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Doctor apologizes after saying women physicians 'don't work as hard' and don't deserve equal pay

Doctor apologizes after saying women physicians 'don't work as hard' and don't deserve equal pay
Doctor apologizes after saying women physicians 'don't work as hard' and don't deserve equal pay
Posted at 4:14 AM, Sep 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-04 00:16:49-04

PLANO, TX (KTVT/CNN) - A Texas doctor is under fire for defending the pay gap between men and women physicians.

His argument?

Women doctors don't deserve as much because they “don't work as hard.”

Dr. Gary Tigges made comments to the Dallas Medical Journalsaying, yes, there is a pay gap between men and women physicians, but nothing needs to be done about it because women physicians don't deserve more pay.

The remarks were made in the journal’s “Women in Medicine” issue.

"My initial thought was that's ridiculous and chauvinistic,” said Dr. Diane Litke, an orthopedic surgeon in the Dallas area.

She said it took a lot of hard work for her to become an orthopedic surgeon. And the workload didn’t get lighter once she began practicing.

"We worked many 24 and 36, even 48 hour days,” she said.

In the last 21 years she's been in practice in Richardson, outside Dallas.

She said just this weekend, she had to interrupt her time off to attend to a patient.

"This was my weekend off, but when somebody called me and said 'I broke my ankle, can you come help me,' I met her in the emergency room and took care of it,” Litke said.

Over the weekend she read Tigges’ remarks in the medical journal and said they were outrageous.

“Female physicians do not work as hard and do not see as many patients as male physicians,” Tigges was quoted saying in the journal. “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."

He went on to say “nothing needs to be ‘done’ about this unless female physicians want to work harder and put in the hours.”

Other medical doctors, men included, agreed the comments were ludicrous.

"It was just unbelievable that in 2018, a physician would make such an outlandish statement,” said Dr. James Pinckney, a family physician.

In a statement released on Sunday night, Tigges apologized for his comments.

He said he now understands how intricate this issue is, and that there are ways to work together to resolve the disparities.

Litke was accepting of the apology.

"I appreciate anybody who apologizes,” she said.

She said the comments bring attention to pay gaps between men and women in all professions.

And for that, she's thankful.

"Any time that an issue is brought up that we can talk about and discuss differences of opinion and even come up with maybe some answers, then yeah, I think it's helpful,” she said.

The committee that published Tigges’ comments released a statement saying that bringing attention to the pay gap is necessary to help change it.

Copyright 2018 KTVT via CNN. All rights reserved.