In 1988 the American Academy of Family Physicians sampled 4400 active members whose mailing address was in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia. The sample was stratified by nine census regions; after two mailings a 76.2% response rate was achieved. Nine in ten active members have hospital admission privileges. A higher proportion of family physicians in the West North Central census region have privileges at various levels of obstetric care than in other census regions. For those family physicians who do not have privileges for any obstetrics, most indicated that they chose not to include obstetric care in their hospital practices. Family physicians most likely to have obstetric privileges include those who practice in nonmetropolitan areas and those who have completed a family practice residency program. Although disparities in the proportion of family physicians with certain hospital privileges exist among regions, the majority in each region indicated that the privileges afforded them were appropriate.