Little attention has been given to factors which affect the decision of a family physician to practice or not to practice obstetrics. A survey of 27 university-based and 32 community hospital-based residency graduates was undertaken. Respondents reported decreasing interest in performing obstetrics from the beginning of residency training (82%), at its completion (66%), and in their current practice (51%). This practice decision appears to have been unaffected by pre-residency attitudes, the nature of the training experience or by difficulty in obtaining hospital privileges. Further study is necessary to determine other critical variables which may play an important role in this decision-making process.