Purpose. To describe the strategies used by family practice program directors to recruit and select residents. Method. The residency directors of all 361 U.S. accredited nonmilitary family practice programs in 1992-93 were asked to complete three-page questionnaires regarding program descriptors, curriculum, benefits offered, interview process, and factors affecting their selection of residents. Each program was categorized into one of nine geographic regions. Variation of program characteristics across the regions was assessed using chi-square. Results. A total of 282 directors (78%) returned usable questionnaires. The programs did not differ in benefits offered except that (1) those with low fill rates in the 1992 Match of the National Resident Matching Program were more likely to have additional financial incentives and (2) the programs in areas of high competition went to extra effort and expense to market their residencies through the use of advertising materials (e.g., pens, mugs). The most important factor in selecting applicants was listed as the personal interview by 51% of the directors and performance on clinical rotations by 36%. Conclusion. The residency directors’ selection decisions were highly influenced by candidates’ performances in interviews and on clinical rotations. The programs in the most competitive areas were characterized by greater efforts and increased expenditures of resources for recruiting. More research is needed to assess the values of the different strategies used by programs to recruit and select residents.