by Erin Jones | CBS11

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The North Texas medical community is responding to a Plano doctor’s controversial comments.

Dr. Gary Tigges is quoted in the Dallas Medical Journal saying there is a pay gap because female physicians “do not work as hard.”

“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,” Dr. Tigges said.

screen shot 2018 09 03 at 9 52 08 pm Texas Physicians React To Female Doctors Do Not Work As Hard Comment

Dr. Gary Tigges (Plano Internal Medicine Associates)

“My initial thoughts were that’s ridiculous and chauvinistic,” Dr. Diane Litke of L & W Orthopedic Associates said.

Across social media, dozens of other medical professionals shared similar opinions.

“I was disgusted and outraged,” Founder & CEO of Diamond Physicians Dr. James Pickney said. “It was just unbelievable that in 2018 a physician would make such an outlandish statement and think like that.”

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

“I have heard from several trusted female physician colleagues who disagree with and are deeply hurt and offended by the comments I made to the Dallas Medical Journal regarding pay equity among female and male physicians. I want to thank them for reaching out to me and sharing their concerns. I now understand more clearly how intricate this issue is and that there are ways we can work together to resolve these disparities.I have worked closely with numerous female physicians for nearly three decades and have witnessed nothing but compassion, diligence and professionalism.I sincerely apologize to all female physicians for my comments and the pain they have caused. I also need to apologize to my partners and the staff at Plano Internal Medicine Associates, where we have an open and supportive work environment and where we do not tolerate discrimination based on gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or religion.
-Gary Tigges, MD”

“I appreciate anyone who apologizes,” Dr. Litke said. “Any time that an issue is brought up that we can talk about and discuss differences of opinion on and even come up with maybe some answers then I think it’s helpful,” Dr. Litke said.

Dr. Gabriela Zandomeni, chair of the Dallas County Medical Society’s Communications Committee, the committee responsible for the publication of the Dallas Medical Journal, said they decided to publish Tigges’ comments even though they didn’t agree with them to incite change.

Dr. Zandomeni wrote when “no one cares, there is no momentum for change.”