Ellen Pompeo was admitted to hospital at the weekend and thought she was ''dying''.

The 'Grey's Anatomy' actress admitted she initially didn't want to sign up for the medical drama series because such programmes always fuelled her ''hypochondria'', but after 14 years on the show, it's helped with her anxiety as she's now more familiar with many conditions - but was baffled by the pain she suffered from the mass that had formed in her organ.

She admitted: ''Medical shows - 'E.R.' was on at the time and every time I watched it it made me anxious, hypochondriac, always thinking there was something wrong with me.

''It's helped and hurt at different times. At certain times I think I know what to do and other times... I had a kidney stone on Saturday and ended up in the E.R., I thought I was dying, for sure. I didn't know that was what it was.''

And when talk show host Ellen Degeneres suggested the show feature a patient with a kidney stone, her guest thought it was a great idea.

She quipped: ''I'll be great at it [now].''

During her appearance on the show, the 48-year-old actress - who has played Dr. Meredith Grey since 'Grey's Anatomy' began in 2005 - also spoke about her recent Hollywood Reporter article, in which she spoke at length about pay inequality and her recent salary negotiations, which take her up to $20 million a year.

Ellen admitted she felt compelled to speak out in order to be an ''example'' to other women.

She said: ''I think there are certain moments where it's important to be really truthful about our pain and our struggles...

''Sometimes you have to go through painful things.. just to be an example.

''We have a platform and the women who've approached me from all walks of life since the article came out...

''I've been shocked and moved by how many women run up to me and share their story.. because we as women are taught to be quiet.

''It's really important to encourage each other, encourage other women.. to stand up and be strong and know that we will be ok and we have each other's backs''

And the actress slammed recent reports that her steep pay rise led to the dismissal of her co-stars Jessica Capshaw and Sarah Drew.

She said: ''It's absolutely not true. I'm not involved in these kinds of decisions.. however there are a few problems when doing a show for 14 seasons and one is the writers have a hard time creatively, thinking up new stories for all these characters is difficult.

''It's always sad when we lose people, whether they want to go or they don't want to go.''