Alumni

Gaylan Rockswold, MD, PhD, 1969 – 1974

 (Note: this will be the first of what we hope will be many features about our alumni. The articles are designed to briefly update readers about the impact the resident program had on its participants and where it took them following graduation.)

Gaylan Rockswold, MD, PhDGaylan Rockswold came into the U of M neurosurgery residency program under the legendary leadership of both Lyle French, MD, and Shelley Chou, MD, PhD. His early days in the program were daunting. “I remember my first journal club,” he said, noting that the clubs rotated between French and Chou’s homes. “I was just out of the service and felt like a deer caught in headlights.”

French noticed Rockswold’s nervousness. “He had an uncanny ability to know what was going on,” Rockswold said. “As I was leaving, I felt a big hand come down on my shoulder and heard him say, ‘Gaylan, don’t worry about it. In six months this will all be very familiar.’ Forty years later, I still remember that moment.”

French was right, but it wasn’t easy. Rockswold doesn’t remember any rules or manuals being handed out. “You were expected to follow the example of your faculty and more senior residents,” he said. “It worked well. It was very disciplined.”

“Casual” selection process
Unlike today’s national residency match program, there didn’t seem to be a rulebook for getting into the program, either. “French was basically a one-man show and he picked his own residents,” Rockswold explained. “He had the ability to discern character.” French used an interview process to determine with whom he wanted to work. “You just sat there and talked to him; it was very casual,” said Rockswold. “I remember walking down the hall with him during this process. We met another faculty member along the way and French told him, ‘Come meet this kid; he’s pretty smart. I think we’re going to take him.’”

Rockswold felt that the U’s neurosurgery residency program at the time was one of the best in the nation, thanks to French and Chou’s leadership and exemplary training by U of M alumni, Don Long, MD, PhD (1960 – 1965), and Edward L. Seljeskog, MD, PhD (1963 – 1968). “It was certainly in the top 10, if not top 6,” he said. “It was called the Minnesota Way.” Residents trained at the U of M, as well as the Minneapolis Veteran’s Administration Medical Center and Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC).

Enjoy what you’re doing today
Rockswold would advise today’s neurosurgery resident to “not be looking forward to when you’re done. If you don’t appreciate and to some extent enjoy what you’re doing today, you’re probably not going to be happy when you graduate,” he said. “Really make the most of it. It’s hard work but it’s also rewarding. It’s a unique opportunity to learn how to be a neurosurgeon.”

Upon his own graduation, Rockswold joined the neurosurgical staff of HCMC. He is proud of all the patients he and his team cared for and, “at least as important were the more than 70 chief neurosurgical residents that have gone through HCMC, as well as general surgery and ER residents.” As he went through the academic ranks and became a professor, Rockswold watched these students develop and is proud of how “hard working, conscientious and capable they are. It was a privilege to participate in their training.”

Embarking on important TBI trial
In addition to patient care, Rockswold engaged in groundbreaking research at HCMC. His decades of work in the use of hyperbaric oxygen chambers to treat traumatic brain injury set the stage for a new Hyperbaric Oxygen Brain Injury Treatment (HOBIT) Trial. “By March 2018, we will begin enrolling patients at about 20 academic sites across the country,” he said. “I’m the principal investigator. It’s without question the biggest achievement of my career.”

The project’s goal is to enroll 200 patients with acute traumatic brain injury (TBI). “This is severe TBI, which accounts for about 10 percent of all TBI cases,” explained Rockswold. “These patients are usually in a coma when they arrive … many of them die. Treatment for these cases hasn’t improved in 20 years. It’s just flatlined. We’re looking for something that will improve their functional outcome. That’s what has driven me all this time and why I’m still at it. I believe that all the work we’ve done will help these patients.”

Family affair
Much of the preliminary data that went into achieving this grant was analyzed by Rockswold’s daughter, Sarah, who earned her MD through the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Program at the University of Minnesota. She is a member of HCMC’s Rehabilitation Clinics staff and co-investigator for the trial. “It takes a village to run one of these trials and we have a great team at HCMC,” Rockswold continued. Members include Michelle Biros, MD, MS, the SIREN liaison at the U; co-investigator and U of M Neurosurgery Department faculty member, Uzma Samadani, MD, PhD; and site principal investigator Tom Bergman, MD (1983 – 1988), Chief of Neurosurgery, Hennepin County Medical Center.

