People online are letting actress Ellen Pompeo know she’s not a doctor even though she plays one on TV.
Pompeo plays Dr. Meredith Grey, the head of general surgery at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital on the long-running ABC show Grey’s Anatomy. She hit the stage at the Ellen Degeneres Show to raise awareness for breast cancer.
The actress was on the show to auction herself off for coffee and a chat with an audience member in order to raise money for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Once the bidding was over, Pompeo went a bit off-script.
Pompeo urged viewers to request a specific test from their doctors to screen for ovarian cancer, saying:
“When you go to the doctor, health insurance won’t pay for the ultrasound… you have to ask … So when you go to the doctor for your mammograms or your checkups, make sure you ask for the ultrasound because ovarian cancer is not detected otherwise and it’s a simple ultrasound and you can catch it and live.”
Earlier this year Pompeo stirred controversy by revealing to The Hollywood Reporter that she is the “highest paid actress on a primetime drama.”
Pompeo’s comments quickly drew attention and frustration from many in the medical field, particularly San Francisco-based OB-GYN Dr. Jen Gunter, who took to both Twitter and her blog with a reality check for the actress.
Referencing Pompeo’s appearance on Ellen and specifically her comments, Gunter said:
“Sigh. She’s wrong . . . Insert angry emoji It is frustrating to see someone with such influence use it to spread such incorrect information.”
She also addressed the faux pas head-on on Twitter: