Physician resigns from THR leadership roles after disparaging comments about female peers

A physician leader at Texas Health Plano resigned earlier this week after his comments criticizing female physicians were published in a local medical journal and went viral on social media, according to The Dallas Morning News.

Gary Tigges, MD, is an internal medicine physician at Plano Internal Medicine Associates, which is affiliated with the 386-bed hospital. Until earlier this week, he also served on the executive committee of Texas Health Plano's medical board and as chair of the hospital's credentialing committee, the report states.

Dr. Tigges' resignation was announced to employees by Texas Health Plano President Josh Floren this week. The announcement, obtained by Becker's Hospital Review Sept. 6, aimed to assure staff Dr. Tigges' comments were not reflective of Texas Health Resources or Texas Health Plano.

"This past weekend we learned of comments that Dr. Gary Tigges made to the Dallas Medical Journal regarding physician pay inequities between the genders, which spread quickly on social media. His remarks were and remain extremely divisive and have caused a great deal of hurt and concern among the medical staff, the Dallas-Fort Worth medical community and the entire country.

"I wanted to assure you that the comments made by Dr. Tigges do not reflect the opinion or values of Texas Health Resources or Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano. These comments were made by an independent physician who was not speaking on behalf of this hospital or our medical board. Yesterday, the executive committee of the medical board at Texas Health Plano accepted Dr. Tigges' resignation from his leadership position on the medical board and as chair of the credentialing committee. In addition, they strongly and unanimously disagreed with his comments. The executive committee and the Texas Health Plano administrative team have worked to develop an environment free of discrimination, including those based on gender, race, creed, ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or identification.

"On behalf of Texas Health Plano’s leadership team, I thank you for your commitment to Texas Health's values of respect, integrity, compassion and excellence in the care and service you provide our community each day."

Dr. Tigges drew widespread criticism for comments he made in response to a Dallas Medical Journal questionnaire that asked members of the Dallas County Medical Society whether they believed a pay gap between male and female physicians existed. In his response, Dr. Tigges said the pay gap existed because "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," he wrote, according a copy of the journal obtained by CBS News.

Dr. Tigges issued a public apology Sept. 3, stating his comments were taken out of context and that his opinions were based on data he had read indicating female physicians often earned less because they treated fewer patients or worked fewer hours.

"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 sincerely apologize to all female physicians for my comments and the pain they have caused," Dr. Tigges said in his apology, according to CBS News.

To access the full report, click here.

Editor's note: This article was updated at 5:10 p.m Sept. 6 to include additional comment from Texas Health Plano.

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