Grayhorse District’s Layton Lamsam had to miss this year’s Inlonshka, but he has a legitimate reason.
One of two applicants matched nationwide for Yale Medical School’s incoming neurosurgery residency class, he began his orientation in New Haven, Connecticut, on June 11.
“We’re just going to miss Grayhorse,” he said. “It takes about a three-day drive to get up there, so we’ll be heading east about the time it gets started in order to be there in time for orientation.”
For the next seven years, the Stanford Medical School alum will be logging up to 120 hours per week with his fellow intern and other residents, further developing his surgery skills with respect to the central nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves throughout the body.
When he started medical school, the self-proclaimed history buff was not sure what specialty to pursue. However, between researching the school’s other programs and hands-on experience in the classroom, he eventually found his niche.
“I found out I like tinkering with the body,” he said. “It’s rewarding to me. Looking through the different specialty programs (in medical school), neurosurgery caught my eye, as the brain is basically the final frontier. There are so many things happening in neurosurgery – it’s the next big thing.”
A former Udall Scholar, Lamsam completed his bachelor’s degree in biology at Stanford as well and was the only Indigenous student in his medical school class at the Palo Alto, California, university. He is a newlywed, having married his wife Sarah in April and is the son of Teresa Trumbly Lamsam and grandson of Joe and Arlena Trumbly.
Although he acknowledged that his residency’s long hours will make it difficult to come back to Oklahoma for Inlonshka and other cultural events for the next few years, in the long run, it will position him to better serve Indian Country.
“Being Osage, I want to directly help others and our community,” he said. “Neurosurgeons are still a rare thing, but they’re good to have around.
“No matter what you do … it’s just a matter of how can you help others and the tribe.”