Doctor backtracks on sexist attack on colleagues
A US doctor has sparked outrage after claiming female physicians deserve to earn less than their male counterparts.
Dr Gary Tigges made the controversial comments in the latest edition of the Dallas Medical Journal.
His comments were made in response to a recent report which found on average in the US female physicians were earning around two-thirds the salary of their male colleagues.
"Yes, there is a pay gap," the 53-year-old wrote in reference to the findings.
"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 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."
The Texas-based doctor, who works at Plano Internal Medicine Associates, insisted the pay gap was not a problem.
"Nothing needs to be 'done' about this unless female physicians actually want to work harder and put in the hours," he wrote.
"If not, they should be paid less. That is fair."
Unsurprisingly, Dr Tigges' opinions prompted an immediate backlash.
His practice was inundated with scathing Yelp reviews, and its website has since been taken down.
Social media has also been flooded with intense criticism of Dr Tigges' comments, and he has deleted his own Twitter account in response.
He also issued a statement over the weekend apologising for the "pain" his comments caused.
He had previously claimed his comments had been taken out of context and published without his consent, according to the Dallas Morning News.
He told the organisation his words were based on information claiming female doctors tended to see fewer patients and work less than their male peers.
"My response sounds terrible and horrible and doesn't reflect what I was really trying to say," he said.
"I'm not saying female physicians should be paid less, but they earn less because of other factors."
Despite Dr Tigges' grovelling apology, his views have been slammed as "ignorant" and "misogynistic" online.
According to USA Today, around half of all medical graduates are women - but female doctors still earn less than males despite their area of specialisation or location.
And the publication also cited a recent survey conducted by Doximity, a social networking site for medical workers, which found the gender pay gap for US doctors was widening, with females earning 27.7 per cent less than males on average.