v according to clinical relevance and importance in specialist education as listed in the ‘blueprint’ (see appendix). The current, second edition of the ERS handbook Self-Assessment in Respiratory Medicine contains a completely revised and considerably expanded selection of questions that have been prepared by experienced authors and have undergone a rigorous evaluation according to the principles outlined above. The majority of questions are introduced by a case vignette describing a clinical problem to be solved. The purpose is not merely to test the knowledge of facts (which could be looked up in a text book or in the Internet) but rather to evaluate the ability of a candidate to apply knowledge and critically weigh different options in a clinical context. Accordingly, the choice of answers often contains more than one reasonable alternative, from which the candidate has to select the most appropriate one. As a welcome change, other, short questions without vignette are interspersed to test specic knowledge in selected areas. In the comments to each question, evidence in favour and against the various answers is discussed and literature references are provided for further reading. We hope that all readers of this handbook will enjoy solving the problems presented in the case vignettes and questions, and benet from assessing and refreshing their knowledge in respiratory medicine. References 1. Loddenkemper R, et al. HERMES: a European core syllabus in respiratory medicine. Breathe 2006 3: 59–69. 2. Loddenkemper R, et al. European curriculum recommendations for training in adult respiratory medicine: crossing boundaries with HERMES. Eur Respir J 2008 32: 538–540. 3. Loddenkemper R, et al. European curriculum recommendations for training in adult respiratory medicine. Breathe 2008 5: 80–120. 4. Loddenkemper R, et al. Adult HERMES: criteria for accreditation of ERS European training centres in adult respiratory medicine. Breathe 2010 7: 171–188. 5. Loddenkemper R, et al. Multiple choice and the only answer: the HERMES examination. Breathe 2008 4: 244–246. 6. Palange P, et al. eds. ERS Handbook of Respiratory Medicine. 2nd Edn. Sheffield, European Respiratory Society, 2013. Konrad E. Bloch ERS Educational Council, Assessments Director Thomas Brack ERS HERMES Examination Committee, Member Anita K. Simonds ERS Educational Council, Past Chair
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