BACKGROUND: As a specialty, anesthesiology has relatively low research productivity. Prior studies indicate that junior faculty development programs favorably affect academic performance. We therefore initiated a junior faculty development program and hypothesized that most (>50%) new junior faculty would take <50 nonclinical days to achieve a primary program goal (e.g., investigation or publication), and <5 nonclinical days to achieve a secondary program goal (e.g., teaching or nonclinical service). METHODS: Twenty new junior faculty participated in the 2-year program which had a goal-oriented structure and was supported by nonclinical time, formally assigned mentors, and a didactic curriculum. Goal productivity equaled the number of program goals accomplished divided by the amount of nonclinical time received. Primary goal productivity was expressed as primary goals accomplished per 50 nonclinical days. Secondary goal productivity was expressed as secondary goals accomplished per 5 nonclinical days. RESULTS: Median primary goal productivity was 0.45 primary goals per 50 nonclinical days (25th-75th interquartile range = 0.00-0.73). Contrary to our hypothesis, most new junior faculty needed >50 nonclinical days to achieve a primary goal (17/20, P = 0.0026). Median secondary goal productivity was 0.57 secondary goals per 5 nonclinical days (25th-75th interquartile range = 0.38-0.77). Contrary to our hypothesis, most new junior faculty needed >5 nonclinical days to accomplish a secondary goal (18/20, P = 0.0004). It was not clear that the faculty development program increased program goal productivity. CONCLUSIONS: Even with structured developmental support, most new junior anesthesia faculty needed >50 nonclinical days to achieve a primary (traditional academic) goal and >5 nonclinical days to achieve a secondary goal. Currently, most new anesthesia faculty are not productive in traditional academic activities (research). They are more productive in activities related to clinical care, education, and patient care systems management.