Peter T. Bohan, M.D., 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. Dr. Bohan's teaching career at the University of Kansas spanned four decades. Even after attaining emeritus status in 1945, Dr. Bohan continued to hold clinics for medical students until his death in 1955. According to an account of Dr. Bohan's life and practice, 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. . . . 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, Dr. Bohan's family, friends, colleagues and former students established a lectureship fund in his honor. However, Dr. Bohan protested such recognition. It was not until 1947, nearly ten years later, that the first of many Peter T. Bohan Lectures was delivered.
Over time, the Peter T. Bohan Lectureship has evolved to become an annual common reading program that culminates in a lecture event. The KUMC One Book program launched in 2016 and its mission is to strengthen the KUMC campus community by engaging students, faculty and staff in a shared discussion and reflection on a common text. The program explores ways to improve health, as only we can, through social change and community responsibility.