BACKGROUND: Parkinson's disease is a multidimensional disease that results in an accumulation of problems over time due to lack of cure, the progressive nature of the illness and diffuse pathology. This disease debt impacts on movement, cognition and mood, resulting in disruption of many normal daily activities for the patients and an increasing burden of care on the spouse and family. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this article is to provide the busy general practitioner with key points in the management of Parkinson's disease which are of relevance to the patient and the career. DISCUSSION: All health care professionals who are involved in the management of Parkinson's disease need to be aware of the expectations of people with this disease and aim to meet these. Due to the multidimensional nature of this condition these patients are ideally managed in a team environment incorporating a medical practitioner, a psychiatrist, nurse, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist, neuropsychologist, social worker and dietician.