NIH. Galloway traveled across the country to hospitals such as Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Johns Hopkins. Consequently, he gained exposure to state-of-the-art technology and cutting- edge research in radiation treatments. “If you stay in one place, you’ll never see the new equipment that comes out every year,” says Galloway.

In 1992, Galloway accepted a position with Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami. His salary increased to $42,000, and he decided to open a 401(k) account because the hospital matched his retirement contributions dollar-for-dollar. “That was a no-brainer,” he laughs. By 1995, he made his first real estate purchase. He placed a $16,000 down payment on a $129,000 home in Miami Shores.

Galloway decided to leverage his years of radiation therapy experience as a way to increase his earning potential. Miami was experiencing a shortage of radiation therapists. This gave him the idea of renegotiating his working arrangement with Mount Sinai. He quit the hospital and convinced management to hire him back as a contract worker with a base salary of $42,000 plus 3% of the total billings on all procedures he performed each year.

Galloway explains, “I conducted six procedures on each patient per day, and we had 40 patients every day.” That added about $25,000 to his annual salary.

Education is an ongoing part of career excellence in Galloway’s profession. He must complete between 12 and 14 credits every two years so that he can keep up with national standards. He also sees education as a way to increase income. In 1997, he began an 18-month M.B.A. program in international business at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale. He funded it with an $18,000 student loan, of which he has $7,000 left to pay.

Experience with cutting-edge technology, his M.B.A.,