John Drummond qualified as a member of the Royal College of Surgeons of England (MRCS) in 1856, and as a licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (LRCPE) in 1859. He was licenced to practice at the Cape of Good Hope in September 1882. He may have practiced in Grahamstown at some time, but by 1884 had moved to Port Elizabeth, where he remained to at least 1893. In 1884 he contributed an article to the first issue of the South African Medical Journal (Series 1). Two years later he published a review, "On spontaneous generation", in the Grahamstown Journal (19 October 1886). It dealt with experiments during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries relating to the supposed spontanous generation of life, leading to the research and conclusions of Louis Pasteur.