Gender wage gap is real — even more so in medicine.
Female doctors get paid significantly less than male doctors. Although the specific reason for the gender pay gap is still being researched, women — like in almost all other fields — have to fight harder for promotions, salary negotiations and getting hired in the first place. Not only that, they get penalized for having children.
However, one male doctor from Texas had rather misogynistic views on why the gender pay gap exists.
Writing in the Dallas Medical Journal, Gary Tigges, an internal medicine specialist in Plano, said women get paid less in medicine because they don’t work as hard as men.
“Yes, there is a pay gap. 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,” his full comment read. “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.”
The comments came after the Dallas County Medical Society published a survey of its 7,500 members, asking them if they thought gender pay gap existed in medicine and what can be done to rectify the situation.
Tigges’ discriminatory views — where he calls gender pay gap “fair,” when it is anything but, caused uproar on social media and he was widely panned for his sexist remarks.
If anyone knows Dr. Gary Tigges in Plano, TX, please tell him that he’s just pissed off a few thousand HARD WORKING women physicians. Because, you know, quotes like this tend to get shared a lot on social media. pic.twitter.com/IxmQ1yRoVS— Alethea Allen, MD (@AletheaAllen) September 1, 2018
Data and evidence would be really great to include in your assessment of productivity of #womeninmedicine. Stop talking shit Gary!— Nathalie Martinek PhD (@NatsforDocs) September 1, 2018
I’m not offended by this as the husband of a physician, any more than sexual harassment bothers me as the father of a daughter. There is no need to me to love my wife to take umbrage at this self-justifying inequity. This is unprofessional & indefensible, Gary. #WomenInMedicine pic.twitter.com/LSDPTT07mS— Mark Lewis (@marklewismd) September 1, 2018
Oh, Gary. Hell has no fury like a woman scorned. I challenge you to compare your “man schedule” to my “woman schedule” any day to see who works more. #GenderPayGap #WomenInMedicine #SundayMotivation #Doctor #TV #Mom #Advocate #BadAss pic.twitter.com/kXQLmhUTQ1— Nicole Saphier, MD (@NBSaphierMD) September 2, 2018
Twitter users also discovered rather controversial tweets from Tigges’ Twitter account, which has now been deleted amid immense backlash.
Thank you “Dr.” Gary Tigges for your #misogynistic that somehow made it into the #WomenInMedicine issue of @DallasCMS as a “Big and Bright Idea”. You say it was taken out of context (see https://t.co/JYuhY7U47w), but your #racist tweets don’t seem to corroborate that claim. pic.twitter.com/d47bCGJjMH— Dilshan Pieris (@DilshanPieris_) September 2, 2018
In leiu of the recent publication of the disappointing opinions of Gary regarding the gender pay gap for #WomeninMedicine , came across these screenshots to shed even more light into Gary's character. #NotCoolGary— Shannon Kim, MD (@ShannonKimMD) September 2, 2018
We need to spread the #HeForShe mentality 1 step at a time. pic.twitter.com/7T2jQc8G36
Tigges also tried top unsuccessfully use the “I was taken out of context” defense, claiming his comment was based on a data he had read but effectively failed to refer to.
“My response sounds terrible and horrible and doesn’t reflect what I was really trying to say,” Tigges told The Dallas Morning News. “I’m not saying female physicians should be paid less, but they earn less because of other factors.” He also issued an apology on his website.
But no matter what angle Tigges tries to pull, his comment is rather indefensible. Maybe next time he will think twice before hurling accusations at his female counterparts for being lazy.
Thumbnail/ Banner Credits: Photo by Kevin Tachman/Getty Images