A leading brain surgeon is retiring after refusing to take over for an absent colleague as a patient waited under anesthesia in a New York operating room.

North Shore University Hospital said Friday that 73-year-old Dr. Thomas Milhorat is retiring from his clinical practice. He'll continue academic and research activities.

The April 10 surgery was canceled at the last minute when Dr. Paolo Bolognese failed to show up. Both doctors were suspended for two weeks.

They have not commented. Crain's New York says they are among the highest-paid physicians in the New York area.

It isn't clear whether the patient ever had the surgery.

Milhorat is chief of neurosurgery at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y.

On the day that led to the suspension, Bolognese was scheduled to operate on a female patient who was already anesthetized and on the operating table, but the doctor was no where to be found, the Daily News reported earlier this week.

Hospital staff called Milhorat to step in, but he reportedly refused because the patient was not his.

Milhorat earned an estimated $7.2 million in 2007 according to a Crain's New York survey and Bolognese reportedly raked in $2.4 million.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.