Peter T. Bohan graduated from Rush Medical College in 1900 and interned at the Alexian Brothers Hospital in Chicago for two years. He completed post-graduate work in London, Edinburgh, Berlin and Vienna, before coming to Kansas City in 1908 to join the faculty of the University of Kansas School of Medicine as an associate professor of medicine, just three years after the school opened.
Dr. Bohan's teaching career spanned four decades. Even after attaining emeritus status in 1945, Dr. Bohan continued to hold clinics for medical students at the University of Kansas until his death in 1955. According to an account of Dr. Bohan's life and practice that was published in 1974, most of his teaching years were without salary. "It was Dr. Bohan's feeling that physicians who taught at the medical school should not be paid for their services. He considered it a privilege and sincerely believed that the teachers received as much benefit for the teaching relationship as the students. He was urged to accept a $300 annual remuneration for a short time and was then discontinued at his request. His compensation was derived from the accomplishments of hundreds of physicians who heard his lectures during their student days and went on to their own careers in medicine."
At the time of his retirement, family, colleagues, friends and former students of Dr. Bohan's established a fund for a lectureship in his honor. However, Dr. Bohan protested such recognition, and it was not until nearly ten years later, that the first lecture was delivered in 1947. Since that time, there has been a long history of Peter T. Bohan lectures.