Texas Doctor Faces Backlash For Saying Women Earn Less Because They 'Do Not Work As Hard'

A Texas doctor has acknowledged that there is a pay gap in the health care industry, but has blamed women for it.

Dr. Gary Tigges of Plano, Texas, submitted a written response to a survey by the Dallas County Medical Society, which asked its 7,500 members if they thought a gender wage gap among physicians existed, why that is, and what could be done to fix it, HuffPost reported. The responses of the survey, titled "Women in Medicine," were published in the Dallas Medical Journal's September issue, and word of Tigges' answer quickly got around, prompting criticism for his colleagues, particularly women.

"Yes, there is a pay gap," Tigges wrote, according to screenshots of the response that quickly began to circulate online. "Female physicians do not work as hard and do not see as many patients as male physicians. This is because they choose to, or they simply don't 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 added,

"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."
The responses began to roll in swiftly, many of which made mention to studies that have concluded that a large gender pay gap exists in the medical field.

One Twitter user wrote in response to Tigges's assertions,

"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. The gender gap is not 'fair.' It is discrimination."
A study published in the JAMA Internal Medicine found that there are significant differences in salary between the two genders, even after accounting for age, experience, specialty, faculty rank, and measures of research productivity and clinical revenue.
Tigges, 53, attempted to clarify his comments, saying his response was misconstrued, the Dallas Morning News reported. He added that he was unaware his response would be made public. The survey's response by Tigges, who practices internal medicine at Plano Internal Medicine Associates, was among eight chosen to be published in the September edition of the Journal.

"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," he said, as per the Morning News report.