General Surgery Residency

Travel Policy


Residents Travel Policy

  • The Department encourages residents to submit their clinical and basic science research efforts to significant meetings in the United States and Canada for presentation. The Department will endeavor to help fund domestic travel for residents who are first authors to present their paper or their poster, providing certain provisions and expectations are met. Papers and posters may be submitted to international meetings, but the department does not fund expenses for foreign travel. International travel and expenses are the responsibility of the submitter or sponsors.
  • Travel assistance is a privilege, not a given. We need residents to be good stewards of the Department's resources, to treat departmental funds as if they were personal resources, and to meet the Department at least halfway in using common sense and cost-saving measures.
  • For insurance to cover residents on their travel, requests and notification for meetings and travel need to be done in advance in writing (e-mail encouraged) with Stephanie Rowe Burnham or her designee. Tickets need to be purchased in advance to optimize savings; days of travel may need to be adjusted to take advantage of fares; coach fare only can be reimbursed, etc. Searching for the best prices for hotels is encouraged.
  • If you prefer, Stephanie will be happy to make the travel arrangements (booking flight & hotel and taking care of registration) for you. The department procurement card can be used in this situation.
  • To confirm travel status and for insurance purposes, the traveler MUST sign a travel form before leaving on the trip.
  • Surgery Education requests that – when residents are dining together – residents pay individually. Please ask that the check be broken up by individual. If the residents do not pay individually, it is the responsibility of the paying resident to obtain reimbursement from fellow dining residents. The resident who turns in the group receipt will only be reimbursed by Vanderbilt for up to $75 per day.


Specific guidelines and limits                                                                          

  • Receipts are mandatory. Original, itemized, detailed receipts are required. All receipts must be submitted to Stephanie Rowe Burnham or her designee within ten calendar days of the return date.
  • There is a $75 reimbursement limit per day on meals. Alcohol is excluded and is not reimbursable.  Meal tips are reimbursable up to 20%.
  • Time up to one week total spent at meetings is considered departmental not vacation time. If an individual is at meetings for a total of greater than seven days then the days in excess of seven are subtracted from vacation days.
  • Hotels selected will be reimbursed at the base rate. Many hotels offer discounted rates for educational institutions. Such rates should be requested upon registration.
  • Car Rental – reimbursable when deemed more cost effective than taxi/cab or flight. Vanderbilt will not reimburse for upgrades (satellite radio, car seat, etc.). Staff who rent cars while on University business should decline any optional insurance offered by the rental agency. Automatic liability coverage for bodily injury, property damage and physical damage to a rental automobile is provided by the University.
  • Entertainment, health club expenses, video rentals, etc., are at the expense of the traveler.
  • Tips for maids and valet parking are considered personal expenses and are not reimbursable.

This page was last updated April 24, 2014 and is maintained by