A mail survey was conducted among 69 group practice health maintenance organizations (HMOs) to collect information on the recruiting of primary care physicians and specialists. In reporting on difficulties in recruiting physicians for primary care, the medical directors of HMOs indicated that the greatest problem was locating obstetrician-gynecologists. Among specialists, recruiting for orthopedists was reported as being most difficult, although plans that employ neurologists and anesthesiologists generally reported great difficulty in recruiting these specialists. The most important source of new physicians is the pool of the those completing residencies, describe by nearly three out of four plans as a very important resource. The next most important source was faculty or staff of medical schools or teaching hospitals. The recruiting methods reported by most plans as the most useful are direct personal contacts and advertisements in newspapers and journals. About one-fourth of the HMOs found unsolicited inquiries from physicians a useful method of recruiting. The problem most frequently reported in recruiting new physicians was that of matching fee-for-services incomes and second, but far less frequently mentioned, was physician prejudice against group practice. About one in four plans report that residents trained in their own HMOs were a useful recruiting source.