Family practice obstetricians are an endangered species. Our practices and teaching sites must provide the correct attitudinal as well as technical messages to result in a practitioner who will be able to meet the psychosocial and medical needs of the pregnant couple. Family practice obstetrics can be as safe as care given by obstetricians provided that the family practice group functions well, that obstetrical consultants are available and supportive, and assuming that technical approaches are reserved for those truly in need. In rural areas, obstetrical ability is essential, whilst in the urban setting it helps the family physician maintain a practice involving young families. Those trainees who fail to learn basic obstetrical skills (including family centered attitudes and approaches) may in any setting come to feel, belatedly, that their training programs failed in this respect.