Female Doctors Should 'Work Harder' or Be 'Paid Less,' Texas Physician Tells Medical Journal

A doctor in Texas is facing backlash after he told the Dallas Medical Journal that female physicians make less money because they don't work as hard.

The remarks by Dr. Gary Tigges, 53, who practices internal medicine at Plano Internal Medicine Associates, were published in the September issue of the journal. The two-page feature article discussed the issue of female doctors getting paid less than their male counterparts, pointing out that their salaries amount to about two-thirds of men's.

Commenting on the data, Tigges said: "Yes, there is a pay gap … Female physicians do not work as hard and do not see as many patients as male physicians," The Dallas Morning News reported.

"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," he said.

"Nothing needs to be 'done' about this unless female physicians actually want to work harder and put in the hours," he continued. "If not, they should be paid less. That is fair."

According to ABC affiliate KSAT 12, Tigges defended himself by saying he did not realize his comments would be published. He also explained that his perspective was based on data that he read, which he says said that female physicians typically see fewer patients.

"The economic reality is that doctors are paid by the number of patients seen," he argued.

Many female doctors have responded via social media, criticizing Tigges.

"These kinds of views - that women are paid less because they are less productive and distracted by their family obligations - are not supported by actual data," Dr. Esther Choo wrote on Twitter. "The gender pay gap is not 'fair.' It is discrimination."

"Dear Dr. Tigges: I would love to fill in your knowledge gaps but I'm tired from working 24+ hours doing heart transplants. Based on national anesth gender pay gap data, the last 5 hours of which I worked for free. I guess you think that's ok though," Dr. Sasha Shillcutt tweeted.

"As a female family doc who puts in 60-80 hours of work each week … I call BS on Dr Tigges' condescending comments," Dr. Nadia Allam posted.

Dr. Hala Sabry-Elnaggar called Tigges comments "disgusting" in a Facebook post. "Women physicians have been proven to put their skills into their work with better mortality outcomes and they continue to do this despite the discrimination more than 80 percent of them face at work," she wrote.

Although Tigges claims he didn't realize his response would be published, Michael Darrouzet, CEO of the 7,500-member medical society behind the journal, said this was made clear when comments were solicited, according to The Dallas Morning News .

Gabriela Zandomeni, chair of the medical society's communications committee, said she herself was angered when she initially read the comments. But the society decided to publish them because "to incite change, we must expose the issues that need changing."