Objectives: The physician assistant (PA) model has been adopted by many nations to alleviate health care disparities. The objective of the project is to understand how medical relief organizations are utilizing physician assistants and contributing to the advancement of the career globally.

Methods: A search was conducted to create a list of all U.S. based medical relief organizations. An 18-question online survey was sent to 493 organizations that met inclusion criteria.

Results: Total response rate of the survey was 56.2%. 75.6% of organizations reported using PAs on their medical relief projects, and PAs were used in clinic/hospital/and operative settings.

Conclusions: The majority of medical relief organizations utilize PAs as part of the health care team. Relief organizations send medical personnel to countries with health care burdens and thus expose countries to the PA health care provider model. Although more research needs to be done, medical relief organizations contribute to a global understanding of the role of the PA in improving access to health care across the globe.