Cherry (Cheryl) Martin is an Anatomy and Human Biology BSc(Hons.) graduate from the University of Dundee. During her early years as a wee girl from the North East of Scotland, she would substitute dollies tea parties for ‘surgery’ on her teddy bears; water for blood, toilet paper for bandages, mother’s butter knives as scalpels.
At secondary school, she went on to take chemistry, physics and biology to Higher and Advanced Higher lever, always a bit too eager to volunteer to assist the teachers with any left overs from the local butcher that had arrived in the classroom for demonstration.
Finishing school by volunteering to assist in science classes and just short of the entry requirements for Medicine, she knew her hands belonged with gloves and a scalpel, and so she began a degree in Anatomical Sciences at the University of Dundee by direct 2nd year entry in 2003; one of the UK’s only remaining universities to use whole-body human cadavers for dissection. She was taught by the legendary Dr David L. Dawson who was an instant hero and inspiration – for the first time, she had met someone else who shared her complete fascination, excitement and awe for the human body, it’s form and function.
Throughout her degree Dr Dawson, (who never wore gloves for dissection) led her and the class through the amazing journey of dissecting the human body; from breaking the ice with bum-cheeks on the first day to brains, eyeballs and everything else. Yes. Everything.
After working for the university as a post-graduate demonstrator for a year, Cherry moved to Edinburgh in hope of wider opportunities and a future in the anatomy lab. Unfortunately, that opportunity didn’t arise. With fewer opportunities, higher competition and reduced places in teacher training brought about by the economic crisis, she established a career in the events industry, dearly missing her days in the dissection room.
Now working for The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Cherry is delighted to once again be working with keen students with a passion for the human body and to have an insight into the operating theatres that she once dreamed of occupying. She is also working towards an FHEQ Level 4 in The History of Medicine with the University of Oxford.
She created The Irregular Anatomist in April 2013 to share her passion for anatomy and all its curiosities; to emphasize the importance of the communication, education, understanding and appreciation of the marvel which is the human body.
In loving memory of Dr David L. Dawson.
“Am I still audible in the rear?!”