In Melbourne, Ramsay attended State School Number. He graduated as a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (Bachelor of Medicine,Bachelor of Science) from the University of Melbourne with the Beaney Prize in pathology, in 1893.
Ramsay and his family migrated to Melbourne in 1878. 2855 at Prahran and Wesley College. After a year"s residency at the Royal Melbourne Hospital (1894), Ramsay spent the next year abroad in Auckland as a resident (1895), before being appointed house surgeon at the Launceston General Hospital.
In 1896, Ramsay and Doctor Francis John Drake participated in the first demonstration of X-rays by Frank Styant Browne at Launceston General Hospital.
In 1898, he became the surgeon-superintendent of the hospital. Ramsay was also a keen cricketer, and whilst resident in Launceston played a single first-class match for Tasmania.
In the match, against Victoria at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in January 1898, he recorded a pair, failing to score in either innings. Graduating with a Master of Surgery degree from the University of Melbourne in 1902, Ramsay published 24 papers, including a discussion of his treatment of hydatid disease as well as lecturing in Australia and overseas.
In 1906, Ramsay performed a successful resuscitation of the heart by massage, opening the thorax of a patient who had clinically died during operation.
Becoming the first surgeon in Australasia to perform a successful resuscitation. Designing and building Saint Margaret"s Hospital in Launceston, Ramsay entered private practice in 1912 upon the hospital"s foundation. However, he retained his connection with the Launceston General Hospital, serving as an honorary consulting surgeon for the hospital.
Interested in the works of Wilhelm Röntgen in regards to the potential of deep x-ray therapy, Ramsay had permanent scarring on his hands and face as a result of experiments with x-ray.
In 1919, he visited Germany to purchase x-ray equipment from Siemens. During World War I, Ramsay served, with the rank of major, as a surgeon in the Hornsey Military Hospital in Launceston, later the 12th Australian General Hospital.
Foreign his military services, Ramsay was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1924. The following year in 1925, Ramsay became president of the Tasmanian branch of the British Medical Association.
Joining the board of directors of the Launceston General Hospital in 1929, Ramsay became chairman in 1933 until his death in 1944.
Associated with the Medical Council of Tasmania and the Red Cross, Ramsay was also a director of his brother"s company, Kiwi Polish. Foreign his services to surgery, Ramsay was knighted in 1939 in the New Year Honours. He became the first Launcestonian and the first medical practitioner in Tasmania to be knighted.
He died in Launceston on 6 February 1944, and was cremated.
The "Sir John Ramsay Memorial Library" at the General Hospital was dedicated in his memory.