You know the economy is ailing when cost-conscious surgeons are cutting back on one of their favorite perks: in-service seminars typically held on tropical islands and at mountain retreats.

That’s the thinking behind Raleigh, N.C.-based, a fee-based Web site, where the latest medical procedures are demonstrated live.

Surgeons are the target audience, but individuals facing operations may purchase a week-long pass to visit the site.

Marketing duties have fallen to The Republik in nearby Chapel Hill, N.C. The shop, led by chief executive officer Robert Shaw West, will kick off a trade and consumer advertising campaign for the online service later this summer. Spending is undisclosed.

The Republik, founded last September, was awarded the business without a review.

“We’re a startup site with an unfamiliar service to offer,” said founder George Stepanian. “Republik has demonstrated the kind of unconventional marketing expertise that we need to break through.”