The women health professionals he dealt with made him feel comfortable. They would look him in the eye even when they had to tell him sad news. They asked how he was doing. Sometimes they would reach out and hold his hand. Tears came to his eyes when he remembered those moments.
He didn’t have such nice things to say about the men. Words like detached, cold, brusque came to mind. They were not sympathetic. More to the type of “the facts, and just the facts.” ….
To paraphrase his words, “All they talked about was the data. The data, the data, the data. We heard that over and over again as though it was the answer to whatever issues confronted us. Not translating it into what we needed to hear, what we needed to do, how we should respond. Just the data.”
My own personal experience has not shown such a gender gap in compassion; while the styles of medical team vary, all of them save one have been consistently compassionate when needed and appropriate.