Rockswold added that the project is part of the Strategies to Innovate EmeRgENcy Care Clinical Trials Network (SIREN) funded by the National Institutes of Health. “The infrastructure and expertise you get by being part of the program is just terrific,” he said.

Avid outdoorsman
When he has spare time, Rockswold loves to be outdoors – sailing, skiing (cross-country and downhill), fishing, walking in the woods, and hiking. He has traveled internationally, climbed Kilimanjaro and trekked in Nepal. “I love the wilderness, but I also like to read, visit, and socialize,” he said.

If there is anything to be learned from Rockswold, it’s that he approaches everything from a strong, disciplined center. Perhaps the mentors he had during his U of M neurosurgery residency helped shape that discipline into what continues to drive him today. 

Former Residents

2017

Paramita Das, MDParamita Das, MD
2012–2017


Catherine Miller, MDCatherine Miller, MD
2012-2017

 

2016

Ciro Vasquez, MDCiro Vasquez, MD
2011–2016

 

Zoe Zhang, MDZoe Zhang, MD
2011–2016

 

2015

Daraspreet KainthDaraspreet Kainth, MD
2010–2015

Dino TerzicDino Terzic, MD
2010-2015


2014

K JonesKristin Jones, MD
2009-2014

fsFarhan Siddiq, MD
2009-2014

2013

Rabia QaiserRabia Qaiser, MD
2008-2013

Haejoe ParkHaejoe Park, MD
2008-2013

2012

Fotis SouslianFotis Souslian, MD
2007-2012

Efkan ColpanEfkan Colpan, MD
2010-2012

2011

Christopher RoarkChristopher Roark, MD
2007-2011

2010

Greg SheerGreg Sher, MD, MPH
2005-2010

Kyle UittenbogaardKyle Uittenbogaard, MD
2005-2010

Praveen BaimeediPraveen Baimeedi, MD
2006-2010

2009

Joel UllothJoel Ulloth, MD
2004-2009

2008

Hart P. GarnerHart P. Garner, MD
2003-2008

2007

John DrygasJohn Drygas, MD, MS
2002-2007

Eun Kyung (Michelle) WonEun Kyung (Michelle) Won, MD
2002-2007

2006

Adam O. HebbAdam O. Hebb, MD
2001-2006

Charles R. WattsCharles R. Watts, MD, PhD
2001-2006

2005

Edward RustamzadehEdward Rustamzadeh, MD, PhD
2000-2005

2004    

Ray M. ChuRay M. Chu, MD
1999-2004

Ramachandra P. TummalaRamachandra P. Tummala, MD
1999-2004

Sabrina M. Walski-EastonSabrina M. Walski-Easton, MD
1999-2004

2003    

Patrick C. GraupmanPatrick C. Graupman, MD
1998-2003

2002

Lars AnkerLars Anker, MD
1997-2002

Khalid SethiKhalid Sethi, MD
1997-2002

2001

Darren S. LovickDarren S. Lovick, MD
1996-2001

Margaret A. Wallenfriedman,Margaret A. Wallenfriedman, MD, PhD
1995-2001

2000

Walter C. JeanWalter C. Jean, MD
1994-2000

Michael P. McCueMichael P. McCue, MD, ScD
1994-2000

Alejandro MendezAlejandro Mendez, MD
1994-1999

 
1998

 
 Walter E. Galicich Walter E. Galicich, MD
1993-1998
 Joel D. Seigel Joel D. Seigel, MD
1993-1998
Bradley E. Weprin  Bradley E. Weprin, MD
1993-1998

 
1997

 
 Jerone D. Kennedy Jerone D. Kennedy, MD
1991-1997
Eric S. Nussbaum  Eric S. Nussbaum, MD
1992-1997
 Abhay Sanan  
Abhay Sanan, MD
1992-1997

 
1996

 
Jeffrey P. Blount  Jeffrey P. Blount, MD
1990-1996
Eric P. Flores   
Eric P. Flores, MD
1992-1996
 Edison P. McDaniels Edison P. McDaniels, MD
1991-1996

