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Texas doctor ignites fury, says female physicians don’t work as hard as men and should be paid less

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A Texas physician is under fire after his response to a survey question was slammed for being sexist.

Dr. Gary Tigges, a Plano-based internal medicine specialist, offered an apology Sunday after he ignited a scathing backlash to his sexist survey response to the Dallas Medical Journal, KHOU reported.

The doctor was one of 7,500 physicians asked by the Journal about whether they believed the gender gap existed in their profession. In an article titled “Women in Medicine” in the September issue of the Journal, Tigges pronounced that “female physicians do not work as hard” as their male counterparts and this could be due to their priorities.

“Yes, there is a pay gap. Female physicians do not work as hard and do not see as many patients as male physicians,” he wrote. “This is because they choose to, or they simply don’t want to be rushed, or they don’t want to work the long hours. Most of the time, their priority is something else… family, social, whatever. Nothing needs to be ‘done’ about this unless female physicians actually want to work harder and put in the hours. If not, they should be paid less. That is fair.”

Tigges was immediately lit up on social media, eventually taking down his Twitter account.

The 53-year-old doctor is one of three physicians – one being a woman – at the Plano practice he founded in 1996. He claimed his comments were misconstrued and that he did not know his response would become public, according to the Dallas News.

“My response sounds terrible and horrible and doesn’t reflect what I was really trying to say,” Tigges said. “I’m not saying female physicians should be paid less, but they earn less because of other factors.”

“Women might take longer with their patients, and that’s a great thing, but then their pay is less,” he said. “That’s something we have to deal with every day; you have to work out that balance. Every physician wrangles with that. But it was not my intention to say female physicians are lazy or don’t work as hard.”

Tigges heard from “several trusted female physician colleagues who disagree with and are deeply hurt and offended” by his comments, he shared in a statement on the Plano Internal Medicine Associates website, where he apologized to “all female physicians” and to his partners and staff at Plano Internal Medicine.

“I now understand more clearly how intricate this issue is and that there are ways we can work together to resolve these disparities,” he said. “I have worked closely with numerous female physicians for nearly three decades and have witnessed nothing but compassion, diligence and professionalism.”

Frieda Powers

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