Speaking to TV Guide, Pompeo explained that Meredith will start to look after the other doctors following the shootings in the last finale.
"The role that they have given Meredith is to take care of everybody and to try to make sure that everybody else is OK," she said.
"She's the role of the caretaker which, I guess, is her way of not dealing with her own thing."
However, Pompeo revealed that Meredith will clash with the new counsellor Andrew Perkins (James Tupper) when he initially refuses to let her return to surgery.
"Meredith does get cleared eventually, but not right away," she said. "Not without some frustrating episodes. She's got to pull out all the tricks and stops to try to get cleared."
She added: "[Perkins] comes in and he's just clearing people and he doesn't really know them. Meredith feels like she knows them, and she really knows that they're not OK. She can see because she lives and breathes with them every day. He's coming in and clearing everybody because he thinks they're fine, and he doesn't think Meredith is fine. She's the one taking care of everybody!"
Pompeo also hinted that some characters will struggle to recover, saying: "I think [Meredith's] handling this a little bit better than the other people who are more on the verge. Lexie and Cristina really, really need more critical attention."
Grey's Anatomy returns for a new season on September 23 on ABC.