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Physicians face numerous challenges in caring for underserved patients. These include both structural barriers, such as the increasing ranks of the uninsured, and contextual barriers. Contextual problems are embedded within the communication between doctors and patients. Communication between doctors and poor patients fails principally because of inadequately shared information and a power asymmetry in the relationship. This paper addresses specific strategies which practitioners and educators can use to improve communication with poor patients and assist in their empowerment. These strategies include employing attentive patient care, attending to the use of jargon, and using self-empowering language.