In 1980 the American Academy of Family Physicians sampled those active members who were nonfederal, office based physicians in direct patient care to ascertain the characteristics of their hospital practices. The sample was stratified by the nine US census regions: 83.7 percent of the 5,216 active members in the sample responded. The vast majority of family physician/general practitioners in direct patient care in an office based setting have hospital admission privileges in one or more hospitals. A higher percentage of family physicians/general practitioners in census regions west of the Mississippi River were likely to have privileges in obstetrics and surgery than those in eastern regions. Moreover, family physicians/general practitioners in the nonmetropolitan areas of each census region were more likely to have hospital privileges at any level than were their colleagues in the metropolitan areas of the same region. Although there were disparities in the proportions of family physician/general practitioners with certain hospital privileges among regions, the vast majority in each region indicated that the privileges afforded them were appropriate.