I don’t know that I would be outright impressed by these nodule-referrals, but I’d respect them a lot more if the clinician took a moment to “bring something to the table.” Tell me about clinical risk factors that heighten your suspicion regarding the nodule, or even that, knowing the patient, you can say that there aren’t any. Tell me how long you’ve been following this thing, and, if previous studies were done somewhere else, do some of the legwork in getting them. Even just telling us where and when would help us track down those relevant priors.
Otherwise, it does not take a physician, PA, or nurse to make these referrals. A monkey with a rubber stamp or a trained parrot, if verbal orders are locally permitted, could get the job done just as well.
For that matter, why even involve anybody outside of the radiology department and the patient? Rad groups could establish Nodule Clinics— after the initial referral, the patients would be directly managed by the clinics, including mailed or phoned reminders of when it was time to return for the next imaging study. When a patient no longer needed following, they’d be discharged from the clinic.
And, if during a visit to the clinic, a patient described any clinical issues, we could just refer them back to their primary care provider with a note saying “follow-up symptoms.”
Sauce for the gander.