Durairaj received a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degrees from the University of Madras, 1962. Seven years later he was given a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Poona (now Savitribai Phule Pune University).
In 1975, Manuel earned his Doctor of Medicine degree in Cardiology from the University of Madras. He completed the training at Christian Medical College in Vellore and received Doctor of Medicine post-doctoral degree in Cardiology in 1975.
Manuel began his career as an Intern at Government Erskine Hospital in 1962 and held it for a year. Five years later he took a position of a registrar in medicine at Armed Forces of Medical College. In 1970, Durairaj was an instructor of medicine at the same college. Then in 1973 Manuel worked as a senior registrar of cardiology at Christian Medical College.
He worked as a specialist in medicine and cardiology at Army Hospital of Delhi Cantonment which affiliated with Delhi and Poona University from 1975 to 1976.
A year later he decided to take a position of a reader in cardiology at Military Hospital which affiliated with Armed Forces Medical College. In 1982, Manuel held the position of a professor and head department of cardiology at the same hospital. In 1983, Durairaj was a cardiologist at Military Hospital and held it for a year.
In 1984, he became a director of cardiology at Poona Hospital and Research Center, where he worked until 1999. Since 2000, Manuel has been a Professor at Ruby Hall Clinic. Also nowadays he serves as a chairman of the Marian Cardiac Centre and Research Foundation in Pune.
Durairaj is a member of American Heart Association, American Society of Echocardiography, American College of Chest Physicans, American College of Cardiology, Indian Academy of Echocardiography, Indian College of Cardiology, Christian Medical Association of India, Indian College of Physicians, Hypertension Society of India, Association for Agricultural Medicine and Rural Health in India, Indian College of Chest Physicians, Indian Society of Medical Ultrasound, India Society of Electrocardiology, Indian Association for Advancement Medical Education, Association of Physicians in India, Cardiology Society of India, International Society of Heart Research and International College of Angiology.
Manuel Durairaj is married and has 2 children.