In this article I explore the need for students preparing to teach as well as those in health care professions to become more aware of the health needs of poor communities, from the perspective of the poor themselves. I focus on a critically oriented health education project, planned and conducted by students, and on a relationship developed with a patient at a Veterans Administration medical center. Poor patients, oppressed to begin with, enter a health care environment that oppresses them further, and I urge educators to help students become more aware of the situation of children and adults in poverty in a society in which health care is not a right.