Originally from Marlboro, New Jersey, Dr. James Cocco grew up enjoying summers at the beach and winters skiing in the Catskills and Pocono mountains. He played football and baseball in high school, and continued his baseball career into his college and medical school years.
After high school, he was accepted into an eight-year honors pre-med/medical program at Virginia Commonwealth University and the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond. He earned his bachelor’s degree in biology, cum laude with full university honors, and matriculated at the Medical College of Virginia, which culminated with his medical degree in 2000.
A child of the Jersey Shore, Dr. Cocco answered the call to move closer to the beach and entered a residency program from 2000-2004 at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida. His training was in both internal medicine and pediatrics. His hospital affiliations during residency included Tampa General Hospital, Moffitt Cancer Center, James A. Haley VA Hospital, and All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, where he met his wife, Tara, who was then working as a pediatric ICU nurse. During his residency, Dr. Cocco was also active providing after-hours coverage for the Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Tampa.
After residency, Dr. Cocco became board-certified in both internal medicine and pediatrics, and was hired by Dr. Lerner (then the Chief Medical Officer of First Physician’s Group) to join a group of similarly trained physicians in First Physician’s Group of Sarasota. He practiced both specialties in the Lakewood Ranch area for nearly twelve years. Embracing his passion for both clinic medicine and hospital rounds, he has maintained his membership on the Sarasota Memorial Hospital medical staff, and has continued to see patients in the office setting as well as the hospital.
In his spare time, Dr. Cocco is an avid boater and enjoys everything outdoors. He and his family enjoy ski trips each winter, typically traveling to the Rocky Mountains. Dr. Cocco and his wife have two young boys and reside in East Sarasota, where their children and their dogs have room to roam.
Dr. Cocco believes in the true meaning of the doctor-patient relationship and developing a genuine bond with each person entrusted in his care. It’s this personalized approach that truly makes a difference. His extensive experience in adolescent, adult and geriatric medicine offers the opportunity for generations of patients to enjoy the health and wellness they deserve.