 
1995

 
 Todd Y. Nida Todd Y. Nida, MD
1989-1995

 
1994

 
 John C. Mullan John C. Mullan, MD
1988-1994
 Leslie A. Sebring  
Leslie A. Sebring, MD, PhD
1991-1994

 
1993

 
 Paul J. Camarata Paul J. Camarata, MD
1987-1993
Jacques J. Morcos  Jacques J. Morcos, MD
1990-1993
Mitesh V. Shah  Mitesh V. Shah, MD
1988-1993

 
1992

 
 Young Chung  
Young Chung, MD
1987-1992
Dennis Y.K. Wen  Dennis Y.K. Wen, MD
1987-1992

 
1991

 
 William F. Ganz William F. Ganz, MD
1986-1991
 Frank L. Genovese Frank L. Genovese, MD
1986-1991

 
1990

 
Christine M. Cox  Christine M. Cox, MD
1985-1990

 
1989

 
 Anthony G. Bottini  
Anthony G. Bottini, MD
1984-1989

 
1988

 
 Thomas A. Bergman  
Thomas A. Bergman, MD
1983-1988
 Mary E. Dunn Mary E. Dunn, MD
1983-1988

 
1987

 
 H. Dennis Mollman H. Dennis Mollman, MD, PhD
1982-1987

 S. David Moss
S. David Moss, MD
1982-1987 
Aizik L. Wolf  Aizik L. Wolf, MD
1982-1987


1986

 
 Edward G. Hames Edward G. Hames III, MD, PhD
1981-1986

 
1985

 
 J. Bob Blacklock  
J. Bob Blacklock, MD
1980-1985
 Gary L. Rea Gary L. Rea, MD, PhD
1979-1985

 
1983

 
 Voravut Chanyavanich  
Voravut Chanyavanich, MD
1978-1983
 Terry W. Hood  
Terry W. Hood, MD
1978-1983
 Petr O. Ruzicka Petr O. Ruzicka, MD
1978-1983

 
1982

 
Petr O. Ruzicka  John C. Godersky, MD
1977-1982

 Richard P. Moser Richard P. Moser, MD
1977-1982
 Mahmoud G. Nagib  
Mahmoud G. Nagib, MD
1977-1982

 
1981

 
Alexa I. Canady  Alexa I. Canady, MD
1976-1981

Dennis L. Shubert  Dennis L. Shubert, MD, PhD
1977-1981

 
1980

 
 John R. Mawk John R. Mawk, MD
1975-1980

 
1979

 
W. H. Druckemiller, Jr.  W. H. Druckemiller, Jr., MD
1974-1979

Robert D. Harris  Robert D. Harris, MD, PhD
1974-1979

 
1978

 
 Daniel B. Ahlberg Daniel B. Ahlberg, MD
1971-1972; 1974-1978
Fernando G. Diaz  Fernando G. Diaz, MD, PhD
1973-1978

 
1977

 
 Robert G. Clubb Robert G. Clubb, MD
1972-1977

 Kenneth J. Murray Kenneth J. Murray, MD, PhD
1973-1979
 Andrew J.K. Smith Andrew J.K. Smith, MD, PhD
1972-1977

 
1976

 
 Richard S. Gregory Richard S. Gregory, MD
1967-1970; 1973-1977

 
1975

 
 George S. Allen George S. Allen, MD, PhD
1970-1975

 Phudhiphorn Thienprasit Phudhiphorn Thienprasit, MD, PhD
1970-1975

 
1974

 
 Harry O. Cole Harry O. Cole, MD
1969-1974
 Humberto Ortiz-Suarez Humberto Ortiz-Suarez, MD, PhD
1969-1974
 Gaylan L. Rockwold Gaylan L. Rockswold, MD, PhD
1969-1974


1973

 
 Willis E. Brown Willis E. Brown, MD
1968-1973

 Norval M. Simms Norval M. Simms, MD
1968-1973
Deceased 7/24/1975 

 
1972

 
 James I. Ausman James I. Ausman, MD, PhD
1964-1965; 1969-1972
 Kil Soo Choi
Kil Soo Choi, MD
1970-1972 
Harry M. Rogers  Harry M. Rogers, MD
1967-1972

