Dr Passi has recently been involved in a project headed by Dr Jon Hodge to establish an Indigenous health pathway for junior doctors at Townsville University Hospital. He is also the co-chair of the Transforming EDs Towards Cultural Safety Committee at TUH and is a trainee representative on the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine Indigenous Health Committee.
The former Ryan Catholic College student says he has become more active in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health as a result of his clinical experiences in Mount Isa and on Palm Island. Writing in the Emergency Medicine Australasia journal in 2018, Dr Passi said it was important for Australians to acknowledge the differences between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and the continuing influence of colonisation, dispossession and the Stolen Generation.
“We forget that there were close to 500 Indigenous nations across Australia at the time of colonisation, each with a distinct culture and different belief systems,” he says.
“I try hard to have a conversation with my Indigenous patients and understand who they are and acknowledge where they come from. Our Indigenous patients want to be seen and acknowledged, and want their cultures to be celebrated.”
Born in Mount Isa and raised in Cloncurry and Townsville, Dr Passi graduated from JCU Medicine in the class of 2014. He completed his internship and early residency in Mackay, with multiple rotations to Proserpine Hospital, before moving to Mount Isa as a general practice registrar and transitioning into specialist emergency medicine training.
He returned to Townsville in 2018 to continue his training in emergency medicine along with his wife, Bianca, who is also an ED registrar. The couple has a three-year-old daughter, Eva.
“I continue to be inspired by my motivated colleagues who strive towards closing the gap in health outcomes for Indigenous Australians,” Dr Passi says.
James Cook University is committed to building strong and mutually beneficial partnerships that work towards closing the employment, health and education gap for Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Our students come from many backgrounds, promoting a rich cultural and experiential diversity on campus. We acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Custodians of the Australian lands and waters where where our staff and students live, learn and work. We honour the unique cultural and spiritual relationship to the land, waters and seas of First Australian peoples and their continuing and rich contribution to James Cook University (JCU) and Australian society. We also pay respect to ancestors and Elders past, present and future.