A Plano, TX doctor is at the heart of a controversy storm after his comments defending a gender pay gap in the medical field were published.

For the "Women in Medicine Issue" of the Dallas Medical Journal, Dr. Gary Tigges of Plano was among several doctors who were asked if a gender pay gap exists among physicians, and if so, what can be done to correct it. Tigges responded,

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.

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' comments were quickly passed around the internet, with people slamming his views and others posting alleged posts made by Tigges trolling people for non-conservative political views. Others also pointed out that while male doctors get through a higher number of patients in a day, female doctors tend to have a higher individual success rate with patients than their male counterparts.

According to Dallas Morning News, Tigges has said his comments were taken out of context and he doesn't stand by the statement as it was printed,

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

Women might take longer with their patients, and that's a great thing, but then their pay is less. That's something we have to deal with every day; you have to work out that balance. Every physician wrangles with that. But it was not my intention to say female physicians are lazy or don't work as hard.

Tigges claims it wasn't his intention to say female doctors don't work as hard, though his quote actually said "Female physicians do not work as hard,". Tigges said he wasn't aware his comments, which he said were based on studies he's read about female doctors seeing less patients and working less hours due to other obligations, would be used for publication. Michael Darrouzet, CEO of the Dallas County Medical Society, said that the email Tigges responded to clearly stated that they'd be picking submissions to be published in the coming issue.

Gabriela Zandomeni, chair of the medical society's communications committee, defended their decision to include Tigges' comments,

After considering the purpose of the series, we decided to publish it. When I read this response, I was outraged, as many female physicians are today. However, I believe that to incite change, we must expose the issues that need changing.