 
1971

 
 Robert E. Maxwell Robert E. Maxwell, MD, PhD
1966-1971
 Anavankot Mohandas Anavankot Mohandas, MD
1966-1971

 
1970

 
David Danoff  David Danoff, MD
1965-1970

 
1969

 
 John L. Seymour  
John L. Seymour, MD
1965-1969
 Donald L. Erickson Donald L. Erickson, MD
1964-1969

 
1968

 
 Edward L. Seljeskog Edward L. Seljeskog, MD, PhD
1963-1968 
 John P. Wissinger John P. Wissinger, MD
1963-1968

 
1967

 
Michael E. Carey  Michael E. Carey, MD
1962-1967

 
1965

 
 Fernando Ruiz Garcia John Cleary, MD, PhD
1965
 Fernando Ruiz Garcia Fernando Ruiz Garcia, MD
1964-1965
 Donlin M. Long  
Donlin M. Long, MD, PhD
1960-1965

 
1964

 
Warren Boop  Warren Boop, MD
1960-1964
August W. Geise  August W. Geise, MD
1960-1964
Deceased 1/14/1997

 
1963

 
 Joseph H. Galicich Joseph H. Galicich, MD
1958-1963
John Serbu  John Serbu, MD
1959-1963
Deceased 12/17/1999

 
1962

 
Erich S. Wisiol  Erich S. Wisiol, MD
1958-1962
Deceased 11/21/2004

 
1961

 
Jim L. Story  Jim L. Story, MD
1956-1961
Jeong Wha Chu  Jeong Wha Chu, MD
1959-1961
Max E. Zarling  Max E. Zarling, MD
1957-1961 

 
1960

 
 Lucien R. Hodges Lucien R. Hodges, MD
1956-1960
Deceased 6/19/2000

 
1959

 
 Richard H. Strassburger Richard H. Strassburger, MD
1956-1959

 
1957

 
 Bo Sung Sim Bo Sung Sim, MD
1955-1957
 Ralph L. Suechtin Ralph L. Suechtin, MD
1953-1957
James E. McIntosch  James E. McIntosch, MD
1953-1957

 
1956

 
 Howard Chandler Howard Chandler, MD
1952-1956

Purdue L. Gould  Purdue L. Gould, MD
1952-1956
Deceased 8/24/2011

 
1955

 
 Shelley N. Chou Shelley N. Chou, MD, PhD
1950-1955
Deceased 7/21/2001
 William S. Ogle William S. Ogle, MD
1954-1955

 
1954

 
 David R. Johnson David R. Johnson, MD
1948-1954
Deceased 11/4/2005

 
1953

 
Carrel M. Caudill  Carrel M. Caudill, MD
1949-1953
Deceased 1/1/2006
 Gerald L. Haines

Gerald L. Haines, MD, PhD
1949-1953
Deceased 2/11/2015

 
1952

 
Martin E. Feferman  Martin E. Feferman, MD
1948-1952
Deceased 5/21/2011

 
1951

 
Paul S. Blake  Paul S. Blake, MD
1947-1951
Deceased 5/23/1997

 
1950

 
Robert L. Merrick  Robert L. Merrick, MD
1949-1950
Deceased 10/16/2004
C. Kent Olson  C. Kent Olson, MD
1946-1950
Deceased 9/6/2000

 
1949

 
Jules D. Levin  Jules D. Levin, MD
1942-1949
Deceased 2/16/2002

 
1947

 
Lyle A. French  Lyle A. French, MD, PhD
1940-1947
Deceased 10/19/2004

 
1946

 
Leonard A. Titrud  Leonard A. Titrud, MD, PhD
1939-1946
Deceased 10/18/2004

 
1938

 
 Harold Buchstein Harold Buchstein, MD
1935-1938
Deceased 10/29/1987

   

 

 

William T. Peyton Society

William T. PeytonEstablished in honor of William T. Peyton, founding head of the University of Minnesota's Department of Neurosurgery, the William T. Peyton Society meets in Minneapolis approximately every five years. All graduates and current and former faculty of the Neurosurgery Residency Training Program are members of the Society. Learn more.

2017 Meeting