Ellen Pompeo has played Dr. Meredith Grey on “Grey’s Anatomy” for 14 seasons, a feat she says has kept her out of real doctors’ offices.
“I don’t have time to see doctors,” Pompeo, 47, said today on “Good Morning America.” “I work too much.”
As “Grey’s Anatomy” prepares to air its 300th episode tonight, Pompeo’s character has seen her share of personal drama over the years.
When asked if she is ever called to be a doctor in real-life, Pompeo replied it is “more psychiatry.”
“I diagnose everybody and tell everybody what’s wrong with them,” she said with a laugh.
In reality, Pompeo’s role on “Grey’s Anatomy” has actually changed lives.
Three women described to Pompeo in taped messages that aired on “GMA” how they were inspired to pursue careers as nurses and doctors because they saw Pompeo playing a female doctor on TV.
“You helped inspire me to become a doctor and to become this strong and independent woman in this traditionally male-dominated field,” said Dr. Elana Fotiou. “I think that the women of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ are like modern-day superheroes.”
Laura Tiu has played a nurse on “Grey’s Anatomy” for the past 14 seasons.
“It was such an inspiration to be on set, I looked into being a real nurse and I went ahead and got my master’s degree in nursing,” she said. "And here I am."
Carleigh Fisher said she first watched “Grey’s Anatomy” as a 15-year-old.
“I knew that I wanted to be a surgeon and now I’m going to medical school next year,” she said. “And just continuing to pursue my dream to be a doctor and to be like Meredith Grey.”
Pompeo called it a “blessing” as an actress to play a character that inspires others.
“First of all, to play a doctor, you realize how precious life is and how lucky we are just to be living and breathing and our heart beating every day,” she said. “And then to have that on top of it is really moving.”
She continued, “I don’t know how I couldn’t be thrilled every day just to get the opportunity to do this and touch people the way that we touch them.”
The 300th episode of "Grey's Anatomy" takes a look back at the show's past 14 seasons. Characters now gone from the show will return but be played by different actors.
"When I first read the script I was a little, you know, I felt some type of way about it because I have an affection for those people and I thought you can’t certainly recreate them or copy them," Pompeo said. "I was like, 'I don’t know if I’m into this idea.'"
"But then when I saw the actors come on set, then I felt a whole other type of way and I got really nostalgic."
The 300th episode of "Grey's Anatomy" airs tonight as part of ABC's "TGIT" lineup.