Texas doctor apologizes after saying women in the field don't 'work as hard' as men

The male Texas physician, who was criticized after he was quoted saying that women doctors get paid less because they “do not work as hard” as their male counterparts, said he was sorry on Monday and never thought the quote would be published.

Dr. Gary Tigges, 53, a Plano internist, was quoted in a special Women in Medicine issue of the Dallas Medical Journal, 6 ABC reported.

The journal asked doctors various questions about the gap in doctor pay and asked for ideas to narrow the gap.

Tigges, who later told The Dallas Morning News that he was unaware the quote was going to be published, told the journal in response to the question: "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. 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."

Tigges posted his apology on his practice’s website, reports said. He said he was contacted by female colleagues who were “deeply hurt and offended” by his remarks.

USA Today, citing a survey by Doximity, reported that female doctors in the U.S. earn an average 27.7 percent less than their male colleagues.

“I have worked closely with numerous female physicians for nearly three decades and have witnessed nothing but compassion, diligence and professionalism,” he posted.

He told the paper that he had recently read data that showed women saw fewer patients.

"My response sounds terrible and horrible and doesn't reflect what I was really trying to say," Tigges told the paper. "I'm not saying female physicians should be paid less, but they earn less because of other factors."