OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of telemedicine among physicians during the COVID-19 pandemic . To assess the awareness about telemedicine among physicians and determine their opinions about telemedicine in the post-pandemic era .
METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted at government hospitals (King Faisal Medical Complex [KFMC] -King Abdulaziz Specialist Hospital [KASH] ) in Taif, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), from May-August 2020 . Taif is a small city in the western region of KSA with a population of 689,000 and 2 main hospitals (KFMC & amp; KASH) which also serve rural areas close to Taif city . A total of 36 physicians practiced telemedicine, only 25 physicians accepted to participate in this study .
RESULTS: Thirty-six percent of the responders believed that telemedicine could improve the effectiveness of therapeutic intervention and 44% believed that the quality of care was enhanced using telemedicine . Difficulty in reaching the correct diagnosis due to the lack of physical examination was one of the disadvantages that faced the participants .
CONCLUSION: Telemedicine should be part of medical services but should not completely replace physicians' personal interaction . Telemedicine could be continued for stable remotely residing patients even after the COVID-19 pandemic.