Why Is Research



By Kenneth Casey M.D., FACS       

Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery (Neurosurgery) Michigan State University SOM

Clinical Associate Professor of PM&R Wayne State University SOM

Surgical Director Intensive Care Oakwood Southshore


Have you ever gotten up in the morning and been very excited about the prospects for the day?   You’ve have a new friend to meet or you’re going on a trip to an area you’ve never been or you’re going to revisit and reconnect with an old friend.  All these are exciting because something new is going to happen, something different, and you’re going to come away with new feelings and different perspectives.  Research is exactly like that.  The origin of the word from the old French says exactly that, that you’re going to look very intensively for something( Old Fr. recherche). 

Researchers get involved because they get excited about something that’s not known or something that’s not completely explained and they dedicate literally years of their lives, days of their weeks, and hours of their days trying to find these bits of information.  What’s even more fun for a researcher though, is finding other pieces of information, little sidebars as it were, that were not known before.  These sidebars are important ,not as a detour, but as an increasing amount of knowledge that’s adding to the general fund of things we know and things we can work with in our lives.  People talk about the fact that research is important in medicine because it makes it possible for some cures or some improved treatments and that’s certainly the case with the Facial Pain Research Foundation. It means much more than that because if we can find how something works, whether it be something in our own body or something outside our body in the atmosphere or something outside ourselves beyond the planet, we’re going to be that much richer for the experience.  We also know that research allows us to understand several sides of a given question. 

For years the world was flat and everyone believed you could sail off the end.  Researchers and explorers showed that based on their calculations from the time of Galileo and da Vinci to the times of Columbus and other explorers that that’s not true. It is a circle of land, water, and people. The world exists as a collected community.  Research can provide truth and put paid to certain mistruths or errors in knowledge that may hold us back and may stop us from going in the right directions. It’s a way to support day to day life and to support fundamental truth. 

Research offers us all an opportunity to pursue more each day when  we get up and when a researcher puts together a hypothesis and begins the steps to take that hypothesis piece by piece and develop it into a theory and the theory translates into practice, every single one of us will benefit. 

Research is important because we go back and search again through what’s happened and look again at what has already been written down and done and with a very critical eye and an unparalleled intensity, we ask what more can we do, what more can we accomplish, what more can we learn.